CALM Zoo is currently 4:54pm

Volunteer / Docent Opportunities | California Living Museum

Volunteer Opportunities

CALM is always in need of volunteers in areas of individual interest and facility needs. CALM volunteers perform daily routine chores, which enable staff to complete more complex tasks or projects. CALM volunteers may assist animal keepers, assist the maintenance staff or educate the visiting public. Group volunteer events are also available.

For your safety, ALL volunteers must wear long pants (jeans are best) and closed-in shoes. No shorts, capris, ¾ length pants, workout/yoga pants/spandex, flip-flops or sandals will be allowed. All volunteers ages 13-15 must be accompanied by an adult.

Terri Enrich

CALM Volunteer Programs
  1. Animal Care Volunteers (16+)-Orientation Class Required
  2. Commissary Volunteers (16+)-Orientation Class Required
  3. Grounds Volunteers-(13+); Ages 13-15 must be accompanied by an adult
  4. Special Event Volunteers (16+); 
  5. Group Volunteers (10+) (10 or more people; ages 10-15 require one adult lead per 10 volunteers)
  6. CWRC Volunteers (16+) (Currently unavailable)
  1. Animal Care/Commissary Volunteers
    1. Orientation Required- 1 Class (Orientation offered 4x/year); class length 2.5 hours
    2. Ages 16+
    3. Ability to commit to two shifts a month minimum
    4. Cost: $25 orientation & T-shirt fee due at orientation
      1. Scholarships available for student volunteers-***
      2. Cash, check, or credit accepted for shirt payments

**Please note that in order to volunteer in the Animal Care Department, an orientation class must be completed**

  • February 10th & 12th 2022
  • May 2022 Dates TBD
  • August 2022 Dates TBD
  • November 2022 Dates TBD
Grounds Volunteers

Open to all volunteers ages 13+. Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult
No orientation required
Cost-Free; optional purchase of a $25 T-shirt
Open Year Round

Special Event Volunteers

Open to all volunteers 16+
Cost-Free; optional purchase of a $25 T-shirt
No orientation class required

Group Volunteers

Open to all volunteers ages 13+ in a group of 10 or more.
Designated “Group Lead” required
Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. One “lead” adult is required per 10 underage volunteers.
Cost-Free; optional purchase of a $25 T-shirt

Animal Care/Commissary Volunteers Orientation Dates:
Animal Care Volunteer:

This position is for you if:

  • You are 16 years or older
  • You want to gain experience in the animal care field 
  • You have a passion for wildlife and conservation
  • You are happiest when you are outside 
  • You understand that this volunteer opportunity involves cleaning A LOT of enclosures for a variety of animals
  • You are comfortable handling animal diets
  • You are willing to get dirty! 

Volunteers perform duties as required for the care and maintenance of Zoo animals and exhibits. Activities include scrubbing and hosing enclosures, removing trash, feeding diets, and assisting keepers with various projects. Make connections with local zookeepers and learn the ins and outs of the zoo industry and proper animal care practices. It is important to note that this volunteer opportunity is about working to ensure that CALM’s animal needs are met and is heavily based on feeding animals, cleaning their enclosures, and aiding in enrichment creation. Animal Care Volunteers are not guaranteed to work directly with zoo animals and must adhere to all safety standards when working alongside wildlife.

Commissary Volunteer:

This position is for you if:

  • You are 16 years or older
  • You enjoy putting together diets and fun food related enrichment
  • You are well organized
  • You can follow a strict set of directions
  • You are comfortable handling meat, including mice, chicks, squirrels, fish etc. for the purpose feeding animals
  • You can work independently
  • You want to learn about wildlife diet requirements
  • You are comfortable and confident using food prep tools such as knives, food processors etc.

Volunteers perform duties as required for the preparation of animal diets zoo wide. Activities include following specific recipes for an array of animal species. Creation of diets will include cutting, chopping, blending, etc. of meat, fish fruits, vegetables, and a variety of enrichment items. Volunteers will be required to handle all aspects of the commissary including cleaning, doing dishes, stocking donations, and organizing a variety of foods.

Grounds Volunteer:

This position is for you if:

  • You are 13 years or older** (volunteers under 16 require the direct supervision of 1 adult per 5 volunteers)
  • You enjoy working outdoors 
  • You enjoy working on projects that include raking, painting, planting, weeding etc.
  • You can work independently if required
  • You can work with a variety of tools to aid in beautifying CALM
  • You need a few hours of volunteering but do not necessarily want to commit to a long-term gig

Volunteers perform duties as required for grounds projects. These duties can include raking, mowing, planting, painting etc. and involve working directly with our grounds team to help beautify CALM. The daily tasks change based on the season, so no two days are every quite alike. 

Special Events Volunteering:

This position is for you if:

  • You are 16 years or older
  • You enjoy helping with events
  • You are a team player
  • You enjoy working with the public
  • Have a positive-can-do attitude

Volunteers perform duties related to the specific event. Special event volunteers are critical to helping our fundraisers flow smoothly! In this position you may be asked to aid in setting up/breaking down an event, aid in traffic flow or work directly with the public.

How to sign up:
CALM utilizes VolunteerMark to organize our many opportunities. All volunteers can sign up with VolunteerMark at A step-by-step guide on how to volunteer is available on that portal.

Please note that individuals who have not completed the orientation class for Animal Care Volunteer and Commissary Volunteer will not be able to sign up for those opportunities. These classes are offered quarterly so if you miss the class, there will be more opportunities in the future.