Malott Family Zoo Intern Program

Malott Family Zoo Intern Program

June 24-August 9, Orientation: Saturday, June 8

10 a.m.-4 p.m.


The Malott Family Zoo Intern Program provides Chicago high school students with the opportunity to learn about Lincoln Park Zoo while educating others about animal and conservation science. Interns will meet in person at the zoo for a seven-week paid program to investigate informal education techniques, consider how to communicate conservation messages to zoo guests, and create a culminating project. Interns also meet with researchers and Animal Care staff to learn more about potential careers in the animal science and conservation fields.

The application for summer 2024 opens February 1 and closes March 11. No applications will be accepted after the March 11 deadline.

More Information


To qualify, an applicant must:

  • Be a City of Chicago resident.
  • Be entering grades 10–12 or their freshman year of college in fall 2024.
  • Be 15–18 years old by June 8, 2024.*
  • Be legally allowed to work in the United States.
  • Have proof of identity and authorization to work in the U.S., in accordance with federal law.
  • Have proof of identity and authorization to work in the U.S., in accordance with federal law.


Program participants must be available for orientation on June 8 and all days of training. Planned absences that do not occur during training, and which have been discussed with a supervisor, are possible. However, long absences (such as a week-long family vacation) may disqualify a candidate from the program, as an intern would miss too many events and activities.

The program does not run July 4­­–5.

Want To Learn More?

  • Adler Planetarium is hosting a virtual opportunity fair on Saturday, February 3 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. via Zoom. At this event, teens can learn more about summer opportunities at Adler Planetarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and more! Register for the opportunity fair here:
  • Lincoln Park Zoo is hosting an in-person job fair at the zoo on Saturday, March 2 from 1–3 p.m. Attendees will find out about internships, jobs, and volunteering at the zoo. Learn more and .
  • Lincoln Park Zoo is hosting an in-person job fair at the zoo on March 4 from 1–3 p.m. Attendees will learn more about internships, jobs and volunteering at the zoo. Learn more and sign up here.
  • If you plan on applying to any of the summer opportunities at Lincoln Park Zoo and are interested in learning more about how to submit a high-quality application, we are planning to hold several virtual help sessions based on demand. Please email to express interest.


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Will I work with animals?

No. Interns do not work directly with animals. However, projects will directly relate to animals and will involve activities such as observing animals in their natural and/or zoo habitats. Interns may also experience special opportunities, like behind-the-scenes tours and presentations from zoo professionals, to learn more about zoo career paths.

What kinds of projects can I expect to be working on over the summer?

In addition to learning to communicate with zoo guests, interns complete self-directed culminating projects like the digital games featured here.

Will there be an interview?

In March, invited applicants will come to the zoo for a half-day group interview. You’ll get to see animals, meet zoo staff, network with fellow applicants, and tell us why you’re excited about this position.

Can I apply for multiple programs?

Yes! Applicants can apply to every program simultaneously. Please note: Eligibility requirements vary between programs.

How will I know if I’ve been accepted?

We will contact all applicants via email by Friday, March 29, whether or not they have been selected for an interview.

Do I need to know a lot about animals beforehand?

No! Training is provided at the beginning of the program to introduce interns to the zoo and zoo animals.

What do I need to participate?

Because the Malott Family Zoo Intern Program is an in-person program, participants will need a reliable way to reach the zoo each day.

COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all zoo staff and volunteers, including teen interns. If you are selected for the program, proof of vaccination must be provided in order to participate.


To learn more about the Malott Family Zoo Intern Program, please email

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