Volunteer programs

Join the fun at Happy Hollow by become a volunteer!  You can help our staff while working with animals, educating children, entertaining visitors of all ages, and developing your own professional skills. There are lots of ways to volunteer!

 

Docents

Ages: 18 and up
Time Commitment: Hours vary; minimum of 4-6 hours per month for at least 
When to Apply: December-February and July-September
Next Docent Orientation: April

Description: The Docent Program is specially designed for adults who are interested in volunteering in an educational setting within a zoological facility. Docents work closely with our Education Staff and Animal Ambassadors to conduct animal Meet & Greets and biofact Exhibit Hosting throughout the zoo. Docents may also assist Zoo Educators during onsite class programs and special events. These experiences allow our guests to learn through interpretive education in unique and engaging ways. 
 
Additional Information: Limited spots are available each recruitment cycle. After all candidates have been interviewed, the Volunteer Department will notify each candidate of the outcome. Applicants that have not been selected for an interview and candidates that are not selected for the Docent Program that season are welcome to reapply the following cycle. Prior volunteer experience or work experience with animal handling, public speaking, and/or working with children are beneficial.

How to Apply: If you are interested in joining our team as a Docent, please submit a Docent Volunteer Application. Contact information is listed on the application and at the bottom of this page. 

 

Keeper Aides

Ages: 18 and up
Time Commitment: One day a week, 9:00am-1:00pm, for at least six months
When to Apply: Ongoing recruitment 
Next Keeper Aide Orientation: TBD  
 
Description: The Keeper Aide Program is specially designed for adults who are interested in volunteering in a zoological facility alongside Zoo Staff to provide daily care for our exhibit animals. They are assigned to specific routines which include cleaning animal exhibits, preparing diets, and/or providing enrichment for our zoo animals. Many volunteers use this opportunity to gain experience for their careers or simply because they enjoy the physical aspect involved of caring for animals.   
 
Additional Information: The Keeper Aide Program requires a minimum of a six month commitment with the option to continue. If accepted to the program, Keeper Aides are assigned to a single routine which they will learn and complete over the first six months. After the initial period, Keeper Aides are given an evaluation, during which their potential advancement in the program is determined. Previous experience with animal husbandry and/or animal safety is beneficial.

How to Apply: If you are interested in joining our team as a Keeper Aid, please submit a Keeper Aid Application. Contact information is listed on the application and at the bottom of this page. 

 

Zooteens

Ages: 14-18 
Time Commitment: Minimum of 70 hours from May-August; Minimum of 4 hours per month September-April
When to Apply: November-February
 
Description: The Zooteen Program is specially designed for teens who are interested in pursuing a career involving zoo keeping, zoo education, veterinary care, conservation biology, or other related field. Zooteens work closely with our Education and Zookeeper Staff. They conduct Meet & Greets, complete Animal Care routines, and assist Camp Counselors during our summer camp programs. Zooteens are required to work a minimum of shifts of each activity during the summer season. Additional volunteer opportunities are available throughout the school year. 
 
Additional Information: Our Zooteen Program is highly competitive and limited spots are available each year, depending on the number of current Zooteens returning to the program. Applications are accepted November through March of each school year and selected applicants are invited to an interview that spring. After all candidates have been interviewed, the Volunteer Department will notify each candidate of the outcome. Applicants that have not been selected for an interview and candidates that are not selected for the Zooteen Program that year are welcome to reapply the following season. Prior volunteer experience and background with animal handling, public speaking, and/or working with children are beneficial but not required.

Zooteen Training: The next Zooteen Training will take place in May 2015. Zooteen Orientation & Training takes place over three consecutive Saturdays. Attendance to all three days is required for admittance into the Zooteen Program. There are no exceptions.

     2015 Zooteen Training Dates
     May 16    9:00-12:00pm
     May 23    9:00-4:30pm
     May 30    9:00-4:30pm

How to Apply: If you are interested in joining our team as a Zooteen, please submit a Zooteen Volunteer Application. Contact information is listed on the application and at the bottom of this page. 

 

Special Events Volunteers 

Ages: 18 and up
Time Commitment: Varies
When to Apply: Ongoing recruitment
 
Description: Special Events Volunteers assist with various events and projects at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. Please contact our Volunteer Department for more information. 

 

How to Apply 

If you are interested in joining our team, please submit a volunteer application for the appropriate program area or contact us at:

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
Volunteer Department
1300 Senter Road.
San Jose, CA 95112
 
Phone: 408.794.6425 
Fax: 408.794.6470
Email: HHPZvolunteers@sanjoseca.gov

Please note, all volunteers are subject to a $50 fee for training materials, a volunteer shirt, and a volunteer name tag. 

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