Education Docents and Interns

February 14, 2017


Utica Zoo Education Docents (18 years or older)

Utica Zoo is always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated individuals to join our team of docents!

What is a Utica Zoo Docent?
A zoo docent is a volunteer, teacher, interpreter or guide who is dedicated to educating the public about the environment, wildlife, conservation, and the Utica Zoo.

What does a docent do?
*Assists with education classes both on and off zoo grounds
*Promotes the zoo’s mission by acting as a zoo ambassador and educating the visiting public on important conservation topics through the use of bio-facts, live animals, exhibit interpretation and other educational tools.
*Leads guided educational tours
*Helps during special events
*Participates in animal enrichment activities
*And many more…

Anyone looking to become a docent must be at least 18 years of age, and must attend each day of the Docent Training Course. We also recommend that anyone looking to become a Utica Zoo Docent have at least a two-year college degree. The Docent training course will cover very important information that all of our docents are required to know, and maintain knowledge of.

Docent Training Course; each class will be held in the zoo’s Auditorium at 6pm-8pm

(Day 1) Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

(Day 2) Saturday, March 9th, 2019 

(Day 3) Saturday, March 16th, 2019

Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Nicolette Hajdasz at or 315-738-0472 Ext. 34.

The fee for this course is $25 for non-members and $20 for members; this fee covers any/all material that will be handed out during or after the course is completed, a docent t-shirt, and a name badge. The fee also covers your first year of ‘docent dues’; docents are asked to pay an annual fee of $10 to the Docent Organization that may be used for multiple things such as: enrichment items, docent trips, picnics, etc.

Jr. Zoo Crew & Zoo Crew Program (children ages 12-17)

For those that are not quite ready to be zoo Docents, we have our Jr. Zoo Crew and Zoo Crew programs; read the below descriptions for more information.

Jr. Zoo Crew (ages 12-14): Check back soon for 2019 class dates

Our Jr. Zoo Crew course is designed just like our regular zoo camps, but will explore the zoo, its animals, and critical conservation issues in greater details. It is held over a period of four consecutive days, with each day focusing on a different zoo topic. Those that attend the Jr. Zoo Crew course will receive vital information that will be helpful when they go on to join the Zoo Crew volunteer program. Completion of the Jr. Zoo Crew training course also qualifies those that attended to shadow some of the Utica Zoo’s educational programs.

The fee for this course is $110 for non-members and $100 for members.

Jr Zoo Crew Frequently Asked Questions

Zoo Crew (ages 15-17): Check back soon for 2019 class dates

Our Zoo Crew members are valuable volunteers, who help educate the public about the zoo and its efforts. The Zoo Crew training course is designed to train your child to become an effective and independent zoo volunteer, that is capable of interpreting his/her environment successfully. This course is held over a period of five consecutive days, and will cover a different zoo topic each day.

The fee for the course is $80 for non-members and $75 for members.

The fees for each program will cover any/all materials that will be handed out during or after the course is completed, a t-shirt, name badge, plus many other fun activities that the kids will get to enjoy during the course! Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register for a training, please contact Nicolette Hajdasz at or (315) 738-0472 ext. 34. 

Utica Zoo Education Summer Interns

Are you a college student interested in pursuing a career in environmental or formal education? Gain experience this summer at the Utica Zoo! Our hands on education internship offers students the opportunity to teach people of all ages about the importance of the natural world and promote positive conservation practices.

Summer education internships are full-time (32-40 hr/wk). These positions are unpaid and interns are expected to have their own housing and transportation; Housing is also available through our local community college if needed. Proof of a negative Tuberculin test is required (must be within 6 months of the start of the internship).

Interns are required to participate in daily education presentations and will also be assisting with zoomobile programs, zoo camps, and birthday parties. Preference is given to students with public speaking experience and/or students enrolled in environmental science, ecology, outdoor/environmental education, elementary education, or any science education program.

For more information or if you have any questions, contact the Utica Zoo Education Department at 315-738-0472 ext. 36

For Animal Care Internships, please Click Here.