Our Museum needs you! Volunteering your time and energy is one of the many ways you can support the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. We offer an interesting and enriching experience for all ages, talents, and skill levels.

Interested in Volunteering?  Please fill out a Volunteer Application.

Already a Volunteer? To Sign in to the monthly volunteer calendar, Click HERE.

Volunteer Opportunities:

On the Spot Docent (Summer Only) 

Volunteers with our summer On the Spot program will work in teams of 2-3 docents at pop-up spotting interactive exhibits overlooking Seabright Beach and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. These teams will engage beach-goers in conversation about the natural history of the local coastline. Prospective docents should have a basic knowledge of and eagerness to learn more about marine mammals, seabirds, coastal geology, and the human visitors to Seabright Beach.  Applicants must have experience with public speaking and enjoy interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. Spanish speakers are encouraged to apply.

Interests & Skills: Marine science, informal interpretation, talking to new people
Availability: Saturday afternoons (June – August) This program takes place on Saturdays from 1:30 – 4:30 PM from June 4th through September 3rd.
Minimum Commitment:  7 total Saturdays (3 hours per Saturday for a minimum of 21 total hours)

Minimum of 5 hours of initial training (including workshops, lectures, viewing recommended films, visiting aquariums, and other activities as specified by the Volunteer and Education Managers)  

Education Program Docents  

Do you love ecology, history, or storytelling? Do you want to connect people with nature? Become a docent with us! We provide quality educational programs to thousands of youth every year in our Museum and outdoors, from preschool to high school. Help us lead educational programs for school groups (K – HS) on a variety of subjects in Museum and outdoors.  

Interests & Skills: education, outreach, nature, history, public speaking
Availability: weekdays and/or weekends, shifts are 2-4 hours.
Time Commitment:  Varies by program, but most docents commit to a minimum of one program a week (Approx. 3-4 hours per week)
Learn about and gain experience in: non-profit management and museum operations, environmental and classroom education, natural sciences and communications

Museum Docent Programs (On-site) 

  • Ohlone Culture and History (K-4th grade)
  • Our Animal Neighbors (K-2nd grade)

Field Docent Programs (Off-site)

  • Neary Lagoon Wetland Walk (3rd grade)
  • Neary Lagoon Watershed Walk (5th grade)
  • Pogonip Nature Rangers Program (4th grade)
  • Pogonip Earth Stewards Program (high school)

To learn more about the Museum’s school programs visit Education – School Programs.

Garden Volunteer P1150538

Interested in native California plants and gardening in general? Join us in our Garden Learning Center and Native Pollinator Garden! Work alongside experienced Museum garden volunteers to learn all about what can be found in our garden and the surrounding Pilkington Creek area.

Interests & Skills: Gardening, botany, horticulture, biology, plant and pollinator interactions.
Availability: ongoing
Minimum Commitment: 2 hours per month
Learn about and gain hands-on experience in: Non-profit management and museum operations, Environmental education, horticulture and landscaping

Exhibits, Special Events, One-Time Volunteering 

Offer help in a variety of ways, or be on-call for specific tasks.
These include:
Exhibit Installation/ Assembly
Special Event Hosting/ assistance

Interests & Skills: Physical labor, construction, event help, creative projects, and more…

Availability: Weekdays and occasional weekends
Minimum Commitment: 3 hours, variable days throughout the year
Learn about and gain experience in: Non-profit management and museum operations, Exhibit preparation & construction, Event coordination.   

For more information please contact: volunteer@santacruzmuseum.org

Interested in Volunteering?  Please fill out a Volunteer Application.