Whether you are interested in the environment, conservation of animal habitats, or endangered species, or you like to reach out to others to teach them about these subjects, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has a variety of volunteer groups that may be just for you. Spend time with like-minded individuals while helping the Zoo accomplish its many goals by becoming a Zoo Volunteer.
There is great reward in teaching others to see the wonders of nature and watch a mind grow. Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has a selection of volunteer opportunities that are both interesting and fulfilling. Some positions interact with Zoo visitors, while others may work behind the scenes. Whatever the job, each and everyone is valued and performs a service for Omaha's Zoo and Aquarium that cannot be measured in dollars and cents.
Other opportunities become available from time to time. Please check the application for these areas.
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has volunteer opportunities for all students in 4th through 12th grade. The explanation, deadlines, and meeting dates are listed below for reference. Grades and programs are determined by the date students are registered.
XYZ is designed for students currently in 4th grade through 6th grade who have an interest in animals and want to expand their knowledge of the natural world. XYZ students enhance their knowledge and skills of the Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium's animals, exhibits, and conservation efforts from a unique combination of active learning and volunteering experiences with the public.
Those interested in applying for the XYZ program need to complete an online application form and short essay. Essay questions are: "What is your favorite Zoo animal? Why is it your favorite?", and "Has there been a time you taught someone something? How did it make you feel?"
There are two classroom experiences held before summer in May. These experiences discuss the summer program and work as a get-to-know each other event. Two sessions are offered each day.
XYZ students volunteer during June and July. After acceptance, volunteers can sign up for dates on the internet and have the opportunity for notification reminders.
The annual fee is $50 for both Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium members and non-members.
The application period for Summer 2023 will be November 1, 2022-February 28, 2023.
Junior Crew is designed to challenge students in 7th and 8th grade in natural and life sciences. Junior Crew students enhance their knowledge of conservation efforts being made here at the Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and around the world. They also learn about different careers at the Zoo. Junior Crew students gain knowledge through active learning and share this knowledge and skills with the Zoo's guests.
Those interested in applying for the Junior Crew program need to complete an online application form and short essay. Essay questions are: "Imagine you are designing an exhibit. What animal would you choose and what would be in the exhibit?", and "Has there been a time when you had to do a task you didn't want to do? How did you handle it?"
There are two classroom experiences held before summer in May. These experiences will discuss the summer program and work as a get-to-know each other event. Two sessions are offered each day.
Junior Crew students volunteer during June and July. After acceptance, volunteers can sign up for dates on the internet and have the opportunity for notification reminders.
Zoo Crew is a group of dedicated students who support the Zoo's mission by volunteering their time and talents year-round. They participate in educational and on-grounds programs.
All year Zoo Crew can volunteer throughout the Zoo and showcase their information and knowledge of animals and exhibits to the Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium guests. Depending on experience. Zoo Crew students gain more responsibility with biofacts and in the areas they are able to volunteer in.
During the summer Zoo Crew students can become Day Mentors in one or more areas of the Zoo. They assist with teaching XYZ and Junior Crew their knowledge about these areas and help the younger students become proficient in presenting information and knowledge to the guests.
There are 12 monthly meetings for Zoo Crew students. They cover new information and are given a chance to better understand the program. Zoo Crew students who meet 70 hours of volunteering, attend at least 7 of the 12 meetings, and participate in 2 special events, earn a free family membership for the following year.
The first year fee is $85 for both Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium members and non-members. The annual fee after the first year is $40 for both Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium members and non-members.
1. Fill out the online application. You will receive a separate notification upon acceptance to the program which contains further information which must be completed in order to join Zoo Crew.
2. You must attend the Kick-Off Meeting at the Zoo in September 2022. Please bring a parent/guardian with you to the meeting.
The application period for 2023 will be open until November 1, 2022.
May 21st | June 4th | July 9th | August 6th
Interested in volunteering at the Zoo for a day? Come volunteer to help the Zoo store food for winter! Just like some people preserve food from their gardens by canning or freezing, the Zoo preserves browse (fresh, leafy branches) for our browsing herbivores to enjoy through the winter. Volunteers will help preserve browse through a process called ensiling, which is the same lacto-fermentation process that produces sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickles! This process involves cutting browse into relatively short lengths that can be packed into 35-gallon drums. Come help us trim branches and learn more about the importance of browse in our Zoo animal diets.
Plan for working in warm weather and sun. Bring water, sunscreen, gloves, and clothing appropriate for working outdoors. Some extra pruners will be available, but please bring your own if you have them.
Volunteers will receive free admission to the Zoo.
To sign up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the names and emails of participating volunteers. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age to participate. Volunteers under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. An email will be sent prior to the work day with instructions on parking and entering the Zoo.
Current volunteers use Volgistics Volunteer Management System.
Instructions to Log In
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a multi-faceted operation and we try to develop internships and job shadowing opportunities to encompass all aspects of the Zoo. We currently offer the following opportunities for students 11th grade and older.
Available to fourth-year veterinary students.
Click here for more information and to apply
Available for students in college or recent college graduates. There are three 13-week sessions for interns each year: Fall Session (mid-September to mid-December), Spring Session (late January to late April), and Summer Session (mid-May to mid-August). Please note that we do not provide a stipend for interns.
We are currently accepting applications for the 2023 Spring internship session. The spring session will be January 31st -April 28th. Mandatory orientation will be January 31st, from 9am-4pm.
Interns must be available to work 28-32 hours per week; unpaid. Interns must be available to attend one weekly afternoon professional development session starting the second week of their internship. Must be willing to work weekends and holidays. Most interns will be expected to work at least one weekend day. Schedules will be determined before internships begin by working with the Intern Coordinator and area supervisors.
Spring 2023 applications are due November 6th, 2022 by 11:59 PM.