Individual Volunteer Opportunities

Individual Volunteer Opportunities

The Zoo Could Use a Helper Like You!

Guest Engagement Ambassadors

ZooTampa volunteer Ron teaches a couple of young Zoo guests about manatees

Guest Engagement Ambassadors play an important role in advancing the Zoo’s mission of “creating unforgettable natural connections.” They enhance the guest experiences by engaging and educating visitors of all ages. Our Guest Engagement Ambassadors support select Conservation Stations, use biofacts to engage guests, and answer visitor questions.

Program Requirements

Volunteers must be:

  • 18 years or older
  • Enthusiastic and passionate about animals and conservation
  • Reliable, hardworking and possess strong leadership skills
  • Willing and able to regularly and positively engage guests in the park in support of our mission
  • Able to successfully pass a background check and drug screening
Program Expectations
  • Guest Engagement Ambassadors will complete training and shadowing sessions that cover interpretation, conservation, biology and ecology.
  • By the completion of your training, demonstrate the ability to enhance guest experiences through accurate and engaging interpretation throughout the Zoo.
  • Commit to 5 hours a month, for a minimum of 6 consecutive months, of educational volunteering.
  • Successfully complete programs and assignments.
Application Process & Details
  • A representative of ZooTampa at Lowry Park will contact those who have applied and invite candidates to attend a mandatory Interview Session.
  • Approved candidates will undergo a background check at their own expense. The cost for this is typically $25.00, but some jurisdictions may charge additional fees.
Applications are now open!

If you’d like to learn more about this program before applying, please attend one of our optional Prospective Volunteer Information Sessions

Join the Notification List

We'll alert you when applications open for the Guest Engagement Ambassador Program.

Existing Guest Engagement Ambassadors

Login to the Volunteer Information Center to sign up for new volunteer assignments, review your volunteer service history, and read important updates.

A Zoo volunteer teaches kids about animal tracks and biology

Dive Team Volunteers

Join our dive team! This challenging but rewarding position offers certified divers an opportunity not available to most divers and is highly competitive. ZooTampa volunteer divers assist with animal care by diving and snorkeling for habitat maintenance and performing other dive support tasks in the Aquatics and Manatee Critical Care Center, and other select areas of the Zoo.

Dive volunteers play a critical role in promoting the Zoo’s mission of “creating unforgettable natural connections” by cleaning habitats and engaging with guests regarding the animals in our care, the dive program, and Zoo research and conservation efforts.

Application Process & Details
  • Submit your application online.
  • Upload a copy of your certificates.
  • Attend an informational session. (A ZooTampa representative will reach out to qualified applicants with details.)
  • Conditional selection for the dive team will be communicated within two weeks of the interview session. Selected candidates will schedule a background check and dive physical.
  • Upon clearance of these items, volunteer divers will be scheduled for training. Divers must attend and pass all training sessions prior to final acceptance into the program.
Program Requirements

Volunteers must:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Be able to commit to 2 4-hour shifts each month for at least a year.
  • Show proof of open water or higher certification from a recognized training agency and have 25 logged open water dives.
  • Be enthusiastic and passionate about animals and conservation.
  • Be reliable, hardworking and possess strong leadership skills.
  • Be able to lift up to 30 pounds and work in the outdoor Florida environment.
  • Be willing and able to regularly and positively engage guests in the park in support of our mission.
  • Successfully complete background screening.
  • Demonstrate an attitude of commitment to safe diving practices at all times.
  • Be able to pass a background check and an AAUS dive physical (at own cost).
  • Provide proof of health insurance and sign a liability release.
  • Be able to attend all training sessions and pass a swim test, written exam, and all elements of the ZooTampa dive training program.

Apply for our Dive Team

Manatee Stranding Volunteer Program

This challenging, but rewarding, position offers qualified volunteers a highly competitive opportunity to directly support manatee rescue and conservation efforts. ZooTampa Manatee Stranding Volunteers assist with verification surveys, participate in rescue efforts under the direction of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and transport sick, injured, or distressed manatees from rescue locations to rehabilitation facilities.

Manatee Stranding Volunteers play a critical role in promoting the Zoo’s mission of “Rescue, rehabilitate, and care for animals” and supports the Zoo’s conservation and outreach efforts at community outreach events. Manatee volunteers will assist the ZooTampa stranding team with all aspects of stranding response and transportation. Volunteers for the stranding team will provide support to, but will not be active in manatee rehabilitation conducted by the ZooTampa team.

Apply for our Manatee Stranding Volunteer Program

Summer Camp Teen Volunteer Program

If you love working with children, and are passionate about animals and the environment, then the Summer Camp Teen Volunteer Program might be for you!

Camp Volunteers assist Kindergarten through eighth grade campers with a variety of games, crafts, zoo hikes, and animal science information. Camp Volunteers will work under the supervision of a Camp Counselor, and will complete tasks that support the curriculum objectives of the Camp Program.

To be eligible, participants must have completed 9th grade and be a minimum of 14 years of age.

The Summer Camp Teen Volunteer Program is at capacity for Summer 2022.

Applications for this program will reopen in Spring 2023.

A girl gets up close with a porcupine at ZooTampa Summer Camp

Questions about volunteering at ZooTampa?

For the Guest Engagement Ambassador and Summer Camp Teen Volunteer programs:

Contact Arinn Bolin

Director of Guest Engagement

For the Dive Team Volunteer program:

Contact Jaime Vaccaro

Animal Care Supervisor - Florida

For the Manatee Stranding Volunteer program:

Contact Kerry Sanchez

Manatee Stranding Response Coordinator