Breeding Observers

Volunteer Position Qualifications, Skills, & Abilities: Breeding Observers are responsible for watching a designated pair of animals for specified breeding behaviors and recording these behaviors on an ethogram.


This position requires the ability to quietly sit still in a blind for two hours in a variety of weather conditions, including but not limited to extreme cold and snow. No food, drinks, or breaks are allowed during scheduled observations.


Minimum age requirement: 18 years old


Time Commitment & Scheduling: Breeding Observers must commit to a specified time slot of two hours every week during breeding season (typically Martin Luther King Jr. Day through Saint Patrick’s Day, though these dates will vary each year depending on animal needs). Breeding Observers must arrive on-site 15 minutes prior to their scheduled time in order to collect supplies and be at their designated blind on time. If observers are unable to make their scheduled time for any reason, they are responsible for finding a replacement from the list provided. 


Volunteer Screening Process: Those interested in volunteering must complete a volunteer application. After an interview, potential volunteers must provide proof of being up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including initial doses (1- or 2-dose varieties) and all eligible boosters, and may need to pass a background check.


Volunteer Supervision: Breeding Observers report directly to the Education Manager, though other Education or Animal Care staff members may participate in training and supervision.


Volunteer Training Process: Breeding Observers are required to attend a training session prior to the start of breeding season to go over protocols, behaviors to record, and other material as needed.


Personal Appearance/Dress Code: Breeding Observers must dress according to the weather during their scheduled observation period. This may include long sleeves, vests, jackets, coats, coveralls, boots, gloves, mittens, hats, scarves and/or blankets. Large brand names and offensive writing or images are not permitted. Dark or muted colors are encouraged to not draw the attention of the animals being observed. The Endangered Wolf Center does not supply these items - Breeding Observers are responsible for their own attire. Hand and feet warmers may be available, though volunteers are encouraged to bring their own.