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Docent Program

Docent, the Latin term for "teacher," is the title given to specially-trained educational volunteers in zoos, aquariums and museums. Those accepted into the Docent Program will receive training on public speaking, conservation, Zoo history and operations, animal care, taxonomy and behavior over a 10-week course. Docents are trained and staffed to enhance guest experiences at various exhibits at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo.

Docent Program Requirements

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Must be reliable, hardworking and possess strong leadership skills.
  • Must be enthusiastic and passionate about animals and conservation.

Docent Program Process

Apply online to secure a spot on the Docent Program waiting list. A representative of Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo will contact those on the waiting list for interviews in June and July. Final acceptance into the Docent Program will be communicated in August.
After acceptance, each Docent Program candidate must complete a Volunteer Application, including a $105 check made payable to "Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo" to cover screening, a Docent polo, a name badge, training materials and annual dues for one year.

Docent Program Expectations

  • Attend all ten weeks of Docent training (approximately 70 hours) after acceptance. Training is held twice a week on Thursdays from 6- 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For Fall 2016, classes start in September.
  • Successfully complete all tasks and assignments.
  • By the completion of training, demonstrate the ability to enhance guest experiences through interpretation at various exhibits and programs throughout the Zoo.
  • Commit to 96 hours annually of educational volunteering.
  • Attend Docent meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Pay Docent organization dues of $15 annually.
  • Tampa Bay City Pass
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums
  • affiliate4

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

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Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.