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Volunteer Opportunties Offered by Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association

Volunteer Opportunities Offered by Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
FOR HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS, GENERAL VOLUNTEERS AND DOCENTS
OFFERED BY GREATER LOS ANGELES ZOO ASSOCIATION

PROSPECTIVE GENERAL VOLUNTEER INFORMATION MEETING
(Ages 16 and Up)
Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

PROSPECTIVE STUDENT “ECO CORPS” VOLUNTEER INFORMATION MEETING
(Grades 9 – 11)
Saturday, July 18, 2009, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

PROSPECTIVE DOCENT INFORMATION MEETING
Saturday, July 25, 2009, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Volunteer “Eco Corps” opportunities for high school students, General Volunteer opportunities (16 and up) and Docent opportunities for adults are offered by the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) as part of its Volunteer Programs for the Zoo, announces Kirin Daugharty, manager of volunteer programs. To explore the possibilities, general volunteers are invited to an information meeting on Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; prospective student volunteers (entering 9th, 10th and 11th grades) are invited to an information meeting on Saturday, July 18, 2009, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and prospective Docents are invited to an information meeting on Saturday, July 25, 10:30 a.m. to noon. All three meetings take place at the Los Angeles Zoo’s Witherbee Auditorium.

“Volunteers are an essential part of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, creating a better environment for our animals and our visitors, and we offer comprehensive training,†says Daugharty. “No previous experience is required, just a willingness to learn and a commitment to the welfare of our animals.â€

More than 750 individuals participate in GLAZA’s docent and volunteer programs, many of whom have provided over 40 years and more of service. In 2008, GLAZA docents alone contributed more than 66,726 hours to the Zoo.

GENERAL VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Volunteer opportunities include the following: MURIEL’S RANCH VOLUNTEERS (Muriel’s Ranch is the Zoo’s contact yard, located in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo. To be eligible, general volunteers must pass the prerequisite two-hour Muriel’s Ranch training class, provided monthly. Volunteers play liaison between the goats and the visitors by assisting with crowd control and occasionally maintain the yard.); and SPECIAL EVENTS VOLUNTEERS (The Zoo hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including Big Bunny’s Spring Fling, Boo at the Zoo, and Reindeer Romp, to name a few. Volunteers assist Zoo visitors with themed crafts, give-aways, photo opportunities, and directional assistance.).

Behind-the-scenes opportunities are also available, including FOOD PREP VOLUNTEERS (Food Prep is available to general volunteers who have passed the 30-hour introductory period and are at least 18 years of age. Volunteers assist keepers with preparing animal diets such as cutting up fruits, vegetables, meat, and divvying out mealworms and crickets.); ENRICHMENT VOLUNTEERS (Enrichment is available to general volunteers who have passed the 30 hour introductory period and are at least 18 years of age. Volunteers help create feeder and play devices as well as exhibit adaptations.); and RESEARCH VOLUNTEERS (Research volunteering is available to people 18 years of age and over who have completed the Observing Animals: Behavioral Studies in Zoos UCLA Extension course taught on Zoo grounds offered in the Fall. The class teaches observational techniques and is a non-invasive study on behavior.).

ECO CORPS (STUDENT VOLUNTEER) PROGRAM
Students entering grades 9, 10, or 11 in the fall are eligible for GLAZA’s Student Volunteer Eco Corps program, an academically challenging opportunity to help at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens in a variety of ways ranging from working at special events and Children’s Zoo assistance to supporting public education programs. Eco Corps members complete a 10-week training course to learn about the world’s biomes, animal adaptations, conservation, ecology, and education, and they are required to volunteer a minimum of 60 hours per year for two years. The course is offered on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning in early September. Applications are accepted through July 2009. Reservations are required for the Prospective Eco-Corps Orientation; please contact the Docent Chair at (323) 644-4702 or docents@lazoo.org. Applicants must attend July 18 for the day-long meeting, which includes a presentation about the program, group activities and interviews. Check-in tables will be set up at the Zoo entrance.

DOCENT PROGRAM
GLAZA offers a comprehensive program for docents, who serve as volunteer teachers sharing their knowledge of the Zoo and its flora and fauna with adults and children through touring, use of biofact carts, and numerous educational programs and classes. Docents complete a 23-week training program offered at the Zoo each fall in conjunction with UCLA Extension. The weekly six-hour Friday or Saturday classes focus on taxonomy of both the plants and animals at the Zoo as well as ecology and conservation. Docents duties are as varied as those performing them, and individual opportunities are discussed and developed throughout the training course. Docents must be 18 years or older when applying and be able to commit 100 hours per year for a minimum of two years. Applications are accepted through August 30. Reservations are not required for the July 25 Prospective Docent Information Meeting, but questions may be directed to the Docent Chair at (323) 644-4702 or docents@lazoo.org. Check-in tables will be set up at the Zoo entrance.

The Zoo’s docent and volunteer programs are among many programs presented by the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, founded in 1963. This year marks more than 45 years of GLAZA’s success in supporting the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Garden’s work as an educational resource for the citizens of Los Angeles, and as an international center for the conservation of endangered wildlife. GLAZA provides support for Los Angeles Zoo exhibits, conservation, capital projects, education programs, community outreach, research, and more through fund-raising and an endowment, membership, special events and more. GLAZA currently has 65,000 member households, the second largest membership base of a cultural organization in Los Angeles. Many of its nearly 300,000 individual members have sustained their GLAZA support for more than 20 years. The Los Angeles Zoo is an international leader in the conservation of endangered species and one of the city’s major cultural and entertainment resources.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Free parking is available. Full descriptions of volunteer and docent opportunities and requirements are available at www.lazoo.org in the “Volunteers” section, and general information is available by calling (323) 644-4703 or emailing volunteers@lazoo.org

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