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Kids Programs

Zoo InternQuest

At a Glance

Zoo InternQuest explores the world of specialized careers in wildlife conservation within San Diego Zoo Global, and participating teens report their discoveries on the Zoo website. Read about their discoveries on the Zoo InternQuest Blog—at zoonooz.sandiegozoo.org/category/zoo-internquest/.

  • Teens
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 2:45 to 5:15 p.m.; seven weeks duration. Fall Session: October–November; Winter Session: February–March.
  • Zoo InternQuest Application 2020-2021
  • View Age Restrictions
    Students apply in spring of their sophomore or junior year of high school and participate the following school year.
  • Application Deadline

    The application deadline for Fall 2020–Winter 2021 is Thursday, July 23, 2020, by 4 p.m. Applications must be mailed or hand delivered to the San Diego Zoo Education Office. Group interviews will take place the week of August 17, 2020. Candidates will be asked to do a short writing prompt during the interview.

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

    Future Wildlife Conservationists

    Zoo InternQuest is a career exploration internship for San Diego County high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing a profession in wildlife conservation. Interns get the rare opportunity to learn from our experts in pathology, genetics, veterinary medicine, animal behavior, reproductive physiology, ecology, zoology, horticulture, and more, by visiting the areas where they spend their day. During this seven-week internship, students meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2:45 to 5:15 p.m., visiting a variety of professionals at different San Diego Zoo Global facilities. Meeting locations rotate each day between the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

    After meeting with Zoo professionals on Wednesdays and Thursdays, interns write blogs on their own time and submit for editing. On Tuesdays, interns work on site at the Zoo to finalize editing blogs for upload to the San Diego Zoo website. This internship focuses on teamwork, collaborative writing, critical thinking, and communication. Students are responsible for transportation to and from each of the Zoo locations for the duration of the internship. 

    Watch Zoo InternQuest online, as participants report their discoveries while exploring the world of specialized careers in wildlife conservation with San Diego Zoo Global.


    Virtual InternQuest

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



    • 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 and the environment.
    • Students must be available for the full duration of the program time. This is non-negotiable. 

    • 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

    Questions? Contact the program manager 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.


    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).


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