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Research Volunteer

Person looking at clipboard in front of elephant exhibit

Make An Impact

Do you have a keen eye and fascination with observing animal behavior? Do you want to make a positive impact on animal well-being and conservation?

  • Research volunteers play a pivotal role in animals’ care at the L.A. Zoo through observational studies designed by our Research Staff.
  • Research projects explore the impact of the surrounding environment on animals in our care and support the L.A. Zoo, local, national, and international animal care programs to identify best practices in animal welfare.


  • Anyone 16 years of age and older is welcome to apply.
  • Applicants must be able conduct observations while on grounds in public areas.
  • All Research volunteers must successfully complete the UCLA Extension course “Observing Animals: Behavioral Studies in Zoos.” This Biology 480.31 course is held each Fall, typically September – December, one evening per week, with assignments to be carried out at the Zoo during daytime hours.


Registration for the Biology 480.1 extension course opens in mid-summer.

Applications for this program will be available and accepted at the conclusion of the course in December.

Note: Only submit an application if you have completed the “Observing Animals: Behavioral Studies in Zoos” course or if you have been directed to so by the Research Department.