Volunteer Job Descriptions

Docents

Exhibit Guides

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: 4 sessions; in mid-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 – 1 four-hour shift every week.

Who can apply: Teens (ages 15 and up) and adults

Spanish speakers encouraged to apply.

Download Exhibit Guide information form.

Download a volunteer application.

Docents

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

Download Docent information form.

School Programs Instructors

These instructors teach the on-site school field trip programs. Responsibilities include:

  • Working with interns and staff to teach hands-on marine science activity stations as part of thematic Discovery Lab & Tours
  • Leading interpretive tours of the marine lab (Reserved School Tours)

Training: 7 3-hour sessions. Held late September.
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

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

Volunteer Job Descriptions

What's New!

Science Sunday
Mapping Marine Mammal Health

Sunday, July 20
Join Dr. Claire Simeone, Conservation Medicine Veterinarian from The Marine Mammal Center for a discussion about the Marine Mammal Health Map project.

Behind-the-Scene Tours
Learn more about exciting marine research behind the scenes and experience the spectacular surroundings of our location.

Wharf Tours
Take a tour a half-mile out to sea—without leaving the shore

Calendar

Calendar

Stay informed about tours, activites & events throughout the year