Now accepting Docent & Jr. Docent applications for our 2021 program.


The Staten Island Zoo is looking for enthusiastic and dedicated individuals to join our team of docents. Please read the following information on this page to make sure our program is the perfect fit for you.

Volunteer Coordinator

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are not able to give status updates on applications. Not all applicants will be invited for an interview. Please wait for the Zoo to contact you directly regarding your potential interview and acceptance into the program.

Junior Docent Crew

What do they do?

  • Assists with education programs both on and off zoo grounds
  • Promote the zoo’s mission by acting as a zoo ambassador and educating the visiting public on importantconservation topics through the use of bio-facts, live animals, exhibit interpretation and other educational tools.
  • Leads guided educational tours
  • Help with special events (Ex: Spooktacular)
  • When certified, handle and present education ambassador animals
  • Inspire children by dressing as the Zoo’s mascot Staten Island Chuck (Jr. Docents)
  • And many more…

How do I become a docent?

We have two categories of docents here at the Staten Island Zoo, Docents & Jr. Docents

Docents must be at least 18+ years of age
Jr. Docents must be 14 – 18 years of age and currently in High School.

All applicants must fill out an application online and go through our interview process. Unfortunately due to the size of applicants we receive, we cannot accept everyone.

We also recommend that anyone looking to become a Zoo Docent have a strong interest in conservation education, be capable of working both independently and as part of a team, and feel comfortable public speaking in front of small and large groups.

The Docent Training is a rigorous 8 week course (64 hrs), and will cover very important information that all of our docents are required to know, and maintain knowledge of. Topics include, zoology, taxonomy, ecology, zoonotic diseases, and more! The course is only held once a year and Docents and Jr. Docents will go through the training together.

General Requirements

  • Meet the age requirements : Docents must be at least 18+ years of age | Jr. Docents must be 14 – 18 years of age and currently in High School.
  • Submit an application
  •  Provide a Negative TB test (before the start of the course)
  • $60 course fee, which includes a polo shirt, training materials, and name tag (please DO NOT send paymentwith application).
  • Attend the 8 week docent course. Classes normally run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sundays, betweenFebruary and May but are subject to change and classes may be a blend of in-person and virtual.

Benefits of being an active docent:

  • Free admission & individual membership to the Staten Island Zoological Society
  • Discounts on certain Zoo programs & merchandise
  • Annual recognition
  • Have access to the Zoo Quarterly newsletter
  • Ability to join AZADV (Docents)

All volunteers must be capable of working both independently and as part of a team.

Staten Island Zoo volunteers are subject to a thorough background check.

The Staten Island Zoo reserves the right to alter the volunteer program or its contents in any way without prior notice. Staten Island Zoo volunteer positions may be terminated at any time per the discretion of the Zoo and without notice. The Zoo reserves the right to dismiss any volunteer that does not comply with rules.

The Staten Island Zoo is committed to the principle of equal educational opportunities without the discrimination of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, or presence of a legally protected disability or any other legally protected status.

Please read our Volunteer Guidelines