Get Involved

Help little explorers make big discoveries in our Zoo or Museum, at our Baylands Nature Center, or to support us with our Special Events. Teenagers to Seniors are welcome to volunteer with us. Please read our Accessibility section to learn more about volunteer opportunities for people with physical or developmental disabilities.


To apply to any of the volunteer opportunities below, please complete a Volunteer Application(PDF, 560KB), and return it to Ines Thiessen via fax (650) 473-1965, via email ( or in person by visiting the Museum & Zoo. Please note that the minimum age for volunteering at the Jr. Museum & Zoo is 15.

Discovery Guide – Volunteer in the Exhibit Hall and Zoo and help visitors discover the science behind the exhibits.  Facilitate live animal encounters or interpretive programs.  6-month minimum commitment required.

Exhibits Behind-the-Scenes – Help maintain and build upcoming exhibits in our workshop!  This opportunity requires prior building experience, including carpentry, engineering, machine operation, industrial design, theatre set design & construction, or general construction.  6-month minimum commitment required.

Become an Exhibits Summer Intern –College students studying exhibit development, architecture, design, sculpture, informal education, or museum studies encouraged to apply. 3-month minimum commitment required. 

Zoo Behind-the-Scenes – Assist with the daily care of the zoo animals by preparing the special diets of the animals and feeding them, cleaning enclosures and working directly with some of the 50+ animals to ensure their health.  6-month minimum commitment required.

Baylands Nature Center – Assist with a variety of educational and administrative duties including welcoming visitors to the Center and surrounding Open Space, maintaining exhibit and learning resources and participating on special projects.  6-month minimum commitment required.

Special Events & Administrative Support – Help out with special weekend events and celebrations for the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, or work behind-the-scenes in our fundraising office.  The Friends are a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. The Friends work closely with the City of Palo Alto to provide exciting and interactive museum exhibits, free science education classes to students in East Palo Alto, and improvements and renovations of the Zoo and Museum facilities.

Job Opportunities

To learn more about open positions within the City of Palo Alto and the Junior Museum & Zoo, please visit the City of Palo Alto Careers page.


Commemorative Block Campaign for Exhibits

Help fund exhibitions in our new and improved facility by making a commemorative gift today to a donor block wall.  Blocks may be custom inscribed with a name, a dedication, a memorial, or an inspirational quote. Your commemorative block will become part of a community donor wall and will be displayed for a minimum of 15 years.  To make a donation to the Commemorative Block Campaign for Exhibits, please click on the Donate button below.