Thank you for your interest in becoming a Zoo Support Volunteer for the Behavior Watch Program at the National Zoo. This program supports many different watches incluing camera operations and data collection.  Watches may be located indoors or outside.  Volunteers must be able to work one shift per week for a minimum of a year.  Shifts last between one and three hours, and are generally available every day of the week between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Some Behavior Watch programs may also include shifts overnight as needed.  Volunteers are assigned to shift dates and times based on their availability.

Please fill this form out completely. If you wish to include a resume with your application, you can attach it to the application (PDF only, please!).   

These positions are highly competitive and there are limited spaces available. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement.

The Smithsonian Institution and FONZ are committed to providing the safest environment for our staff and volunteers, as well as for our guests. Selected applicants will be interviewed by staff, and those that are provisionally accepted must pass a Smithsonian background check which includes fingerprinting as a requirement for approval as a Zoo Support Volunteer prior to beginning to volunteer.

If you are a current or former volunteer please log in before filling out this form. Go to to sign in with your email address and password. If you don't remember your password, contact Suzanne at to reset it.

New User Details
FONZ Zoo Support Behavior Watch Volunteer Application.

Please fill out this form completely.

Basic Information

Home Address

Emergency Contact Address

General Medical Information
Have you ever volunteered with or worked for FONZ or the Smithsonian's National Zoo?
Have you ever held a volunteer position before?
Do you have any previous behavior watch, scientific research, or animal care experience? Explain briefly.

Background and References
Have you been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in the past seven years, other than a minor traffic offense, which has not been pardoned or expunged from your record?
(Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor will not automatically disqualify you from employment)

Please list TWO references: one employment supervisor or teacher and one non-family member reference:

To ensure the safety of our volunteers, staff, and the animal collection, all provisionally accepted candidates must successfully complete an onboarding process that includes:
* A Smithsonian background check
* A review of volunteer policies, and your agreement to abide by those policies
* Online and in-person safety training
Our commitment to safety means the completion of the onboarding process will be strictly enforced. Noncompliance with the onboarding process will result in volunteer status being revoked. Please check the box below to indicate you understand and will complete the onboarding process, and that all the information you have provided in this form is true.