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Today's Hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Education Family Volunteers

Parents/guardians volunteer side-by-side with children to instill a sense of wonder, respect and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and its ecosystems.

Teenager girl gives thumbs-up flanked by parents in Shark Lagoon.


Parents or guardians are volunteering side by side with their child(ren) (up to two children per parent/guardian) to engage guests in ocean science education. They are the primary source of animal and habitat exploration for our guests. They have a passion for the ocean and are excited to interact with 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.


  • Staff touch pools, biofact carts, exhibit galleries, and more. They are stationed primarily in places where guests may have interactions with our marine animals or benefit from more information about exhibits and animals.
  • Parents or guardians speak on microphone to engage guests at Shark Lagoon and Ray Pool touch exhibits.
  • Parents or guardians are in charge of radio usage.
  • Provides accurate information about the animals and their ecosystems to guests.
  • Follows and maintains safety protocols for animals and guests.
  • Actively seeks opportunities to engage guests in exploration.
  • Stays updated on information on current guest and staff protocols.
  • For each volunteer shift, attend a 30-minute update to learn more about what’s happening around the aquarium and explore a specific topic of the week.
  • Parents or guardians speak on microphone to engage guests at Shark Lagoon and Ray Pool touch exhibits.

Skill Requirements

  • Parents or guardians must be willing to speak on microphone.
  • Ability to speak in front of small and large groups of all ages and backgrounds.
  • An eagerness to create engaging experiences while maintaining accuracy of information.
  • 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.
  • Children in the program must be between 9-15 years old and must be volunteering side-by-side with a parent or legal guardian.
  • Family volunteers are expected to be engaged, focused, and professional for the full 5 hour shift

Time Commitment

Exhibit Interpreter volunteers are expected to contribute at least 100 hours of service within a 6-month period volunteering once a week or a 3-month period if volunteering twice a week. Shifts are available seven days a week and are set to five hours in duration.

We are currently looking for Weekday (all shifts) and Weekend (afternoon only). Shift times are:

  • 8:30am-1:30pm
  • 1:00pm-6:00pm

If accepted into the program, volunteers will be assigned to a reoccurring shift day and time.


  • Aquarium 101 – this training will cover the Aquarium’s policies and procedures, and staff expectations.
  • Critter College Training – this training will cover basics about the animals at the Aquarium and how to engage in conversations with guests.
  • Training Day – after completing the training courses listed above, new volunteers are scheduled to shadow a fellow volunteer to practice engaging guests at touch pools, biofact carts, and more.

All training must be completed and done together side by side with the parent/guardian and children.

Additional learning opportunities are provided by the Aquarium through online courses, lectures, daily updates, and more.


Exhibit Interpreters are under the supervision of the Education Volunteer Coordinator. Volunteers are supported by volunteer leads and paid staff.

Working Conditions

Family Volunteers are moving throughout the outdoor exhibits on both floors of the Aquarium on a regular rotation during their five-hour shift. Stools for resting are provided alongside cart and touch pool stations. Some of the exhibit areas critical to this position are outside. Reasonable accommodation may be made on an individual basis.


Recognition for hours of service; opportunities to attend lectures, events, and workshops when available; and all other benefits as described in the AOP Volunteer Handbook.


Thank you for your interest, we look forward to receiving your application!

Apply Now

Applications will close May, 2024.

Volunteering at the Aquarium

The Aquarium owes much of its success to our dedicated and committed volunteer staff. You can be part of that story by joining our team in one of the many volunteer or intern programs that we offer throughout the Aquarium.