Sunday, December 1, 2013

Share your passion for the oceans as an Aquarium volunteer!

Did you know that about two-thirds of our visitor education team are volunteers? These Aquarium Guides help visitors have an engaging educational experience by sharing information about the exhibits, answering visitor questions, assisting live animal presentations and engaging visitors at our touch tanks…all while graciously donating their time to the community!

A volunteer answers visitors' questions at the Edge of the Sea touch tank.

With more than 1.3 million visitors each year, it takes a lot of help from some enthusiastic volunteers to make sure the visitors have a quality experience. We are looking for individuals who are excited about communicating our mission of protecting the blue planet with weekday availability (sorry, all our weekend slots are full!). In addition, there are two major requirements to being a volunteer at the Aquarium: 1) successful completion of the Aquarium Guide Training (AGT) course, and 2) having one set day a week free for six months.

The AGT course ensures our volunteers are armed with all the helpful information about our animals, exhibits and the blue planet. These courses are held three times each year. The next AGT course is starting January 15!

Once you learn more about Aquarium Guides, then fill out an online application form. If we have vacancies that match your availability, staff from the Volunteer Office will then be in contact for the next steps (unfortunately, weekend positions are not available at this time). 

A volunteer mans a Live Animal Presentation with an epaulette shark!

Still not sure? Here’s a testimonial from Taylor Engelsman, a AGT graduate:
I was thrilled when I received the phone call informing me I had been chosen to be a part of an amazing group of people who had been selected to begin Aquarium Guide Training. I soon received an email from Kim McCabe welcoming me to AGT. She was really great at outlining everything we would be learning. She also made it clear they would give us all the tools we would need to be excellent Aquarium Educators.  
I was blown away by the diversity of the people in my class and their motivation for volunteering at the Aquarium. There was everyone from high school students to retirees and everyone in between. Despite the small group it seemed everyone had a different reason for being there. Some were considering majoring in Marine Biology, others were thinking of changing careers, others wanted experience interacting with visitors and still others just loved the Aquarium so much they wanted to give something back.  
We learned not only what I affectionately call ‘fish facts,’ we also learned about several important major themes central to the Aquarium’s mission, including climate change, sustainable seafood and conservation. We were also given techniques and tools for sharing these important messages with visitors and customer service skills to help make everyone’s experience the best possible. By the time I hit the Aquarium floor on my first official day as an Aquarium Visitor Educator I felt completely prepared to share my excitement and new knowledge with visitors.  
As you may be able to tell from my post I absolutely love volunteering at the aquarium. If you are considering volunteering, do it! And if you aren’t considering it, you should be! You won’t regret it!

If you have any questions, see the FAQ page or feel free to email!


  1. If only I had weekday availability! I'd love to volunteer!

  2. Would do anything in the world exception being with my kids to this. The only problem is that I live in Vermont. If I was a strong swimmer. I would of been a marine biologist.


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