Campus Life

Henson Robinson Zoo

The Henson Robinson Zoo, part of the Springfield Park District and accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, is home to animals native to Australia, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Over 90 species of native and exotic animals are housed among naturalistic exhibits. The Zoo participates in scientific research studies and conservation efforts in addition to providing a fun and educational environment for people of all ages.
This internship will offer the participating student training and hands-on experience in handling invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals used in our education department. This internship will also increase the participating student’s communication skills through the performance of informal and formal interpretive activities and classes.

Internship Objectives:
  • Gain animal handling skills with our education animal collection
  • Become proficient with informal on-site animal education and conservation education by interpreting exhibit animals, biological artifacts, and education-use animals
  • Develop formal and informal education programming
  • Gain experience instructing in the Zoo's classroom as an assistant and lead teacher

Internship Duties:

  • Daily care of the classroom animal collection
  • Animal Ambassadors: Informally interpret animals within their exhibits
  • Grab 'n Go Biofacts: Informal interpret biological artifacts
  • Close Encounters: Informally interpret education-use amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals as you allow visitors an up close experience with the animal
  • Develop a formal themed animal program that you would perform in the Zoo's amphitheater
  • Develop one or more "Animal Ambassador" interpretive guides
  • Develop one or more "Plug into Nature" interactive stations
  • Help with Zooper Edventures Saturday classes for 5-6 year olds, ZooCamps for 7-9 and 10-12 year olds, Camp-Outs, special events, and birthday parties

Time Requirements:

360 total hours (8 hours/day; 5 days/week; 9 weeks)

Interested applicants must be interested in working with animals and educating zoo visitors about them; must have the ability to work as part of a team and communicate effectively with others; and must be able to perform physical work.

To apply for the conservation education  IC Explorer Internship with the Henson Robinson Zoo for the summer of 2015 you should email your resumé and cover letter in one attached PDF file to Internship Coordinator JJ Sadler at You should also have one letter of recommendation from a professor sent to

Address your cover letter to:
Emily McEvoy
Education Curator
Henson Robinson Zoo
1100 East Lake Drive
Springfield, Illinois 62712

The application deadline is February 6, 2015. On-campus interviews will be held in mid-February and selections will be made before spring break.

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