Jobs/Volunteer Opportunities: Internships
The San Francisco Zoo Internship Program offers hands-on work experience to people interested in a career in a zoological field. Internships are offered in the Fisher Family Children's Zoo, Koret Animal Resource Center, and education department. Interns accepted into this program are expected to learn and successfully perform (under supervision) the duties and responsibilities of an employee in the assigned department.
All interns are paid a stipend. Openings for summer internships are posted in early spring; one-year internships are posted from spring to early summer.
Click here to see current internship openings.
Fisher Family Children's Zoo Internship
The five-acre Fisher Family Children's Zoo is a special place for children and adults to get close to animals. The Native American Animals section focuses on animals from North and South America. The animals on display range from local wildlife to residents of tropical rainforests. Through interactive displays, visitors can learn about current conservation issues. In the Family Farm, visitors can feed and touch the domestic farm animals and learn about domestication and rare breeds of livestock.
About the Internship
Interns assist Fisher Family Children's Zoo staff with maintaining the animal collection. Routine daily tasks may include preparing animal diets; cleaning and disinfecting animal yards, cages, and pens; animal observations; record keeping; assisting with medications; coordinating volunteer activities; presenting educational programs to the public. Tasks are occasionally strenuous and you must be able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs. You will also be expected to work outdoors, and therefore must be able to tolerate extreme weather conditions. You will be expected to tolerate dust, hay, and animal hair/dander.
Coursework in biology, zoology, ecology, or related area; ability to present information to groups.
Talk on the Wildside (TOWS) is an interpretive volunteer program for 14-17 year olds designed to help increase the Zoo's contact with the public using the Insect Zoo, Children's Zoo, and bone carts. Teen volunteers, ages 14-17, are scheduled to come to the Zoo two days per week, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and are stationed in different areas of the Zoo in order to teach the visiting public.
The TOWS intern works from June 1 through Labor Day weekend, approximately 32 hours per week. Duties include scheduling and assigning teen volunteers to stations, participating in training of the volunteers, hold morning and afternoon meetings to communicate daily schedules and monitor daily activities, ensure volunteers arrive to assigned stations, monitor each group throughout the day, enter information and volunteer hours into database, help out in other areas where needed, and some interaction with animals in Insect Zoo and Children's Zoo. College course work in biology, zoology, ecology, or a related area; ability to present and teach information to groups; and experience working with and supervising teenagers aged 14-17.
The Koret Animal Resource Center houses the educational animal collection of the Zoo. The animals — former pets, captive-bred Zoo animals, or damaged wildlife — are the backbone of the Zoo's educational programs: Wildlife Theater, Nature Trail, and ZooMobile. The collection includes small mammals, raptors and other birds, reptiles and amphibians.
About the Internship
Interns assist ARC staff with maintaining the animal collection and the development and presentation of public programs. Routine daily tasks will include traditional animal husbandry such as diet preparation, cleaning of cages and pens, observing and training animals, and assisting with medical treatments. Over two hundred volunteers are involved with the ARC each year and the interns are integral to the success of the volunteer experience and the ARC's public programs. Tasks are occasionally strenuous and you must be able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs. You will also be expected to work outdoors, and therefore must be able to tolerate extreme weather conditions. You will be expected to tolerate dust and animal hair/dander.
Coursework in biology, zoology, ecology, or related area; ability to present information to groups. Summer internships also require a minimum of two years as a Junior Zoologist in the ARC's volunteer program.
The education department offers internships for those planning careers as educators in a non-traditional setting.
About the Internship
The Zoo Camp internships are non-animal handling positions that assist education specialists with the summer school programs of the Zoo. Zoo Camp interns will gain experience in program development and teaching techniques. The Youth Program and ZooMobile internships provide skills in animal handling, public speaking, and program development.
Coursework in biology, zoology, ecology, or related area; experience working with young children, ability to present information to groups.
The ZooMobile is the San Francisco Zoo's primary outreach program. The internship extends from September thru June, working 40 hours per week with occasional weekend and frequent morning shifts. The intern conducts ZooMobile presentations to school groups both at school sites and on Zoo grounds while handling a variety of small amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Other tasks include contacting schools and teachers, scheduling lessons, driving the ZooMobile van to school locations, working with and scheduling volunteers, asa well as some husbandry and other administrative duties. The intern will have to tolerate dust and animal hair/dander as well as lifting and carrying animal carriers into and out of schools, must be able to lift 25lbs. Qualifications should include coursework in biology, zoology, ecology, education or related area; ability to present information to groups of diverse ages and abilities, while performing classroom management techniques and ensuring the animal's well being. A career interest in teaching and/or working with animals is a necessity. Must have a valid and clean California driver's license and be willing to drive and park a van.