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Volunteer Opportunities

The Washington State University Bear Center is a unique research center, unlike any other in the world.  For over three decades, it has conducted world-class research that has contributed to bear management, conservation, and education.  WSU Bear Center volunteers are part of an elite team that plays an integral role in the daily care of the grizzly bears that call WSU their home.  Our volunteers are hand-picked through a vigorous application and interview process.  All volunteers are direct representatives of the WSU Bear Center, who reflect the pride we have in our bears and our research.  The chance to play an active role and contribute to the program provides our student-volunteers with an opportunity of a lifetime to safely work in close proximity to one of the world’s most revered and respected predators.


The primary focus of our volunteers is on the daily care of our resident grizzly bears, but the experience is not limited to cleaning and feeding.  Volunteers may have the opportunity to observe, learn and/or play an active role in procedures, enrichment, or research. Each student-volunteer experience will be uniquely based on current studies and/or the needs of the bears.


Fall – Start of school until November

The fall 2022 semester volunteer application deadline has passed. Will post 2023 deadlines during the summer of 2023.

Spring – Start March/April until the summer semester.

Deadlines will be posted in January 2023. See special requirements for the spring semester.

Summer – Deadline and end date to be posted in April.


WSU Bear Center Volunteer Requirements

Minimum requirements for all volunteers:

∙ Be a Junior or Senior currently enrolled at WSU

∙ Must have an overall 2.5 GPA. Spring volunteers will be chosen from Dr. Robbins’ Wildlife Nutrition class in which they must meet the 2.5 GPA requirement, but also receive a 75 or greater score on the first test.

∙ Commit to a full semester of scheduled shifts, not to exceed 6 hours per week

∙ Successfully complete the proper training and sign the training completion form

∙ Represent the Bear Center in a mature, responsible manner at all times

∙ Log appropriate hours at the time of service

∙ Conduct themselves in a professional manner

∙ Abide by ALL safety rules at all times

∙ Have a passion for wildlife research, conservation, and education

If interested, please submit an application form and email it to


volunteer helping in bear den