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Volunteer: High School

Education Volunteer

Young male volunteer smiling with a microphone - popup

Education volunteers are called Exhibit Interpreters, because they are helping our guests understand more about the ocean, which can be like a foreign language to many people.

We are looking for outgoing, smiling, talkative, ocean lovers who are excited to share their knowledge with the Aquarium guests

Purpose

Exhibit Interpreters are the primary source of animal and habitat information for our guests. The position is critical to the success of our mission to instill a sense of wonder, respect and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems.

Tasks

  • Exhibit Interpreter volunteers staff exhibit galleries, touch labs, Shark Lagoon, Ray Pool, biofact carts, and more.
  • They are stationed primarily at those places where guests may have interaction with our marine animals or benefit from more information about exhibits and animals.
  • Provide accurate information about the animals and their ecosystems to guests, while assuring the safety of both the animal and the guest during the interaction.
  • Engage guests in informative dialogue in the Galleries and throughout the Aquarium.
  • Ensure a safe and healthy environment for Aquarium staff and guests.

Time Commitment

Minimum commitment of 6 months volunteering at least 15 hours per month on an assigned day of the week, with a minimum contribution of 100 hours. Consistent attendance is required, and acceptance is based on position availability. Schedule options are assigned in 5 hour shift increments on a set day each week. Weekly shift times are:

  • 8:30 a.m – 1:30 p.m.
  • 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Friday – Sunday Only)

Skill Requirements

  • A passion for the oceans and their inhabitants.
  • Happy to help guests understand the best ways to safely enjoy the Aquarium experience.
  • An outgoing personality and eagerness to share accurate information.
  • Ability to speak in front of small and large groups of people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Willingness to be a team player and to take direction and input from both volunteer and paid supervisors.
  • Flexibility in testing new approaches to science communication, according to training or direction from supervisors.
  • Must be willing to speak on microphone.
  • Children in the Education Volunteer program as Family Volunteers must be between 9-15 years old. Additionally, to be eligible, they must be volunteering side-by-side with a parent or legal guardian.
  • Maintain updated information on current guest and staff protocols.

Training

Exhibit Interpreters are always learning! In addition to Aquarium 101, Exhibit Interpreters attend Critter College training on our animals and habitats before starting to talk to guests. Trainings are conducted online, and take 15 – 20 hours to complete.

New volunteers are assigned a volunteer mentor for each shift, to talk through daily shifts and questions until they demonstrate proficiency at each exhibit area. There is an expectation that Exhibit Interpreters will attend updates each day they work, and that they will participate in continuing enrichments offered by the Aquarium, including online courses and lectures.

Supervision:

Exhibit Interpreters are under the supervision of volunteers who serve as Day Captains, directing the activities of the volunteer staff on their team. Education staff serving as “ED1” are the primary departmental contact for the day. The Manager of Volunteer Programs and Interpretation Manager provide support to and monitor the effectiveness of all department volunteers.

Working Conditions

Exhibit Interpreters are usually on their feet for extended periods; there is seating at the discovery labs. Volunteers are expected to follow all health and safety protocols, including social distancing, mask-wearing, and regular hand washing requirements. Some of the exhibit areas critical to this position are outside. Reasonable accommodations may be made on an individual basis.

Benefits:

Recognition for hours of service; complimentary tickets awarded quarterly; discounts at Pacific Collections & Café Scuba; discounted tickets and memberships; free parking while volunteering; opportunity to attend lectures and workshops; and all other benefits as described in the AOP Volunteer Handbook.

Application

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Education department at the Aquarium of the Pacific! Currently seeking WEEKDAY volunteers only.

Applications are now open