Zoo YETIS: Youth Empowered Through Inquiry Science

Being a Wildlife Field Technician is a dream job for many. Is it yours? Zoo YETIS is a new teen leadership and science program at the Minnesota Zoo. Using citizen science and other inquiry science learning, this small group of teens will learn about field biology and conservation, and study the native wildlife that roams the Zoo’s undeveloped woods and wetlands. The Minnesota Zoo has plans to create guest experiences in our nearly 200 acres of undeveloped natural areas. There is a lot we would like to learn to inform our future plans. With the guidance of a Zoo staff mentor, teens will lead this program and the science research needed for exploration and investigation.

Additional activities will be decided upon and created by the teens, and may include meeting Zoo staff, going behind the scenes, and learning what it takes to run a zoo. Most of the activities will take place outdoors, no matter the weather.

The Minnesota Zoo’s vision is a future where wildlife thrives in Minnesota and beyond. Its vision for the YETIS is a future where teens thrive in Minnesota and beyond.

SCHEDULE: February through August of 2020*
DATE: First session is Saturday, February 29, 2020*
TIME: 10 am-12 pm*
GRADE: 8th-10th grade students
FEE: $25 (scholarships are available)
*The frequency, dates, and times of subsequent meetings will be determined by the selected YETIS.


If you would need transportation or outdoor gear to be provided in order to participate, please note this on the application as funds for either or both may become available.


  1. Introductions | Build Team | What’s the Issue? | What’s the Place?
  2. Inquiry Tools | What’s the Question? | What do you wonder?
  3. What’s The Plan?
  4. Collect Data
  5. Collect Data
  6. Data Analysis
  7. Showcase Results and Celebrate!


Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting applications for this year’s YETIS . The application process for next year’s YETIS should begin in the middle of the summer. So check back soon!


Contact Tyler Ahnemann at [email protected]