Animal Ambassador Program

“Volunteering has improved my verbal skills and it has aided me in becoming a better educator. Animal welfare has always been an important topic in my life and volunteering here at the Science Center has opened my eyes and helped me see how important the welfare of our animals is.”

-Daniel A., Summer 2015 Animal Ambassador alumni

Applications for Summer 2017 are now closed. GSC staff are reviewing applications. Candidates will be emailed by Friday, April 7 at 5pm with information about the next steps in the process.

More Openings!


No. Our facility made changes to our requirements for animal handling last year. Volunteers who handle animals must now complete a course, online quiz, three mentor shifts and three solo shifts before handling animals. That is simply not possible in a ten week summer program. Our popular Docent Program remains available throughout the year for candidates ages 15+ who can make a longer commitment to volunteering. It is our hope that many of our 2017 Animal Ambassadors will transition into the Docent Program in the fall.

Yes. We have increased slots in the program this year to make way for students to participate again. We have also seen very positive results in having Teacher’s Assistants and Exhibit Guides return year after year and are excited to offer this opportunity for the Animal Ambassador program for the first time in Summer 2017. Readmittance is pending positive evaluations from previous summers and/or exceptional interviews this year if not automatically invited back by GSC staff.
No. Animal care—including feeding, training, cleaning exhibits, etc.—is handled exclusively by professional staff and veteran volunteers. Instead, Animal Ambassadors serve as animal educators by teaching our visitors about animals in each of our rotation areas.
The program runs from June 14 to August 11. Animal Ambassadors are expected to complete a minimum of 10 shifts during the course of the program. Shifts are available seven days a week. Morning shifts are from 9:45 to 1:00. Afternoon shifts are from 12:45 to 4:00. Animal Ambassadors must come in to volunteer at least two shifts per month in June, July AND August. For example, you cannot do all 10 in June and be done with the program. Animal Ambassadors will have access to an account in our online scheduling system. They will sign themselves up and remove themselves from the schedule as needed during the course of the summer. This allows for flexibility to work around summer sports, vacations, etc.
The Animal Ambassador program officially ends on August 11. Animal Ambassadors who are at least 15 at the end of the summer and have successfully completed the Animal Ambassador program are eligible to become full-fledged docents with additional training from GSC staff. Those under the age of 15 may be allowed to continue on as an Animal Ambassador during the school year, pending successful evaluation at the end of the summer.

Contact Us

Questions or comments? Email or call 336-288-3769 x1330.