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Paid Internships

An enthusiastic student intern assisting with gardening at the Zoo, surrounded by vibrant greenery.

About the Paid Internship Program

As a City resource, we are continually looking for more equitable ways to engage the diverse communities of Los Angeles. The L.A. Zoo is hosting 10-week paid internships for college students from systemically excluded identities in the zoo and conservation fields. Interns will work directly with industry professionals on real world projects, then summarize their practical knowledge and present on their experience at the conclusion of their internship.

The L.A. Zoo is hiring for the Summer 2024 Internship Cohort, running from June 3–August 9, 2024. There are internships available in the Conservation Division, Learning & Engagement Division, and Zoo Registrar.

The ideal candidate has:

  • Interest in animals, zoos, conservation, and/or the communities of Los Angeles;
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility; and
  • Internet access for telecommunications with Zoo staff.

The following eligibility criteria applies:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age;
  • Reside within the City of Los Angeles boundaries;
  • Current enrollment in a recognized junior college, business college or four-year college or university, or as a senior in high school; and
  • Self-identify as a member of a community that has been historically excluded from the zoo
    and conservation fields.

Salary: $17.00 / Hour
(The current salary range is subject to change. You may confirm the starting salary with the hiring department before accepting a job offer.)

Time Commitment

June 3–August 9, 2024, 20 hours/week, for a total of 200 hours. Mandatory orientation takes place June 4, 5, and 6. Specific shift days and hours are dependent on the internship project for which the candidate is selected.

Location

The internship will take place at the Los Angeles Zoo and depending upon the assigned tasks, locations may also include Griffith Park, other City Department locations, or virtual. All internships have a professional development component.

Conservation Internship

Conservation Interns will work directly with the Zoo’s Conservation team, gaining real world application of science, research, and conservation skills. In July 2021, the Zoo released its first Conservation Strategic Plan (CSP), which guides its conservation efforts and expands its positive impact over the next five years. Key to this CSP is an increasing focus on local conservation projects that engage our community members, improve native biodiversity, and help meet the goals of local stakeholders in Los Angeles.

This internship will provide the opportunities to:

  • Gain career experience in zoo and conservation fields
  • Develop technical skills to conduct background research, data collection, and analysis through project-based learning;
  • Choose a scientific study related to the native wildlife nearby or on the Zoo campus with peers, enact it, and present on their findings;
  • Gain understanding of conservation, the role of the LA Zoo in it, and the importance of building accessibility and intergenerational stewardship capacity; and
  • Conservation engagement opportunities with the community partners and the Zoo’s Conservation Committee for networking opportunities and introduction to conservation-related careers and opportunities.

Position Expectations:

  • Travel over uneven terrain up to 4 miles per day, sometimes transporting up to 15 pounds of supplies;
  • Work outside and in varied weather conditions;
  • Position self to observe plants and wildlife, including at ground level;
  • Inspection of natural sites to complete habitat assessments; and
  • Available Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from June 3–August 9.

Learning & Engagement Internship

The Los Angeles Zoo’s Learning & Engagement (L&E) Division fosters lasting relationships between our communities, nature, and animals. L&E team members facilitate conversations about wildlife conservation, nature, and animal welfare with the diverse communities that visit the L.A. Zoo through informal programming for general Zoo visitors. This internship will provide opportunities to:

  • Gain knowledge and career experience in zoo and environmental education fields;
  • Develop public communication skills while engaging with the public in dialogue about habitats, wildlife, conservation, and animal welfare; and
  • Gain experience working with diverse audiences.

Position Expectations:

  • Willing to develop public communication skills;
  • Able to move over uneven terrain and be stationed on Zoo grounds or in our communities for extended periods of time;
  • Travel over uneven terrain up to 4 miles per day, sometimes transporting up to 15 pounds of supplies;
  • Work outside and in varied weather conditions; and
  • Available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from June 3–August 9.

ZOO REGISTRAR INTERNSHIP

This intern will work directly with the Zoo Registrar in the Animal Care Division. The Zoo Registrar manages and maintains all Zoo animal records pertaining to the care and welfare of animals housed at the Los Angeles Zoo. Key registrar duties include validating the quality of recorded data, handling manual and electronic records, and ensuring the legal compliance of all animal transactions. This internship will provide opportunities to:

  • Gain knowledge and career experience in record keeping in a zoo setting;
  • Utilize a global database to maintain animal records;
  • Learn best practices for the management of digital and physical documents, both current and historical; and
  • Gain understanding of conservation through the animal transaction process based on internal policies, zoo industry standards, and legal requirements.

Position Expectations:

  • Operate a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a calculator, copy machine, and computer printer;
  • Ability to communicate accurate information and ideas so others will understand;
  • Frequently positions self to maintain files in cabinets and boxes;
  • Occasional travel throughout Zoo grounds over uneven terrain and in varied weather conditions; and
  • Available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from June 3–August 9.

How to Apply

As we strive to have a staff that is representative of the diverse communities of Los Angeles, this internship program is specifically available to applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, people with varying abilities, and/or the LGBTQIA+ communities.

Your application should include:

  • A resume or list of personal or professional experiences in written format.
  • A brief letter, voice memo, or video explaining which internship(s) you would like to be considered for, and what excites you about the position(s) or working at the L.A. Zoo.
  • Official or unofficial college or university transcripts showing enrollment in the Spring 2024 quarter / semester.

To apply, please submit your application using the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/lazoo-paid-internships-2024

Application Deadline: Sunday, February 25 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

About the Los Angeles Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo receives nearly 1.8 million visitors per year and is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. The Zoo is home to more than 2,300 mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles representing more than 270 different species, of which more than 58 are endangered. We are a conservation organization, and our goal is to shape a better future for wildlife, people, and our shared world.

For candidates seeking initial City employment, in accordance with Los Angeles City Ordinance 187134, information regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirements as conditions of employment be found at: https://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2021/21-0921_ord_187134_8-24-21.pdf

The Los Angeles Zoo strives to have a workforce that is representative of the diverse communities of Los Angeles and we encourage people of all backgrounds, including applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, people with varying abilities, women and of the LGBTQAI+ communities, to apply.

Join us to create a just and sustainable world where people and wildlife thrive, together.