I. Become a volunteer
I. Become a volunteer, or earn college credits as an Animal Care Assistant (ACA) <top>
If you are a student at CSU Sacramento, you may volunteer or earn credit(s) [Bio 197 B] through the Biology Department. Typically, students that apply are pre-vet majors, but anyone (in any major) with an interest in animals may apply. If you wish to become a volunteer or ACA contact Jana Shober at (916) 278-7677 or visit her office in Sequoia 16C.
Read what previous ACA's had to say about their experiences. A former ACA, Laura Russell, suggests the following as some ways to make your experience educational as well as enjoyable:
Use the library and other resources to supplement your own knowledge of the animal(s) you are taking care of.
Rather than just providing for the animals' immediate needs (food, water, shelter, etc.), take care of the animals by learning to feel what they feel. To make connections with other living things is a skill that may be useful in other situations. For example, the great corn geneticist Barbara McClintock was once asked how she knew the banding patterns of chromosomes of various corn strains so intimately by sight alone, and she replied that when looking at a cell through a microscope she just "climbed down there and took a look around." Remember, this is before the onset of the new molecular techniques such as gel electrophoresis and electron microscopy.
Come in and watch the animals when the lights are off. Many of our animals are nocturnal and become active in the dark. An animal that seems to lay around during the day may surprise you when you observe it in the dark.
Finally, tailor this experience to your own interests and, possibly, your future career. For instance, as a pre-vet student, you might want to develop a health chart or a quick reference manual of diseases of the various animals. As a teacher, you might want to show school children around and introduce them to the animals. As an art student, you might want to work on the aesthetics of the aquaria and/or terreria. The possibilities are endless. Use your imagination!
Check out testimonials from past ACAs.
III. Apply for a paid Student Assistanship or a Work Study Position <top>
If you have some previous experience you may be able to work in the Department of Biological Sciences caring for a variety of animals. (See our list of animals you might be able to work with here.)
Individuals or comapanies that are unable to assist directly, may consider donating money and/or supplies for feeding, maintenance and veterinary services needed for our animals. If you wish to make a tax deductible donation, write a check to CSU, Sacramento (specify for deposit into Critter Care Account: TX28750340132500) and send the check to Biological Sciences Department Chair (or Jana E. Shober) , Biology Department, 6000 J Street , Sacramento, CA 95819.
Your questions, comments and suggestions
are welcome. E-mail Jana Shober