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Kids Programs

Zoo InternQuest

At a Glance

Zoo InternQuest teens explore the world of specialized careers in wildlife conservation—at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research—and report their discoveries online. 

  • Teens
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 2:45 to 5:15 p.m.; seven weeks duration
  • Zoo InternQuest Application 2019–2020
  • View Age Restrictions
    Applicant must be a high school sophomore or junior attending a school in San Diego County. Students apply in spring of their sophomore or junior year and participate the following school year.
  • The application deadline for Fall 2019–Winter 2020 is Thursday, May 30, 2019. Applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. to the San Diego Zoo Education Office.

    Download the application contained in At a Glance (above).

    Future Wildlife Conservationists

    Join us online as Zoo InternQuest reports their discoveries while exploring the world of specialized careers in wildlife conservation at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Read about the interns' adventures on the Zoo InternQuest Blog.

    Zoo InternQuest is a program providing San Diego high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers in the life sciences (biology, zoology, human or veterinary medicine, wildlife management, botany, etc.) the opportunity to learn from our experts. Students learn about conservation, pathology, genetics, veterinary medicine, animal behavior, reproductive physiology, ecology, horticulture, and more by visiting the areas where experts in these fields spend their days. Each session, interns visit a variety of professionals at the different San Diego Zoo locations. During their seven-week internship, participants meet at the Zoo, Safari Park, or the Institute for Conservation Research three days a week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays), from 2:45 to 5:15 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays are spent meeting with Zoo professionals.

    After meeting with Zoo professionals on Wednesdays and Thursdays, interns write their blogs on their own time and submit for editing the following Monday. Tuesdays, interns work on site at the Zoo to finalize editing and to upload their blog posts. Students are responsible for transportation to and from each of the Zoo locations. Zoo InternQuest participants receive the necessary training to create blogs of their experiences, illustrated with digital photos. Interns also communicate with blog followers and Virtual Interns throughout the world.


    Virtual InternQuest

    Individual students or whole classrooms anywhere in the world can read about the Zoo InternQuest participants' adventures via the Zoo InternQuest Blog.



    Interested candidates must be a sophomore or junior in high school at the time the application is submitted and must also be attending a school in San Diego County. Students apply in the spring of their sophomore or junior year and participate the following school year.

    Students must have a 3.0 (B) grade point average or better.
    Students must demonstrate a commitment to conservation or the environment.
    Two letters of recommendation are required: one from a science instructor and a second from a teacher, career counselor, school administrator, or other adult who can recommend the applicant for this program.
    The application includes two writing prompts. Student writing samples will be critiqued for accuracy, quality, style, content, and grammar.

    Contact Us

    Teachers and students with more questions about Zoo InternQuest may contact the program coordinator at sbarnard@sandiegozoo.org. The Zoo InternQuest program has been made possible by a generous donation.


    More Information Regarding Traditional Internships

    For clinical veterinary externships info, click here.

    College Internships—See College Fellowships in Zoo Jobs.

    Summer Internships with the Zoo’s Education Summer Camp program—Informal science education is an important part of our mission. Paid student internships are available for students who have completed their first year of college. Summer Camp interns work Monday through Friday as part of a teaching team for campers ages 4 through 17. Please contact the Education Department for more information.

    Other Zoo Internships—For information on internships available at zoos and aquariums throughout the United States and Canada, check with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).


    Let us answer your questions and help create your day at the Zoo!

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