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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Washed Ashore Volunteer

  • washed ashore art

Love animals? Love creative art installations? Then this is the volunteer opportunity for you! The Smithsonian's National Zoo is seeking volunteers to help interpret its new art installation: Washed Ashore.

This larger-than-life exhibit will feature 17 marine wildlife sculptures made entirely of plastics collected from the ocean. These sculptures, representing animals like jellyfish and sharks, symbolize the increasing issue of plastic pollution in our waterways, and help tell the story of ocean pollution and wildlife conservation. Washed Ashore Volunteers will be responsible for introducing visitors to this exhibit, educating on the subject of plastic pollution and ocean health, and assisting with wayfinding and answering general Zoo questions.

This is a seasonal volunteer opportunity that runs from May 26 to September 5, 2016. Volunteers are asked to complete four 2-hours shifts per month (June, July, and August) AND volunteer a minimum of one shift on Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, or World Ocean's Day (June 11).

Age Range: 




Special qualifications: 

Ability to be outside in the summer for two hours at a time.


Volunteers will receive a combination of online and in-person training, which will cover information on the Washed Ashore exhibit, the National Zoo, and interpreting with the public. Applicants must be available to complete both online learning modules and a 3-hour in-person training session.


Washington DC





Contact phone: 


Additional information: 

Interested volunteers must submit an application and participate in one of two interview days on Saturday, April 2 from 9:30 a.m. to noon, or Wednesday, April 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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