Urban Ecologist Program

Urban Ecologist at a park clean-up event

Urban Ecologists

The Seneca Park Zoo Society’s Urban Ecologist Workforce Development program is designed to introduce youth to careers in environmental science and ecology while also empowering them to be ambassadors and role models for the environment and sustainability in their own neighborhoods.

Sustainable development starts with a strong, informed workforce.  Whether it is here in Western New York, or in a conservation community worldwide, workforce development is key to building a framework of sustainability that supports conservation and a healthy environment for animals and people alike.

Here in Rochester, Seneca Park Zoo is partnered with the City of Rochester to hire RCSD Juniors and Seniors for year-round employment through the Rochester Summer of Opportunity youth employment program.  This is a two-year program that hires eight people each year. Our Urban Ecologists work in and around the Rochester community, promoting a healthy, positive relationship with Rochester’s natural spaces and the biodiversity that uses them.

The Urban Ecologists are:

  • Trained in urban ecology to be naturalists for their neighborhoods and our region
  • Familiarized with environmental literacy, environmental justice, and civic participation
  • Given access to professional role models and resources at local colleges and universities
  • Introduced to numerous opportunities for nature-based careers
  • Trained to create and deliver programs, including activating parks and green spaces

Our objectives:

  • Community engagement
  • Future Readiness
  • Environmental Stewardship

Interested in becoming an Urban Ecologist?

The Urban Ecologist program is a partnership between: