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HOURS: Open 9am - 5pm
PHONE: (208) 608-7760

Internships

The goals of the intern program are to 1) increase Zoo Boise’s capacity to fulfill its mission of supporting wildlife conservation and providing an excellent recreational destination for the community and 2) provide an experiential learning opportunity and mentorship for individuals interested in zoo-related careers including zoology, guest education & experience and wildlife conservation.

Zoo Boise Internship Opportunities:

Zoo Boise's Mission Statement

Zoo Boise connects our visitors with animals to inspire and involve our community in the conservation of wildlife worldwide.

Program Overview

General Description:  Interns contribute to the Zoo’s mission by accompanying and assisting zoo staff, experienced in their field, with department-specific responsibilities in addition to completing an assignment (details provided below).

Wages:  Interns receive no wage compensations unless otherwise noted in the position description.  However, interns may be able to arrange a work study position through a college or university.

Requirements: Minimum 18 years of age.  Minimum 2 years college completion, junior-level status, at an accredited institution and a GPA minimum 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.  If accepted into the internship program, intern must submit proof to Zoo Boise of a negative tuberculosis (TB) test results taken within the last calendar year prior to the 1st day of internship. TB test costs are the responsibility of the intern.

College credits:  Internships are offered in Spring, Summer, and Fall college semesters.  The hours per credit per semester follow a 1 credit = 50 hours of service (4 hours per week for the entire semester) system.  Minimum and maximum credits per term will vary by department, season, and specific internship position available.  Zookeeper internships are offered as 2 credits per term.  To receive credits that are arranged on a quarter system, interns must make special arrangements in advance after acceptance into the internship program. Applicants may indicate their college or university’s term system on the “Additional Information” section of the Internship Applicant Information form.  Interns are responsible for arranging credit through their educational institution.

Schedules: Weekly schedules vary depending on the intern positions available. Schedules may be listed in specific internship postings.

Assignment:  Interns are required to construct a portfolio of their intern experience. An additional project may be required depending on the internship department and position.  Guidelines for portfolio and project will be provided upon acceptance into the internship program.

Evaluation:  To ensure successful progress, interns will receive a written and oral evaluation by their zoo supervisor regarding intern’s knowledge and performance at mid-term and end-term.

Working Conditions:  Zoos are open for business during a variety of weather conditions where exposure to strong odors, dust, hay, and animal hair/fur/dander is common.  Interns are expected to be able to perform required duties under these conditions.

Housing, Transportation, Reimbursements, Meals:  Zoo Boise does not provide these items as part of the internship program.  Interns are responsible for their own accommodations and transportation.  Zoo Boise is located near downtown Boise and a university where many housing rental opportunities are available in the area.

Multiple or Consecutive Internships:  Zookeeper interns may participate in 2 consecutive internships if the internships are conducted in 2 different zoo sections and may not exceed 4 total credits.  All internship applicants are welcome to seek additional internships in different zoo departments (i.e. Animal Care, Education, Volunteer Management, etc.) by submitting a new application for each position.  Terms of multiple or consecutive internships in non-zookeeper departments will vary.

Application Process

Application Process: To apply, send a letter of intent, resume, 1 professional letter of recommendation, 1 copy of unofficial college or university transcripts and completed the Zoo Boise Internship Applicant Information form to the address or email below (PDF format preferred).  Many staff members review applications; address any materials to “whom it may concern” or “internship selection committee”.  Application due dates are available in the chart below. Application components may be sent separately and applicants will be notified once all application components are received.  Applicants are welcome to follow up on their application prior to the application due date by emailing the address below.  Please, no phone calls.

Internship Program
Zoo Boise – Education
355 Julia Davis Drive
Boise, ID 83702
Email

Interviews:  Once applications are reviewed and meet the internship criteria, applicants will be contacted for an in-person interview at Zoo Boise with appropriate department staff.  If unable to complete an in-person interview, applicants should make a notation on the “Addition Information” portion of the Internship Applicant Information form.  Decisions to interview applicants by phone are at the discretion of the zoo department to which applicants are applying.

Acceptance:  All applicants will receive notification whether or not they have been accepted for an internship by the dates indicated in the chart below.  If accepted as a Zoo Boise Intern, intern will be required to submit to Zoo Boise official results of a negative tuberculosis (TB) test completed within the last year.  Cost of the TB test is the responsibility of the intern.  Information regarding TB tests will be available if accepted as an intern. On occasion, internship mentors also supervise teens under the age of 18.  If an applicant is assigned and accepts a position with an internship mentor that supervises a teen under the age of 18, intern will be required to submit to and pass a federal background check before participating in the internship program; cost of the background check is covered by City of Boise.

Click Here for the Zoo Boise Internship Application

Application & Acceptance Notification Due Dates

In cases where application due dates fall on Sunday, the due date will be the previous Saturday at 5pm MST.

Internship Position
*Term start and end dates can be somewhat flexible and are at the discretion of the specific zoo department.

Click Here for the Zoo Boise Internship Application

Zookeeper Internship

Position Summary:  Zookeeper interns contribute to the Zoo’s conservation mission by learning and performing duties related to animal care as set by best-practice standards of animal welfare and husbandry under the mentorship of an experienced zookeeper.  Interns will also add to the Zoo’s conservation mission by conducting formal and/or educational presentations for zoo visitors that provide animal natural history, increase visitor appreciation for wildlife, and engender an understanding of wildlife conservation issues and efforts. Animal sections available for internships vary by term.  Interns do not work inside the enclosures of large carnivores, large hoofstock, or primates; however, interns may assist with diet preparation and behavioral enrichment for these animals.

General Responsibilities:

  • Animal Care: Daily exhibit maintenance including cleaning of animal and non-animal areas, diet preparation and feeding of some animals, conduct animal observations, learn about and assist with enrichment development and husbandry training, maintain detailed and accurate animal records.
  • Zoo Visitor Education: Research, develop and conduct formal presentation for visitors related to animal in internship section.
  • Research: Research pertinent to zoo- and other animal-care-related topics including but not limited to population management plans, USDA regulations, exhibit design, and wildlife conservation efforts relevant to animals in internship section.
  • Assignment:  Complete a portfolio and/or additional project to be presented to Zoo staff at the end of the internship term.
  • Zookeeper Professional Standards, Ethics and Teamwork:  Learn and practice skills to continually improve intern’s career expertise as well as the effectiveness of the animal care team.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Minimum 18 years of age.
  • Minimum 2 years college, junior-level status, at an accredited institution; majoring in biology, zoology, ecology, wildlife management or related field.
  • Minimum G.P.A. of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Good physical condition, able to work in all weather conditions and lift at least 50 lbs.
  • Possesses or is dedicated to learning excellent customer service skills.
  • Compassion for animals and wildlife conservation.
  • Commit to a schedule of 8 hours per week/100 hours per term.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Previous experience not required.

Notes:  If accepted into the Internship Program, intern will:

  • Accept and adhere to all Zoo Boise policies outlined in the Zoo Boise Volunteer Manual.
  • Submit to Zoo Boise the results of a negative TB test within the last 12 months before start date.  TB test fees are the responsibility of the intern.
  • If assigned to and accepts a position with a zookeeper who also mentors a teen intern under the age of 18, intern will be required to submit to and pass a federal background check before participating in the internship program.

Wages:  No wage compensation.

To Apply:  Submit a letter of intent, resume, 1 professional letter of recommendation, 1 copy of unofficial college or university transcripts and completed Zoo Boise Internship Applicant Information form by mail or email (PDF format preferred) to: Internship Program, Zoo Boise – Education, 355 Julia Davis Drive, Boise, ID, 83702, email.

Click Here for the Zoo Boise Internship Application

Education Internship

Position Summary:  Education interns contribute to the Zoo’s conservation mission by learning and performing education programs under the mentorship of an experienced zoo educator.  Interns assist with research, development and teaching for a wide variety of interactive educational programs for zoo visitors of all ages that provide animal natural history, increase visitor appreciation for wildlife, and engender an understanding of wildlife conservation issues and efforts. Education internship focus and duties will vary by term, season, number of internship hours & credits, intern schedule and Zoo Boise Education needs.  Minimum is 8 hours per week during Summer term and 4 hours per week during Fall or Winter/Spring terms; maximum is 40 hours per week, for up to 14 weeks.  Weekend, holiday, evenings or irregular hours may be required as the Zoo is open 362 days per year.

General Responsibilities:

  • Zoo Education
    • Participate in training to learn accurate exhibit information, including species and individual animal information
    • Participate in training/mentoring process to learn effective public speaking and interpretation techniques
    • Research, develop and conduct a variety of engaging programs for visitors of all ages.  Programs include those for families, school groups, youth camps and zoo guests in both the classroom and throughout the zoo.  Programs may include handling and presentation of small animals.
    • Development and/or maintenance of education program materials (including biofacts and activity kits), graphics and displays.
  • Assignment:  Complete a portfolio and/or additional project to be presented to Zoo staff at the end of the internship term.
  • Professional Standards, Ethics and Teamwork:  Learn and practice skills to continually improve intern’s career expertise as well as the effectiveness of the education team.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Minimum age of 18.
  • Minimum 2 years college, junior-level status, at an accredited institution; majoring in education, biology, zoology, ecology, wildlife management or related field.
  • Minimum G.P.A. of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Good physical condition, able to work in all weather conditions and lift 20 lbs.
  • Possesses or is dedicated to learning excellent customer service skills.
  • Compassion for animals and wildlife conservation.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Previous experience not required although teaching experience is a plus!

Notes:  If an internship offer is made:

  • Intern candidate will accept and adhere to all Zoo Boise policies outlined in the Zoo Boise Volunteer Manual.
  • All offers are contingent on the successful completion of a criminal background screening.
  • All offers are contingent upon receipt of documentation of negative TB test within the last 12 months before start date.  TB test fees are the responsibility of the intern.

Wages:  No wage compensation.

To Apply:  Submit a letter of intent, resume, 1 professional letter of recommendation, 1 copy of unofficial college or university transcripts and completed Zoo Boise Internship Applicant Information form by mail or email (PDF format preferred) to: Internship Program, Zoo Boise – Education, 355 Julia Davis Drive, Boise, ID, 83702, email.

Click Here for the Zoo Boise Internship Application

Volunteer Management Internship

Position Summary:

Volunteer management interns work under supervision of the Volunteer Coordinator in all aspects of volunteer management for Zoo Boise’s 300 volunteers who provide support for animal care, conservation education, fundraising special events and zoo enhancement projects. Interns will gain hands-on experience involving volunteer program development, recruitment, retention, engagement, and staff-volunteer communication as well as learn the important impact volunteers bring to a non-profit organization such as a Zoo.

General Responsibilities:

  • Assist in volunteer interviews, selection, placement and entire onboarding process
  • Provide daily administrative support
    • Create and maintain volunteer files for online database
    • Respond to volunteers inquiries via phone & email
    • Maintain volunteer office space
    • Track volunteer service hours
  • Assist with volunteer support, supervision, retention
    • Develop and provide ongoing volunteer motivation and recognition
    • Conduct daily check-in sessions
    • Disseminate Zoo updates

Applicant Requirements:

  • Prefer Majors related to Human Resources, Communications, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Education, Social Sciences and other related disciplines who are looking to pursue a career in Human Resources and Volunteer Services.
  • An independent, self-motivated, creative and resourceful individual who enjoys working with diverse groups of people of all ages, abilities and learning styles.
  • Compassion for animals and wildlife conservation.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Commit 50 hrs per 1 credit on a semester term.

Wages:  No wage compensation.

To Apply:  Submit a letter of intent, resume, 1 professional letter of recommendation, 1 copy of unofficial college or university transcripts and completed Zoo Boise Internship Applicant Information form by mail or email (PDF format preferred) to: Internship Program, Zoo Boise – Education, 355 Julia Davis Drive, Boise, ID, 83702, email.

Click Here for the Zoo Boise Internship Application