Become a Docent | The Topeka Zoo

Become a Docent


 What is a docent?

Docents are volunteers with extensive training who play an important role in the education of our community by acting as teachers and interpreters throughout the zoo. Everything our docents do connects people to nature through unique learning experiences that engage thoughts and touch hearts.

What does a docent do?

  • Provide educational and hands-on opportunities at Discovery Stations
    around the zoo
  • Offer live animal encounters to guests
  • Provide interpretation of zoo animals near their habitat
  • Act as zoo guides
  • Act as ambassadors for the zoo at special events

How much time is required?

Docent activities are dictated by the needs of the zoo guests. Most of those
needs are met during warm weather months, but opportunities for all year
serving is also available.

Is there training required?

Yes. The docent experience is a learning experience. The initial training of
35 hours is provided by zoo staff during a one week orientation and training
phase. Docents are then offered continuing education classes throughout
the year.

Benefits of being a docent:

The docent experience is unlike any other volunteer experience. It involves
the rewards of learning new things about people, places, and animals. It also
provides the reward of teaching others to see the wonders of nature and
becoming part of the zoo scene. After providing 50 hours of docent service
to the zoo, a docent receives a free individual FOTZ membership.