The BioPark Nature Guide program is open to teens 14 and older. Nature Guides facilitate summer discovery stations at the ABQ BioPark Zoo, Aquarium and Botanic Garden, at these stations Nature Guides teach visitors about the fascinating world of animals and plants, while inspiring a sense of stewardship towards the earth and its inhabitants.
Nature guides facilitate summer discovery stations at the Zoo, Aquarium and Botanic Garden. Shark teeth, porcupine quills, and special plant smells are just a few of the interesting items used to excite visitors about nature. Parents are not allowed to join their child unless working as a captain or under special circumstances with approval of Education Curator.
- Anyone 14 years and older. Volunteers 18 and older are eligible to become a BioPark Nature Guide Captain.
- Enthusiasm for the BioPark and a a commitment to teaching about conservation and stewardship.
- Must be responsible, dependable, and flexible.
- Ability to communicate successfully with BioPark visitors.
- All required science information and teaching techniques will be taught.
- As a safety precaution, all applicants are required to submit to a City of Albuquerque background check before they can begin volunteering.
- Facilitate discovery areas throughout the Zoo, Aquarium, and Botanic Garden.
- Set up displays which change daily or weekly maintaining all supplies and keeping all display areas neat and clean.
- Nature Guides are responsible for keeping all displays and teaching materials safe.
- Learn about the animals and plants involved in the program and teach BioPark visitors about their natural history and habitats.
- Report to work on time and in uniform.
- Work as a team with fellow Nature Guides.
- Nature Guides must commit to a minimum of 24 hours (eight shifts) over the course of a seven-week period.
- Nature Guides have the option of working either an AM or PM shift (9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or 12:15 - 3:15 p.m.)
- Nature Guides also have the option to work a full day (9:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.) Nature Guides who choose to work a full day shift will receive a lunch break and should plan on bringing their own lunch or money to purchase lunch.
- Nature Guides must work two shifts at each facility (Zoo, Aquarium, or Garden) with the ability to work the remaining two shifts at their choice facility.
- Nature Guides must complete the two-day training session. The training will be held in the Zoo Education Building (Colores) and in the Aquarium/Botanic Garden Education Building.
- If you are unable to attend the two-day training session, we offer an accelerated one-day training halfway through the summer in the Aquarium/Botanic Garden Education Building.
- All BioPark Volunteers will be issued a volunteer identification badge, which must be worn while a volunteer is on duty.
- The BioPark Volunteer uniform consists of appropriate solid-colored clothing (blouse/shirt and pants/shorts/skirts).
- Approved volunteer uniform colors include: black, brown, khaki and white. Colors must be solid with no patterns or writing.
- Blue jeans are not considered appropriate for a Nature Guide Volunteer. The uniform should be neat and professional. Short shorts are not permitted. Remember, you represent the BioPark and the City of Albuquerque.
- Comfortable shoes with good, non-slip tread are recommended.
- Nature Guides will need to purchase a Nature Guide T-shirt to wear while they are on duty.
- Volunteers are responsible for acquiring and wearing the BioPark Volunteer uniform while on duty.
- BioPark Education Volunteers have the opportunity to do meaningful and gratifying education work with thousands of visitors to the BioPark.
- BioPark Volunteers will be given an identification badge, which allows free regular admission to all BioPark facilities (zoo, aquarium, and botanic garden).
- While on duty, volunteers receive a discount at the food vendors, restaurants and gift shops.
- In addition to all of BioPark Volunteer benefits, Nature Guides, will have to opportunity to attend an end of the summer recognition ceremony to be recognized for their participation.
- Nature Guides who complete the minimum 24 volunteer hours will receive a letter of recognition and a certificate of appreciation which can be used towards college & job applications, portfolios and resumes.
There are three summer staff members dedicated to facilitating the Nature Guide program, one at each facility. The Nature Guide Facilitators mentor the teens, and provide supervision and assistance as needed. The Nature Guides may also seek support and assistance from any BioPark Education staff member.
BioPark Education Volunteers are responsible for acquiring their own uniform clothing. The T-shirt can be purchased from BioPark Education during the second day of training for approximately $5.
How To Apply
Fill out an online volunteer application:
Our Education Department will review your application and notify you about openings and training dates.