Volunteers are the heart of our mission to save wildlife and inspire everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Zoo Ambassador


All Volunteers are Zoo Ambassadors

We view our volunteers as ambassadors of the zoo as they play a vital role in interacting with guests and inspiring everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives. This position offers the most flexibility in scheduling, and there is a wide variety of volunteer opportunities to choose from. Listed below are the training requirements and opportunities available to zoo ambassadors.


Training - Required of All New Volunteers

New volunteers are required to complete the zoo ambassador training program which consists of a two-day training session followed by a minimum of two 3-hour mentored shifts with an experienced zoo ambassador. Successful applicants to the Volunteer Program must have sufficient availability to attend two days of training and at least two self-scheduled mentored shifts in the weeks following their initial training session.

Woodland Park Zoo is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in participating in zoo ambassador training, contact volunteer program staff at volunteer@zoo.org.


Zoo Ambassador Opportunities

Ambassador Roving Shifts
Actively greet and help guests enjoy their visit by giving directions, answering questions, pointing out animals and sharing your passion for the zoo!

Community Outreach
Engage with the public and assist staff at community festivals and events outside of the zoo.

Community Science - Limited openings available
Help the zoo's Wildlife Conservation Division to gather data, help monitor local wildlife species and engage with local community members in the greater Seattle metropolitan area.

Contact Area at the Family Farm
Provide guests with a hands-on animal experience, help clean the yard and foster connections between guests and aour farm animals.

Exploration Stations
Deliver informal programs at the zoo focusing on a variety of topics such as recycling, animal enrichment and more.

Special Events
Help in a variety of ways at zoo events, including providing directions and specific event information, crowd management and assisting children with arts and crafts.

Engage with young guests by facilitating play and helping with early childhood learning in Zoomazium.

Zoo ambassadors who meet the minimum service requirements will have more opportunities available to them as zoo needs arise.



Docents are the Informal Educators at the Zoo


They bring our mission to inspire everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives to life!

Docents play an integral role in communicating the conservation and education goals of the zoo and facilitate learning experiences through the use of touchable props and visuals! Docents are required to devote 30 hours per year of their total volunteer service to docent-specific activities, and are still zoo ambassadors expected to meet the minimum service requirement of 6 hours per month.

Docent Opportunities

The following activities are open to current zoo ambassadors who successfully complete the docent application process and training program.

Discovery Station
Facilitate guest exploration of physical objects set on a stationary cart. The objects on the cart are thematically developed and encourage connecting everyone to nature, increasing ecological literacy and providing clear pathways to conservation. Guests are encouraged to use their experience at the cart as they further explore zoo exhibits, make observations and investigate their questions about animals at the zoo.

Conservation Connection Cart
Utilize props at stationary carts and facilitate conversations intended to increase awareness of Woodland Park Zoo’s supported global field conservation partners. Encourage conversations around empathy, perspective taking and advise specific conservation actions for our guests, or brainstorm with them!

Exhibit Interpretation
Move through the exhibits at the zoo engaging guests in interpretive conversations utilizing animal biofacts, props and exhibit features. This is an opportunity to help our guests develop a deeper understanding of wildlife and habitat by truly involving them in the dialogue.

Provide tours on specific bioclimatic zones at the zoo, specific animals and more. Tours are by special request only.

Additional Opportunities


Limited Openings

The following opportunities are offered on a limited basis to current zoo ambassadors who are 18 years or older and can commit to a regular weekly shift for a minimum of six months. Typically, available shifts are on weekday mornings.

Animal Unit Volunteer

Assist animal keepers by cleaning and maintaining animal areas and work spaces. Most positions require an annual Tuberculosis (TB) skin test.

Horticulture Volunteer

Assist in the care and maintenance of various plants and gardens on zoo grounds (including the Woodland Park Rose Garden).