Lindsay Wildlife Teen Programs

Outstanding Wildlife Leaders (OWLs)

What’s an OWL?

The Outstanding Wildlife Leader (OWL) program (formerly the Interpretive Guides) is a year-long service-learning leadership experience designed for teens ages 13–18. OWLs are an essential part of the Lindsay Wildlife Education team and will have the opportunity to explore the world of environmental education, learn about California wildlife & conservation, and connect with a community of peers who share their interests. We seek a positive and responsible teen who is ready to connect people with wildlife!

Outstanding Wildlife Leaders:

  • Participates in weekly environmental education remote lessons, including video presentations, discussions, nature journaling, and more!
  • Commits to completing a minimum of 100 service hours during the program year*.
  • Learn to safely handle and interpret for Lindsay’s mammals, reptiles, and invertebrates ambassadors*.
  • Regularly attends onsite weekly shift and provide husbandry care for Lindsay’s domestic animal ambassadors*.
  • Support conservation-focused programs & presentations.
  • Participate in professional development activities, and much more!

Application Information

The OWL program is a unique opportunity for teens, taking place from September through August of each program year.

The 2021-2022 program application is now available! Please follow the link below to apply to the Outstanding Wildlife Leader program. The application will close on Saturday, May 22nd at 5:00 PM.

Click here for the 2021 OWL program application

NOTE: We require each applicant to provide the name and contact information for one (1) reference. Please have that information ready before beginning the application process. Our team will email your reference directly with instructions and a link to complete a recommendation form (due no later than Wednesday, June 2nd at 5:00 PM).

Please note that the application process is quite competitive, we typically receive a much higher number of applications than we can, or would like, to accept each year. That said, we encourage anyone interested in the program to apply!

Annual program fee: $625 (limited scholarship opportunities may be available)
Lindsay Wildlife Experience is an Equal Opportunity institution; we welcome applications from all those qualified and interested. Individuals from groups historically underrepresented in the sciences are encouraged to apply.

General requirements:

  • The applicant must be 13-17 years old by August 1st, 2021.
  • Able to complete a minimum of 100 hours in the program year (minimum requirements will be adjusted based on current state and county health guidelines).
  • Able to consistently participate in remote learning attend 2-hour onsite weekly shift*.
  • Have an interest in environmental education and wildlife!

* All onsite program activities are subject to the latest state and county health orders. Our team will adjust the requirements as needed to comply with current health and safety recommendations. Rest assured, we will endeavor to maintain the quality of content and program experience offered to each participant. Please direct any questions or concerns you may have to our team at [email protected]

Have a question? Interested in additional information? Feel free to contact our team at [email protected]

Keepers in Training

What’s a K.I.T?

The Keeper in Training (KIT) program is the perfect opportunity for OWLs who are especially interested in animal care, research, and training. KIT teens work closely with Lindsay’s Animal Encounters department and experience first-hand what it takes to be an animal keeper. The KIT shift requires a substantial time commitment with a high emphasis on reliability. KITs will be expected to attend an OWL Senior Council and are encouraged to maintain an OWL shift attendance.


  • KIT applicant must complete at least one year in the OWL program.
  • Able to regularly and punctually commit to a 4-hour weekly shift.
  • Must demonstrate mature, responsible, and professional behavior at all times
  • Capable of independent work, teamwork, and demonstrate sound judgment with minimal supervision
  • Have adequate mobility to navigate animal enclosures safely
  • Able to lift up to 25 pounds confidently
  • Holiday shifts may be required

Youth Programs Staff

Matee Manakitivipart, Youth Programs Coordinator

Matee graduated from Humboldt State University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management & conservation. As an educator, academic mentor, and trained avian ecologist, he has served in several research projects around the country— banding songbirds and studying their population demographics in major conservation hot spots from the Ozark riverways to the New Mexico deserts, and most recently, the rainforests on the islands of Hawaiʻi and Oʻahu.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (925) 627-2924