Volunteer Job Descriptions

Wednesday, December 16, 5-7 PM
    5-5:30 PM Explore Exhibit Hall and talk to current volunteers
    5:30-6 PM Short Presentations by Visitor Programs Manager
    6-6:30 PM Explore Exhibit Hall and talk to current volunteers
    6:30-7 PM Encore Presentation by Visitor Programs Manager
    *Ocean Discovery Shop open throughout entire event


Congratulations to the Seymour Center Docent Class of 2015

Congratulations to the Seymour Center Docent Class of 2015

Docent Training  *  Applications Available Now
Training Dates: Begins January 2016

Docents serve as our major contact with the public and enhance visitor’s understanding of the world of a working research laboratory. Course credit may be possible for UCSC students. Some of the docents’ responsibilities include:

  • Serving as guides in the center
  • Giving special presentations
  • Leading tours of the lab’s research and visitor areas including stops at the whale skeleton, and marine mammal overlook
  • Helping with community outreach events

Training: 11-week course, begins each year in January
Minimum commitment: 1 year after course completion
Ongoing time commitment: 1 four-hour shift, every other week

Who can apply: Anyone over 18. Spanish speakers encouraged to apply.

Download Docent information form.


Exhibit Guides

Exhibit Guide Training  *  Applications Available Now
Next Training May 2016

Exhibit guides come on board twice a year and assist visitors at the touch pools, and interpret the aquarium and exhibit hall. Working alongside experienced docents, exhibit guides increase their knowledge of marine science, gain valuable public speaking skills, and provide important connections with our visitors.
Training: Four sessions; late September/early October or mid-May
Ongoing time commitment:

  • Fall, winter and spring – a minimum of 1 four-hour shift every other week: Minimum commitment: Six months after completion of training.
  • Summer – a minimum of one 4.25-hour shift every week for three months after completion of training, or one 4.25-hour shift every other week for six months after completion of training.

Who can apply: Teens (ages 15 and up) and adults. Spanish speakers encouraged to apply.

Download a volunteer application.

School Programs Instructors

Fall School Programs Instructor Training  *  Applications Available Now
Applications accepted year-round.
Next Training September 2016

School Programs Instructors teach on-site school field trip programs for students of all ages (kindergarten-community college). We are seeking enthusiastic individuals (ages 18 and above) who enjoy working with youth, and have an interest in learning and teaching about the ocean. Bilingual speakers are encouraged to apply. Responsibilities include:


  • Working in a structured, classroom setting with a multi-generational team of volunteers, college interns, and staff educators to teach hands-on marine science activity stations as part of thematic Discovery Lab & Tours.
  • Leading interpretive tours of Long Marine Lab after Discovery Lab activities, and as needed for Reserved School Tours.
  • Helping with community outreach events.

School Programs Instructor training covers marine science topics, current marine mammal research, and practice teaching and leading tours at the lab. We provide the tools you need to inspire conservation of our ocean!

Training: Seven sessions; late September through mid-October.
Ongoing time commitment: 1 three-hour shift every week during the school year (mid-October through beginning of June)
Who can apply: Anyone over 18. Spanish speakers encouraged to apply.

Download School Program Instructors information form.

Volunteer Aquarists

Working with the Aquarium Curator, volunteer aquarists prepare food and feed the aquarium animals, clean aquarium tanks, repair and maintain equipment, and monitor animal behavior.

Training: On-the-job
Minimum commitment: 6 months
Ongoing time commitment: two 4-hour shifts per week
Who can apply: Anyone over 18. Some heavy lifting (up to 40 pounds) and use of a stepladder is required.

Garden Volunteers

Help maintain the coastal native plant garden and landscaping that surrounds the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. Tasks include weeding, mulching, planting, watering, pruning, and occasional landscape planning.

Training: on-the-job
Minimum commitment: 8 hours per month for 6 months
Ongoing time commitment: once a week during the growing season (early spring to late fall) and as needed during the fallow season (late fall through winter)
Who can apply: Anyone over 18

Special Event Volunteers

These volunteers assist with a variety of tasks in support of fundraising efforts, special events, marketing programs, and facility rentals. Events may include fundraising events, weddings, conferences, meetings, and public lectures. Volunteers assist with the development, planning, and implementation of events, which can include decorations, set-up/clean-up, event operations and logistics, food and beverage service, selling tickets and cash handling, taking photographs and operating audio-visual equipment.

Training: specific to each event
Minimum commitment: None
Ongoing time commitment: As events occur; most involve weekend and evening hours with an occasional pre-event meeting
Who can apply: Existing volunteers

Administrative Volunteers

These volunteers perform a variety of office duties that may include data entry, library maintenance, filing, archival maintenance, interpretive materials research, correspondence with school children, and general computer support.

Training: on-the-job
Minimum commitment: 6 months
Ongoing time commitment: 8 hours per month
Who can apply: Anyone over 18

Days & Hours

Tuesday - Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM


December 16, 5-7pm

Become a part of our team! Come learn how you can become a Seymour Center Volunteer.

Fantastic opportunity available; apply now! Applications due November 29.

Attention Teachers!
Space is still available for K-14 marine science education programs at the Seymour Center.

December 13, 12-5:30pm

Enjoy children's activities while shopping for gifts by local artists and crafts people at the Seymour Center!

You'll see a lot of construction taking place here at the Coastal Science Campus but know, the Seymour Center is open for business as usual. Come visit!


Stay informed about tours, activiites & events throughout the year



Sign up for the
monthly e-newsletter!