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"I learned a ton about the blue whale, how to shoot and edit films and silkscreen posters."

- Shayle Matsuda, 2010 Fellow

Local Endangered Species

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Passionate about wildlife and tattoos? Love thinking creatively and collaborating? Want to make a real impact?  Then we want you. 

Tatzoo Bootcamp is a 10-week summer training program for emerging conservation leaders, supported by Toyota TogetherGreen.  Fellows learn critical skills and work in small teams to launch creative projects that help protect an endangered species in California's Bay Area.

Upon completion, fellows receive tattoos of their species as a symbol of their leadership from world-class tattoo artists.

Training Program

The bootcamp runs from June 8 - August 11 and includes ten skills building courses, followed by team projects. Fellows receive a 3-day orientation and then participate in training sessions on Tuesday evenings from 6pm - 9pm in San Francisco.  Teams also meet independently for 2-4 hours per week to work on projects and assignments.

Teams and Projects

Fellows work in teams of 3-4 people that are assigned a local endangered species.  Each team designs and executes a 4-week project that creatively engages communities in one or more of the following conservation activities to help protect their target species:

    •    Education: Raise awareness about behaviors, habitat, threats and solutions of species.
    •    Behavior: Reduce or eliminate human behaviors that cause harm or fatalities to species.
    •    Policy: Influence policy initiatives that support key conservation measures.

Why Tattoos

Among the many personal meanings that tattoos represent, they serve as a powerful symbol of leadership and personal commitment to protect biodiversity. Upon completion of the Tatzoo Bootcamp, fellows are awarded a unique tattoo of the endangered species they worked on for their project from a professional tattoo artist in the Bay Area who matches your aesthetic style.


Bootcamp fellows receive:

  • Free professional development in conservation planning, strategic communications, media relations, social media, organizing, video production and editing, grassroots fundraising, and street art in a creative and supportive learning environment;
  • Financial support to attend three-day orientation and field trip, including costs for travel and lodging;
  • $1,200 grant to each team to support their team projects;
  • Networking opportunities with Audubon Society, Center for Biological Diversity, Wild Equity and other organizations in the Bay Area;
  • Opportunities for public recognition through media, events and web promotion;
  • Certificate of completion from Tatzoo and partners;
  • Opportunity to receive class credit.

Eligibility and Selection

Applicants must:

  • Be between the ages of 18-30
  • Live in Bay Area of California (Counties include San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solarno, and Sonoma).

Fellows will be selected through a competitive process. Eligible candidates must submit a complete application.  We review applications and identify the top candidates based on the following criteria:

  • Personal passion for wildlife and endangered species protection
  • Can think outside the box and be bold
  • Strong desire in honing leadership skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team
  • Understanding of complexity of conservation and willingness to work across disciplines to achieve results, reach new audiences, think creatively, and measure success.
  • Psyched to get a real tattoo!

How to apply

Tatzoo Bootcamp 2012 applications are now closed.