Detroit Zoo – Core Volunteer Opportunities

Core Volunteers are critical to meeting our mission. There are a number of Core Volunteer opportunities at the Detroit Zoo.


Docent

Our most intensive training prepares these dedicated volunteers to be educators and interpreters at animal habitats throughout the Zoo. In addition, they provide tours and assist with a variety of educational programs both inside the Zoo and in the local community all year long. Complete an application.

  • Time Commitment: 75 hours per year for a minimum of 2 years
  • Training: 10-week training course plus an online component and shadowing requirements, $50 course fee includes materials and uniform shirt. Scholarships available.
  • Scheduling: Flexible, two hour shifts
  • Availability: Year-round, seven days per week
Complete An Application

Australian Outback Adventure “Mob Squad”

Kangaroos and wallabies call the Australian Outback Adventure home. In this popular Detroit Zoo attraction, guests are able to walk through the habitat and get a closer view of the animals. Volunteers called the “Mob Squad” interact with visitors along the winding pathway inside the habitat. Volunteers are critical to this experience and the habitat cannot be opened without a team of volunteers. Complete an application.

  • Time Commitment: 50 hours between April and October or 75 hours for calendar year
  • Training: one 3.5-hour training course plus online component; $10 course fee (includes uniform shirt.)
  • Scheduling: Flexible, three-hour shifts
  • Availability: Year-round or seasonal, seven days per week
Complete An Application

Gallery Guide

These volunteers are based in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery and spend their time talking about butterflies. A special projection system called Science On a Sphere and art exhibits are housed in this building and volunteers also interact with guests in these areas. Complete an application.

Time commitment: 50 hours per calendar year

  • Time Commitment: 50 hours per calendar year
  • Training: one 3-hour training course plus an online component; $10 course fee (includes uniform shirt.)
  • Scheduling: Flexible, three hour shifts
  • Availability: Year-round, seven days per week
Complete An Application

Special Events

Throughout the year, the Zoo offers fun and interesting themed events to encourage guests to visit. These events could not happen without the helping hands and smiling faces of Zoo volunteers. From temporary tattoos to craft assistants, story readers to wine pourers, costume wearers to registration helpers, each event has its wish list of specialized assistance. This is a terrific way to be involved with the Zoo without a big commitment of time. Complete an application.

  • Time Commitment: 20 hours per calendar year
  • Training: on-the-job, $10 uniform shirt
  • Scheduling: Flexible, events are day and evening, weekdays and weekends
  • Availability: Year-round, seven days per week
Complete An Application

Zoo Ambassador

This is the ultimate “people person” position. Spend half of a three-hour shift greeting guests as they enter the Zoo, helping them get oriented to the map, the facilities and any special events. The rest of the time is spent walking the Zoo looking for ways to help guests.  Complete an application.

  • Time Commitment: 50 hours between April and October
  • Training: one six-hour course plus online component; $10 course fee (includes uniform shirt)
  • Scheduling: Flexible, three-hour shifts
  • Availability: Seasonal, April-October, seven days per week
Complete An Application

Arctic Ring of Life Guest Assistant

This is one of the most critical positions in the Zoo. While helping with crowd control in the busy Frederick and Barbara Erb Polar Passage, these volunteers enjoy quality time with the polar bears and seal residents in this award-winning habitat. Complete an application.

Time commitment: 50 hours between April and October

  • Time Commitment: 50 hours between April and October
  • Training: one 3.5 hour course plus online component; $10 course fee (includes uniform shirt)
  • Scheduling: Flexible, three-hour shift
  • Availability: Seasonal, April-October, seven days per week
Complete An Application

Greeter

Greeters assist primarily in two locations: Ford Education Center Exhibit Hall and Science On a Sphere. Greeters provide a friendly invitation to guests to come in and view these exhibits/shows. Seasonal greeters are also needed at the National Amphibian Conservation Center. Complete an application.  Complete an application.

  • Time Commitment: 20 hours per calendar year
  • Training: one 1-hour training for Science On a Sphere and on-the-job training for Ford Education Center and seasonal greeters; $10 uniform shirt
  • Scheduling: Flexible, three-hour shifts
  • Availability: varies, seven days per week
Complete An Application

Staff Aide

Clerical skills, phone experience and weekday availability on a regular schedule would be assets to volunteers interested in offering their services in this program. Short-term as well as long-term projects may be available.  Complete an application.

  • Time Commitment: 20 hours per calendar year
  • Training: On-the-job, $10 uniform shirt
  • Scheduling: Flexible, depends on project
  • Availability: Varies, weekdays
Complete An Application

Penguin Person

These volunteers assist with crowd control and answering questions about the four species of penguins that reside in the Polk Penguin Conservation Center.  Complete an application.

  • Time Commitment: 50 hours per calendar year
  • Training: one three-hour course plus an online component; $10 course fee (includes a uniform shirt)
  • Scheduling: Flexible, three-hour shifts
  • Availability: Year-round, seven days per week
Complete An Application