Current Volunteer Needs

The following opportunities are currently available. To apply for any of these positions, please complete the volunteer application. The Volunteer Department will contact you to schedule an interview or invite you to an upcoming Open House. If you have specific questions, please call Janet Morris at 619.255.0245 or Please note you must be 18 years to volunteer in the science departments. 

Apply to Volunteer

Love Kids? In Your Teens? Become a Summer Camp Aide

We are looking for enthusiastic high school students who enjoy working with children for our Summer CampCamp Aides assist instructors with running a variety of fun activities such as behind-the-scenes tours, hikes, crafts, and science activities with student campers from Pre-K to 8th grade. It’s a great way to learn, share your knowledge, gain experience, and earn your community service hours. There are two to three camps per week, and we seek two to three volunteers per camp. Minimum age is 16. There are both full day (8 AM–4:30 PM) and half day (8 AM–1 PM) camps. Minimum commitment is two full weeks; three is desirable. There is a mandatory orientation on June 23; 1–5 PM; June 24; 1–5 PM and June 25; 9 AM–1 PM. Application deadline is May 27. Apply now. 

Live Animal Caretaker Needed

The Exhibits Department is seeking a volunteer who loves lizards, snakes, and bugs to help us keep our live-exhibit animals healthy. Duties include feeding, watering, cleaning, keeping cages beautiful, and talking with our Museum visitors. Taking care of live animals requires commitment and responsibility. They need daily care. Animals are housed in both public and nonpublic areas. Reliability is a must. We have a Tuesday opening. No other days are available at this time. You must be available on a weekly basis for 2–3 hours between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM. Apply today. 

Explore the Wild Side of San Diego as a Canyoneer

Join a crew of hardy hikers and explore the coasts, foothills, mountains, desert, and local canyons. Training begins September 10. As a Canyoneer you trod the wild side of San Diego County, areas that most residents never see. This is a weekend opportunity though there are school hikes during the week. Training is 10 consecutive Saturdays from September 10-November 12, 2016; 8 AM-3 PM. Graduation is November 19. Training materials are $25. Canyoneers are asked to lead six hikes per year for two years. The hiking season begins in September and ends in June. The hikes are free, no reservations required, and open to the public. This is a great way to meet others with a similar passion.

Apply today. You will be invited to a volunteer introduction to find out more about this opportunity.

Become a Whale Naturalist on Whale Watch Cruises

Join a crew of enthusiastic whale groupies and share your passion for the ocean and its magnificent inhabitants. Training begins October 4. Museum Whalers are trained naturalists who share the wonders of the ocean wilderness with people from around the world. The Tuesday evening classes (October 4-December 6, 2015) include learning about gray whales, rorquals, dolphins, sea lions, seals, birds, and presentation techniques. Upon completion of the training Museum Whalers are asked for a commitment of three cruises per month mid-December through April. Cruises are 9:30 and 1:30 daily on Hornblower Curises and Events leaving from North Harbor Drive.

Apply today. You will be invited to an upcoming information session. 

Share Your Enthusiasm for Whales

Get your fluke on and join theNAT as an Exhibit Interpreter in Whales: Giants of the Deep. Open March 19 through September 5, the exhibition is interactive, immersive, and features the latest in international cetacean research. We are currently accepting applications for summer. 

As an Exhibit Interpreter you will answer basic questions on whales and engage our visitors by encouraging them to explore more deeply. A cart with specimens from local area whales is available to share. Shifts are 10 AM-12:30 PM and 12:30-3 PM. We ask for a commitment of three shifts per month. A background check is required to participate. Apply today for summer openings. Minimum age is 18

Engage Our Visitors as an Exhibit Interpreter

As an Exhibit Interpreter in Water: A California Story, you’ll be in a public-facing role, sharing your knowledge of San Diego County’s ecosystems and wildlife. The exhibition highlights everything from ocean and marine mammals to tidelands to scrublands to forests to desert chaparral.  It also highlights water distribution and conservation throughout southern California. There are a number of living specimens in the exhibition and, if you’re interested, you can be trained in conducting live animal demonstrations with some of our reptiles (snakes and bearded dragons). We ask for two-hour shifts from 11 AM to 1 PM or 1 PM to 3 PM.  A minimum three month commitment of three times per month is expected. A background check is required to participate. Apply today. 

Make an Impact! Become a Docent

Join our vibrant Docent team and engage young and old alike in the wonders of the rich biodiversity of our region. Docents are trained teaching guides who deliver programs at local schools and in the Museum. The Docents work as teams so it's a great opportunity to make new friends. Training is held consecutive Wednesdays September 14, 2016-March 2017 from 9 AM-3 PM. Training materials are $20 and Museum membership is required. Training covers all areas of natural history and is taught by museum curators and other local experts. It’s like a college level class! Docents are asked to volunteer one day per week for a two year period. Docents create their own programs so there is plenty of opportunity to keep on learning. Apply today.