Volunteer & Internship Opportunities
Cosley Zoo offers volunteer opportunities in animal care and education which provide valuable support to these areas.
Long-Term Opportunities (three months minimum)
Interpretive Volunteers help motivate visitors to appreciate the earth and its wildlife, and to conserve its resources through interacting with visitors, answering questions and explaining exhibits. Training is provided. Individuals must have good oral communication skills and be enthusiastic and interested in meeting and working with many types of people. Hours and days are flexible.
Interpretive volunteers are primarily needed from April-October. Interviews are conducted in February and July, and training takes place in late March/early April and August.
Must be 18 years of age or older.
Animal Care Volunteer
Animal care volunteers work directly with the zookeepers to perform routine feeding, cleaning and general husbandry for domestic and wild animals. Training is provided. Individuals must be able to stand, climb, stoop and bend for extended periods of time as well as carry up to 50 pounds. A minimum of one four-hour shift a week is required.
Must be 18 years of age or older.
There are currently no vacancies for Animal Care Volunteer.
Event Rental Volunteer
With the guidance of zoo staff, Cosley Zoo event rental volunteers work with visitors who have rented space at Cosley Zoo to hold an event. Individuals must be enthusiastic and interested in meeting and working with many types of people. Hours vary based on rental schedule. Most rentals take place on Saturday and Sunday between 9 am–5 pm; Occasional evenings and weekdays.
Event rental volunteers are primarily needed between April and October. Interviews are conducted in February and July, and training takes place in late March/early April and August.
Must be 18 years of age or older.
Cosley Zoo is looking for creative, enthusiastic, and responsible individuals interested in Environmental Education and working with visitors of all ages. Education Interns will take a leading role in creating and presenting informal programs to zoo visitors on a daily basis through the use of live animals, biofacts, and various other interpretive techniques.
Interns will be provided with a wide variety of opportunities to gain experience and further develop their education and interpretation skills. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, preparing and presenting interpretive programs, completing internal training including animal handling, and assisting with special events, birthday parties, and the development of new programs.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, and completed a minimum of one year of course work at an institution of higher learning with an interest in conservation and education. This is an unpaid internship requiring a minimum of 20 hours per week for no less than three months. Shifts must be completed in 4 hour increments. Hours and days are assigned on a first come first served basis. Must be able to work at least one weekend day.
Education Internship Sessions Available
- March-May (application deadline January 31)
- June-August (application deadline March 15)
- September-November (application deadline July 31)
Animal Care Intern
Cosley Zoo is looking for hardworking, enthusiastic, and responsible individuals who are interested in a career working with animals. Animal Care Interns will be provided with a wide variety of opportunities to gain experience and further develop their animal care and handling skills.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, cleaning and general husbandry for domestic and wild animals, diet preparation, behavioral enrichment set-up and documentation, behavioral observations, and special projects.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, and completed a minimum of one year of course work at an institution of higher learning with an interest in conservation and animals. This is an unpaid internship requiring a minimum of 20 hours per week for no less than three months. Shifts must be completed in four-hour increments. Hours and days are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Applications for the Winter Animal Care Internship session are available 10/1 – 10/31/17.
Long-term volunteer and internship positions require a $45 onboarding fee on the first day. This fee covers all current training materials and a volunteer shirt.
Summer Teen Volunteer Program
We are not currently accepting applications for this program. Applications for the summer of 2018 will be available in February of 2018.
Who are Summer Teen Volunteers?
Summer Teen Volunteers are young adults in grades 7 through 12 who have an exceptional interest in animals and the environment. Summer Teen Volunteers will assist the Education Department by providing a range of interactive experiences for visitors. The volunteer program encourages teens to learn responsibility, develop job and career skills, and grow in their personal conservation ethic. Note that participants work in the education department to assist in programs and do not handle animals or work in animal-related areas. Summer Teen Volunteers are accepted into the program based on the application and an interview.
What is the commitment?
The Summer Teen Volunteer program is seasonal beginning with training in May and shifts will run from June through August. Each Summer Teen Volunteer must commit to a 2-1/2 hour shift each week from June through August.
Is there a fee?
Yes, the fee for the 2017 year was $35. This covered cost for the Summer Teen T-shirts and program materials. This fee is due on the first day of volunteering.
Volunteer and Internship Application
If you are interested in volunteering or applying for an unpaid internship, please complete an online application
Are You a Teen?
In addition to some of the short-term volunteer opportunities listed above, individuals in grades 7 through 12 may visit our Junior Zookeeper page to find out how to get involved.
Do you have an interest in Frogs and Toads? Become a FrogWatch Volunteer!
You do not have to be a frog or toad expert to be a FrogWatch USA volunteer! All you need is:
- An interest in frogs and toads
- Willingness to participate in a volunteer training session at Cosley Zoo, your local FrogWatch USA Chapter
- Commitment to monitor a wetland site for 3 minutes multiple evenings throughout the breeding season. (February-August)
2017 Training Dates for FrogWatch at Cosley Zoo
Friday, March 24, 6-8 PM or Sunday, April 30, 3-5 PM
Fee: $7/person; $20/household (or group)*
*One person per household or group must attend training but all are encouraged to attend.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FrogWatch Cosley Zoo is a local chapter of FrogWatch USA, AZA’s flagship citizen science program that invites individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads.
FrogWatch USA volunteers play an important role in amphibian conservation. Over 2000 amphibian species are currently threatened with extinction and many more are experiencing sharp population declines. This alarming trend may be a sign of deteriorating wetland health because amphibians can serve as indicator species.
To learn more about amphibian conservation and FrogWatch USA™ click here.