The zoo is open! All visitors will require free entry passes and be required to follow safety measures. Free timed-entry Asia Trail/Panda Passes are required for the giant panda viewing.

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Volunteer Citizen Scientist: BiodiversiTree Data Collection Fieldwork

  • BiodiversiTree Plot

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, serves as an umbrella for the Smithsonian Institution's global effort to understand and conserve species and to train future generations of conservationists. BiodiversiTree is an experimental landmark research forest on the campus of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, where more than 9,000 native trees in 64 plots have been planted. Each plot provides an exceptional research opportunity, and ecology researchers along with citizen scientists will collect data to record the impacts of tree growth, wildlife and soil quality on forest biodiversity.

SCBI's Conservation Ecology Center is seeking volunteer citizen scientists to assist with preservation and data collection of trees in this experimental research forest. Shifts are available from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday only. There are no weekend opportunities available.

Age Range: 




Special qualifications: 

Volunteers should be reliable, physically fit and able to walk, bend, kneel and move comfortably over uneven terrain in the field and in all weather conditions. No previous experience in ecology, fieldwork or data collection is required. An interest in learning is preferred.


Once accepted, new volunteers must complete mandatory online training. Additional on-the-job training will be provided under the supervision of SCBI ecology staff.


Front Royal




Zoo Support

Contact phone: 


Additional information: 

Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement. Applicants will be interviewed by unit staff, and those who are provisionally accepted will undergo background checks, including fingerprinting, as a requirement for approval as a volunteer.