Welcome to the City of Albuquerque

Docent

Introduce visitors to the amazing diversity of life, help them see how everything is connected and encourage everyday conservation.

Interest Forms

Volunteer Application coming soon.

Docent Details

Docent Job Description (PDF)

Ages:
18 and older

Minimum time commitment:
60 hours a year

Training:

Phase I: Meet every Thursday for 12 weeks from August - December.

  • Learn about habitats, ecology, conservation, basic biology, and the natural history of species at the ABQ BioPark.

Phase II: Two Thursday classes in January.

  • Learn different teaching strategies, how to use biofacts and logistics of volunteering at the BioPark.

Final Exam: The test must be passed. It can be retaken if necessary. Staff and experienced docents are available to provide coaching and support.

***Attendance is required. Trainees may miss up to three classes, which can be made up with staff.

Apply

Online Application

Contact

For more information, email [email protected] or contact BioPark Education at 505-848-7180.

BioPark Docents

Volunteer teachers, called docents, teach about the diversity and interdependence of life and inspire a sense of stewardship for the earth.

Docents undergo a 12 week training to become volunteer teachers at the ABQ BioPark Zoo, Aquarium or Botanic Garden. They introduce visitors to the amazing diversity of life, help them see how everything is connected and encourage everyday conservation.

All BioPark docents can

  • Share favorite parts of the BioPark through guided tours or informal mini-tours.
  • Help visitors explore nature using exhibits and hands-on biofacts such as education animals, animal pelts, shark skin, urchin spines, tree rings or insect specimens.
  • Take the BioPark on the road! Visit local classrooms through outreach programs.
  • Get free regular admission to the BioPark facilities and the inside scoop on new exhibits.
  • Attend continuing education classes led by experts in zoology, botany, marine biology, veterinary medicine, ecology and other areas of science.

Download a Docent Job Description for full information about training, volunteer benefits and what to expect.

    Zoo Docent Duties

    • Travel around New Mexico on the Zoo To You van teaching about animals and conservation.
    • Introduce Albuquerque-area children and adults to the animal kingdom through local outreach programs.
    • Walk a llamas, alpacas or a porcupine, and give Zoo visitors the chance to meet them up close! A variety of birds and small mammals are also available for on-grounds Discovery Stations.

    Garden Docent Duties

    • Introduce visitors to the flora of Baja, South Africa, Chile or Greece inside the Desert and Mediterranean Conservatories.
    • Answer the question, "Why do we need plants?" and teach about plants that provide food, shelter, clothing and medicine. Teach about the interdependence of life and the many animals (from bees to butterflies to bullfrogs) that live in gardens.
    • Get your hands dirty! Involve visitors in hands-on gardening experiences.
    • Travel through time with visitors at the 1920s-1930s era Heritage Farm. Demonstrate wool working, quilting, canning and cooking.
    • Teach about invertebrates using butterflies, millipedes, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, tarantulas and scorpions.

    Aquarium Docent Duties

    • Reveal our connections to the sea. New Mexico may be landlocked, but you can teach Aquarium visitors about how we affect the health of the ocean and how its health affects us.
    • Explore river, salt marsh, coral reef and open ocean habitats and share with visitors along the way.
    • Give visitors hands-on experiences they won't forget at the Touchpool and Shark & Ray Encounter.
    • Narrate as divers feed animals and clean the Shark and Coral Reef Tanks. Share information about sharks, eels, stingrays, porcupine fish and more!

    Uniform

    Docents wear a printed fabric vest worn with uniform colored shirts/blouses and pants/shorts/skirts. Uniform colors include black, brown, tan and white. An identification badge and nametag must also be worn with the uniform.

    Benefits

    Upon completion of the training, docents are 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 food concessions and gift stores. Volunteers are also awarded recognition items for their service, offered discounts to all fee-based BioPark Education programs and invited to special volunteer-only events.

    How To Apply

    Fill out an online volunteer application (coming soon). Our Education Department will review your application and notify you about openings and training dates.

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