STATEN ISLAND ZOO VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

PLEASE NOTE: The Zoo accepts applications year round but has 2 large volunteer Recruitment Days.

Please look over the programs below and see if there is a program that appeals to you.
Please read over the Volunteer Guidelines that ALL ZOO Volunteers must follow.

What goes into being a Zoo Volunteer?
Volunteerism at the Zoo is of great value as educational experiences. With a close staff to volunteer ratio, volunteers are a part of the zoo family. During their time at the Zoo, volunteers gain hands-on, practical work experience.

Volunteers must be available on a regularly scheduled basis. Volunteer opportunities range in length from 3 months to one year, and have a minimum requirement of at least 3 months. Volunteer Start Dates are in May/September (for non-Docents) and January/February for the Docent & Jr. Docent Crew only.

Due to the needs of animal care and children, we have exceptionally high standards for our volunteers. Volunteerism at the zoo is highly competitive. Volunteers are screened and carefully selected through either a Volunteer Recruitment Day or Docent/Jr. Docent interviews.

Deadlines:
APPLICATIONS (Accepted Year Round) – however there are 3 acceptance dates:
May – Spring Volunteer Recruitment Day
August – Fall Volunteer Recruitment Day (August 27 from 11am – 2pm)
November – Jr. Docent & Docent applications due and interviews held. The 2017 Docent & Jr. Docent Class will be held in the winter through May.

To apply, please review the volunteer opportunities below and then apply using the Teen Volunteer Application or the Adult Volunteer Application.

 

Please send these to:
Staten Island Zoo Volunteer Coordinator
614 Broadway St.Staten Island, NY 10310
Email: Education@StatenIslandZoo.org
Fax: 718-442-8492
No phone calls please

Age RequirementSeasonCommitment ExpectedRequirements
Special Events14 years – AdultYear-round4 Events/YearNone. Just a positive outlook, patience with children and willingness to smile, learn, and be helpful.
Zoofari16 years – AdultSummer2 Full Week MinimumPrevious experience working with children and/or other summer camp programs is a plus (though not required).
Children’s Center/

Animal Care

16 years – AdultYear-roundMinimum: 1 Full day per week during summer.

2 Full Days per month during school year.

MUST BE ABLE TO LIFT 50 lbs without difficulty. Must have quick reflexes.Previous experience with animals preferred but not required. Ability to perform tasks outdoors year-round.
Commissary/Animal Diet PreparationAdult (18+)Year-round1 half-day/week minimumMust have precision to detail and be able to follow verbal and written instructions.Ability to use sharp knives, food processors and the stove without incident. Willingness to use a gram scale.
Jr. Docent14 – 18 yearsYear-round once successfully passed class. Class offered annually in spring.Initially attend a 10-week class. Once graduated,

Two 5-hour shifts/month during school year.

Two 5-hour shifts/week during summer.

Must assist with Special Events including Spooktacular.

Must be reliable and team players.Passion for animals combined with a desire to teach the public. Willingness to participate in special events, games, crafts. No extensive prior animal knowledge or public speaking needed provided there is a willingness to learn.
DocentAdult (18+)Year-round once successfully passed class. Class offered annually in spring.Initially attend a 10-week class. Once graduated,

6 hours/month.

Also must attend a minimum of 5 meetings annually and participate in Spooktacular.

Must be reliable and team players.Passion for animals combined with a desire to teach the public.

No extensive prior animal knowledge or public speaking needed provided there is a willingness to learn.

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

The Staten Island Zoo volunteers may be 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.

Unfortunately, because of the high volume of applications we receive, we aren’t able to give status updates on application.  Not all applicants will be invited to an interview.   Please wait for the Zoo to contact you regarding your potential interview and acceptance into the program.

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

The Staten Island Zoo volunteers may be 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.

Unfortunately, because of the high volume of applications we receive, we aren’t able to give status updates on application. Not all applicants will be invited to an interview. Please wait for the Zoo to contact you regarding your potential interview and acceptance into the program.


Education Positions

SPECIAL EVENTS CREW
Age Requirements: 14 years and older
Season: Year round
Description:
These volunteers assist in crafts and games at the Zoo’s special family programs (weekend and school holidays). Special Event volunteer tasks vary depending on the nature of the event. You might assist children in making costumes to become the “heroes in a half shell” in celebration of World Turtle Day, assist young children with finger painting or gluing to make the cutest crafts around, or pass out candy in costume at the Zoo’s annual Spooktacular. The Special Events Crew is a fun way to meet other people while building public speaking skills and learning how to teach.
Experience needed:
None. Just a positive outlook, patience with children, and willingness to smile, learn, and be helpful.
Commitment expected:
Help with a minimum of 4 events a year, including Spooktacular (a weekend in October). Special event volunteers must stay the entire duration of the special event they are working.

ZOOFARI SUMMER CREW
Age Requirements: 16 to 18 years. Oldest applicants are seniors in High School.
Season: Application deadline is May 31. These volunteers are at the zoo in week long blocks from early July through Labor Day.
Description:
These volunteers will assist counselors with crafts, games, snacks, and preparation for the day’s activities. They are helping to create a safe, relaxed and fun environment where Zoofari kids can learn and create. Each volunteer is assigned to a specific counselor and age group for a week at a time.
Experience needed:
Previous experience working with children and/or other summer camp programs is helpful.
Commitment expected:
Zoofari volunteers must commit to at least two full weeks; Monday through Friday, 8am – 4pm. The two weeks will take place between July 4th and Labor Day.

DOCENT CREW (18 and older)
Season: Application deadline is November 1, 2017. Interviews occur in late fall. The required 10 week class begins in early winter. Upon graduation, docents are active year-round for multiple years.
Description:
This highly competitive program allows adults the opportunity to gain knowledge in public speaking and interpretation skills, while learning about our diverse animal collection. Docents are required to interact with the Zoo’s visitors and staff during their training. Docents will gain hands-on experience in handling and presenting the animals from the Education Department’s program animal collection.
Experience needed:
Must be reliable and team players. Passion for animals combined with a desire to teach the public.
No extensive prior animal knowledge or public speaking needed provided there is a willingness to learn.
Commitment expected:
Docents must attend 8 out of 10 5-hour classes in order to graduate, as well as complete homework assignments and exams.
Cost:
If accepted into the program, there is a non-refundable $60 course fee. This covers the cost of training materials, and provides a graduated junior docent with one polo shirt and name tag. After graduation, junior docents and adult docents are allowed to purchase additional polos, fleeces, and hats through the Education Department. With proof of financial hardship, this fee may be reduced to $40.

JUNIOR DOCENT CREW
Age Requirements: 14 – 18 years old
Season: Application deadline is November 1, 2017. Interviews occur in late fall. The required 10 week class begins in early winter. Upon graduation, junior docents are active year-round for multiple years.
Description:
This highly competitive program allows high school students the opportunity to gain knowledge in public speaking and interpretation skills, while learning about our diverse animal collection. Junior docents are required to interact with the zoo’s visitors and staff during their training. Junior docents will gain hands-on experience in handling and presenting the animals from the Education Department’s program animal collection.
Experience needed:
Must be reliable and team players. Passion for animals combined with a desire to teach the public. Willingness to participate in special events, games, crafts. No extensive prior animal knowledge or public speaking needed provided there is a willingness to learn.
Commitment expected:
Jr. Docents must attend 8 out of 10 5-hour classes in order to graduate, as well as complete homework assignments and exams.
During the School Year, a minimum of two 5-hour shifts per month.
During the Summer, a minimum of two 5-hour shifts per week.
Cost:
If accepted into the program, there is a non-refundable $60 course fee. This covers the cost of training materials, and provides a graduated junior docent with one polo shirt and name tag. After graduation, junior docents and adult docents are allowed to purchase additional polos, fleeces, and hats through the Education Department. With proof of financial hardship, this fee may be reduced to $40.


Animal Care Opportunities

ANIMAL NUTRITION (COMMISSARY) CREW
Age Requirements: 18 years and older
Season: Year round
Description:
Volunteers work in the Zoo’s Commissary preparing diets for a wide variety of animals. This involves having an important attention to detail and ability to communicate.
Volunteers learn about animal nutrition and the importance of the animal diets.
Experience needed:
Must have precision to detail and be able to follow verbal and written instructions. Ability to use sharp knives, food processors and the stove without incident. Willingness to use a gram scale.
Commitment expected:
Animal Nutrition Volunteers must commit to a half day shift (4 hours) per week.

CHILDREN’S CENTER CREW
Age Requirements: 16 years and older
Season: Year-round.
Description:
A Children’s Center volunteer works alongside zookeepers conducting daily husbandry for a variety of hoofstock, birds, and more. This includes feeding, cleaning, and routine exhibit maintenance. Volunteers who show responsibility and aptitude may also be asked to assist in behavior training for the animals in the Children’s Center.
Experience needed:
MUST BE ABLE TO LIFT 50 lbs without difficulty. Must have quick reflexes. Previous experience with animals preferred but not required. Ability to perform tasks outdoors year-round.
Commitment expected:
During the summer: Minimum of one 8 hour day/week.
During the school year: Minimum of two 8 hour days/month.
Required to bring a bag (backpack, duffel bag, tote, etc.) for work shoes labeled with name. This bag will have a pair of shoes to remain at the zoo, therefore another pair of shoes will be needed to wear home.