Professional Development: Workshops


Making the Most of Your Field Trip to the North Carolina Zoo

Did you know the Zoo offers a variety of ways to enhance your school's or camp's fieldtrip to the Zoo? Make it a powerful learning experience instead of just a fun day out. During this workshop we will share a variety of free (e.g., app with activities designed for every grade level, free virtual program on careers followed by a career quest at the Zoo) and paid (e.g., educational program, animal ambassador encounter) educational opportunities as well as the tips and tricks needed to make sure you have the best field trip ever! This workshop is offered both virtually and in-person. During the in-person option we will get first hand experiences of some of the educational opportunities and walk you through things like checking your group in. If you have any questions about the workshop please email

Please register through SurveyMonkey

Training Location and Dates:

  • Tuesday 8/22/2023 10:00 - 12:00 p.m. - In-person
  • Thursday 9/28/2023 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Virtual
  • Wednesday 2/21/2024 4:00 - 5:00 pm - Virtual 


Certified Interpretive Guide Workshop

The nationally recognized Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) certificate is designed for anyone in the interpretive field. Whether you’re a new hire, a professional looking to refresh your skills, or beginning a second career, this course will aid you in improving your presentation techniques. The course combines the theoretical foundations of the profession with practical strategies in delivering quality interpretive programming to visitors.

This 32-hour course includes:

  • The history, definition, and principles of interpretation.
  • Techniques on how to make your programs purposeful, enjoyable, relevant, organized, and thematic.
  • How to use tangible objects to connect your audience to intangible ideas and universal concepts.
  • The 2 requirements needed to obtain a CIG (program outline, and 10 minute interpretive presentation).

This workshop counts as 20-hours of Criteria I credit for people working on the NC Environmental Education Certification

Please register through NAI's website

Training Location and Dates:

  • September 25-29, 2023 8:00-5:00 pm daily at the Zoo


Certified Interpretive Host Workshop

A positive first impression of your site can leave a lasting mark on a visitor. Many times, that first impression is made by a campground host, maintenance worker, fee booth attendant, site steward, trail monitor, law enforcement ranger, or front desk volunteer. If you interact informally with visitors, this course will teach you easy ways to strengthen your public interactions while supporting the mission of your organization.

Specifically, this 16-hour course covers:

  • Customer Service Skills
  • Hospitality and Communication Skills
  • Tips for Handling Difficult Visitors
  • History and Importance of Public Lands
  • History, definition, and principles of interpretation

Please register through NAI's website


Training Location and Dates:

  • Mondays December 4 &11, 2023 8:00-5:00 pm at the Zoo


Aquatic Wild

Join us for a fun and informative nature exploration! We'll meet some of the Zoo's Amphibian Animal Ambassadors and investigate several of our aquatic habitats while highlighting the hands-on activities in the Aquatic WILD activity guide!

The Aquatic WILD workshop is intended for teachers, non-formal educators, and youth leaders of children in grades K-12 and designed with a special focus on wetlands and aquatic wildlife. Participants will discover hands-on activities that encourage problem-solving and assist learners of any age in developing awareness, knowledge, skills, and commitment to responsible behavior and constructive actions concerning wildlife and the environment. 

All participants will receive the Aquatic WILD curriculum activity guide. The activities cover concepts, principles and issues relating to aquatic wildlife, aquatic habitats and ecosystems, and actions for sustaining aquatic species and habitats. The guide contains field investigations, In Step With STEM activity extensions, connections to wildlife careers, new activities on fish conservation and angling, and an increased focus on outdoor activities.

This 6-hour Aquatic WILD workshop counts towards CEU credits and EE Criteria I credits.  Educational Experience Forms will be available for certification hours and Continuing Education Credit.  Visiting the North Carolina Zoo may also serve as Criteria III – Site visit hours, but these hours must be gained outside of the time that the workshop takes place.

Training location and date:

  • Friday August 11, 2023, 9am - 3:30pm at the Zoo


  • This workshop is free to attend, although advance registration is required. Limited to 25 participants.
  • Call Zoo Reservations at 336-879-7700 to register
  • Deadline to register is Monday, August 7, 2023
  • For more information contact Linda Kinney


Project Learning Tree - Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood

Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood provides an introduction to environmental education, encouraging children ages 3 to 6 to explore, discover and communicate in expressive ways. The guide offers over 130 experiences that engage young children in outdoor exploration and play. Topics include investigating nature with five senses, meeting neighborhood trees, and connecting with trees through the seasons. Join us as we uncover ways to incorporate this early childhood curriculum with environmental educational learning opportunities Participants will receive the Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood Activity Guide and can earn CEUs and credit for the NC EE certification program


Training Location and Dates:

  • TBA