Engage and inspire
Share your knowledge of marine life by volunteering at the Aquarium, while learning from education and husbandry professionals. Whether you would like to learn about local wildlife, improve your diving skills, or simply contribute to your community, our volunteer program has something for you! Before completing the Volunteer Application, please review the available volunteer positions.
You must be 14 or older to volunteer with us, please check each position for more details.
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New Positions: If you would like to help pioneer a position or if you have a special skill, you think we could use let us know by reaching out to the Volunteer Coordinator!
Touch Pool Interpreter (ages 14+)
Provides interpretive information about the touch pool animals while encouraging visitors to follow handling rules. Discusses common beachcombing and marine science questions.
Discovery Cart Volunteer (ages 14+)
Discovery carts are hands-on, portable education stations, to encourage guests to explore topics related to animals and ecosystems of North Carolina. Currently our Discovery Cart Interpreters will be located outside in the courtyard and through the exhibit space. Topics may include Sea Turtles, Sharks, Carnivorous Plants, Alligators, River Otters, and more!
Community Science (ages 16+)
Community science projects utilize the observation powers of the public at large to collect data about the natural world that can be used by scientists. Plus it is a fun way to get outside, hone your observation skills, and learn more about the nature in your own "backyard." Our projects at the aquarium focus on collecting observations about what wildlife are using our gardens and grounds. Most of our projects focus on pollinator observation (butterflies, bees, etc.), but also include other invertebrates, birds, mammals, reptiles, and even fungi! No previous experience is required and time commitment can be as little as 30 mins/week...though more is welcome and appreciated! Comfort with using smartphones and/or tablets for photography, and with uploading data to internet sites (such as inaturalist.com) is helpful.
Visitor Services Attendant (ages 14+)
Visitors Services Attendant will be located at the Visitor Services Desk in the Lobby and will welcome visitors as they enter through the aquarium. This station will help to orient visitors to the exhibit spaces and bathrooms, discuss daily programs, and more!
Husbandry: Food Prep Team (ages 18+)
Food Prep Team helps us prepare diets for our animals! This position includes, but is not limited to cutting up fish, squid, shrimp, and more, along with sorting diets for each habitat. Due to daily schedules and needs, this position is only offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the morning.
STAR Center Interpreter (ages 18+)
(Not Currently Accepting Applications)
Interacts with visitors in the STAR Center and answers questions about sea turtles. Volunteers should be interested in sea turtles and willing to engage with visitors while wearing a microphone.
STAR Center Caretaker (ages 18+)
(Not Currently Accepting Applications)
Works in the STAR Center performing routine care of sea turtles including cleaning tanks and feeding turtles. Volunteers should be able to interact with visitors while conducting routine care.
Horticulture Nursery Volunteer (ages 16+)
(Not Currently Accepting applications)
The Horticulture Team is responsible for growing plants for in the indoor wetlands habitat, as well as maintaining outdoor garden habitats and landscaped areas of the property. Volunteers assist horticulture staff in taking care of the nursery and greenhouse including re-potting, watering, weeding, and general upkeep. Assistance with seasonal outdoor landscape maintenance & Citizen Science projects may be possible.
Dive Operations (ages 16+)
(Not currently Accepting Applications)
Interested divers must attend volunteer orientation, then turn in an application for Volunteer Diving at the Dive Office. If qualified (divers must hold a nationally recognized open-water dive certification or above to apply), the dive team will schedule an interview. After the interview, candidates are required to pass an NCARI diver medical exam, complete a Divers Alert Network Basic Life Support course at NCARI (or have a current equivalent CPR and First Aid certification), and pass NCARI’s watermanship and scuba diver skills assessments before aquarium diver training can begin. The Basic Life Support course, scuba diver assessments, and aquarium diver training programs can take an estimated 20-30 hours to complete and must be done before an individual is approved as a full-fledged volunteer diver. All dive equipment is provided. Volunteers assist with routine maintenance in the 285,000-gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic aquarium habitat. For those interested and able, there are additional tasks available, such as assisting with public education during dive presentations and Hookah diving in other smaller aquarium habitats, which require further training. A minimum of 12 dives/year is required to maintain active status as a volunteer diver.
For more information about the volunteer program, call (252) 475-2335 or email [email protected]