Over 200 volunteers support the Seymour Center each year. They lead tours and lessons for school groups, take care of a live animal collection, and support day-to-day operations and education programs. In return, our volunteers get a lifelong learning opportunity and sense of purpose from their commitment to conservation and sustainability.

Why Volunteer?

  • Give back to the community
  • Learn about marine science and conservation
  • Networking and relationship building
  • Gain career experience for your resume
  • Attend continuing education opportunities
  • Contribute to conservation and stewardship

Whether you’re a student or recent graduate, a retiree, or simply looking for a change of scenery, the Seymour Center can provide meaningful opportunities for any individual or groups to lend a helping hand.

Positions

There are several different volunteer positions to choose from. Take a look to see what best fits your interests, skills, and/or future career plans. Applicants will be contacted when a volunteer recruitment opens that matches their interests.

School Programs Instructors

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a teacher? Or perhaps you already are a teacher and you’re looking for new ways to share your skills? School Programs are just the ticket for you. As a volunteer, you will work with visiting school groups to explore the wonders of marine science in a structured classroom setting. You will also lead interpretive tours of the Long Marine Lab and assist with community events.

Training:
One-month training series starts in January 2023.

Time commitment:
One three-hour shift every week through May 2023

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

Exhibit Guides

Exhibit Guides serve as the experienced facilitators at the Seymour Center. As an Exhibit Guide, you will monitor and assist guests at the touch pools, interpret the various exhibits on display, and encourage curiosity amongst visitors who seek to learn more about our oceans and the research being done at UC Santa Cruz.

Training:
Six sessions. Dates TBA. Sign up for the newsletter to be notified when applications are being accepted.

Time Commitments:
Fall, winter, and spring – a minimum of one 4-hour shift every other week for six months after completion of training.
Summer – a minimum of one 4-hour shift every week for three months after completion of training, or one 4-hour shift every other week for six months after completion of training.

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

Docents

Docents bring the excitement and importance of marine science to life for thousands of visitors a year. As a docent, you will monitor and assist visitors at the touch pools, lead 30-minute tours of the Seymour Center and Coastal Science Campus research facilities, interpret the aquarium and exhibit hall, deliver special programs, or help with community outreach. Becoming a docent encompasses a spectrum of services that are crucial to the success of the Seymour Center!

Training
9-week course, begins each year in January. Sign up for the newsletter to be notified when applications are being accepted.

Time commitment:
One four-hour shift, every other week, for one year

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

Want to learn more? Find additional information in our FAQ sheet or recruitment flyer.

Aquarists

If you’ve ever wondered who takes care of all the live animals at the Seymour Center, look no further.  Volunteer Aquarists work to prepare the diets of our animals and feed them, they work to keep life systems functional and perform any maintenance that is necessary.  In this position, you will work alongside the Aquarium Curator to ensure our collection is healthy.

Training:
On-the-job. Sign up for the newsletter to be notified when applications are being accepted.

Time commitment:
Two four-hour shifts per week for six months

Who can apply:
Anyone over 18. Some heavy lifting (up to 40 pounds) and use of a stepladder is required.

Garden Volunteers

Here at the Seymour Center, our terrestrial organisms need love, too!  As a garden volunteer, you will help maintain our native plants around the center by pulling weeds/invasive species and assisting with landscaping duties such as mulching, irrigation, and pruning.

Training:
On-the-job. Sign up for the newsletter to be notified when applications are being accepted.

Time commitment:
Eight hours per month for six months. 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

Administrative Volunteers

From filing and copying to mailing and data entry, administrative tasks are never scarce around the office.  Our busy staff relies on the hard work of volunteers to keep us going so we can continue to develop new programs and exhibits for the community to explore.  Your help makes all of this possible!

Training:
On-the-job

Time commitment:
Eight hours per month for six months

Who can apply:
Anyone over 18

Apply now

We are currently accepting applications for School Programs Instructors only. Sign up for the newsletter to be notified when applications for other volunteer positions are being accepted.

Complete the online application

Online application not working? Please email the Volunteer Office at:

volunteers@ucsc.edu

or call (831) 459-3800

UCSC students can earn credits

UCSC student interns can receive academic credit (up to five units) by assisting with visitor and school programs as well as helping to develop projects for public displays, programs, and exhibits. Head over to Internships to learn more.