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Community Science

Connect to Nature

Do you like to explore the natural world? Do you want to contribute to real scientific research while having fun outdoors? Then Community Science is right for you!

Community Science opportunities are open to everyone over the age of 14 and are great for family volunteering. Adult supervision for participants under the age of 18 may be required for certain projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the commitment for community science projects?

Most opportunities are seasonal and happen in the spring and summer months. Please explore the different options to learn about each project’s commitment and requirements.

What are your age requirements?

What are your age requirements?

  • Spot the Swallows: 14 years of age or older (with parental supervision if under 18).
  • Beach Walk Naturalist: 16 years of age or older (with parental supervision if under 18).
  • Larval Crab Monitoring: 16 years of age or older (with parental supervision if under 18).

Active youth volunteers in the Zoo Guide Program may be exempt from parental supervision requirements if participating as part of their regular shift.

Will I be volunteering at the zoo?

No, almost all community science volunteer opportunities happen away from the zoo but you will still be supporting the zoo and our partners by contributing to research and connecting others to nature in our community. Though you will not be volunteering on zoo grounds, you will be a member of the PDZA volunteer team and eligible to attend social events, update meetings, and other volunteer enrichment experiences.

Do I need any specific skills or experience to support community science projects?

No! As long as you come with a curiosity for the natural world, everything you need to know will be shared during your onboarding and training. It is helpful to have some familiarity using common tools like binoculars and field/identification guides, but it is not required to participate.

Do I need to have special equipment or supplies to participate in community science?

Besides weather appropriate clothing, all other equipment and supplies needed to participate will be provided or available to loan from our community science gear library.

Applications are closed – now what do I do?

You can sign up at the following link to receive an email update when applications are open again: Volunteer Waitlist Form. Please note that this form is not an application! You will still need to complete an application when they re-open.

Science Opportunities

Grit City Carnivore Project
Spot the Swallows
Beach Walk Naturalist
Larval Crab Monitoring
City Nature Challenge