Volunteer

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.

Already a Volunteer?
Sign in to the online volunteer calendar, HERE.

Interested in volunteering?
Please read through our volunteer opportunities and consider which position(s) best aligns with your interests, schedule, and level of commitment. The link to our Volunteer Application can be found at the bottom of the page.

Interested in an internship?
Please read our Education Program Internship description and complete our Internship Application.

Current Volunteer Opportunities:

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Saturdays in the Soil
Description: Help us keep our Garden Learning Center thriving for visitors to learn from. This native plant garden requires general landscaping, occasional watering, weeding, and replanting. All ages are welcome; children under 14 require adult supervision.
Duties: Watering, pruning, edging, weeding, planting, sign maintenance and restoration
Relevant skills and interests: gardening, landscaping, native plants
Commitment: No commitment necessary. Saturdays in the Soil are held on the first and third Saturday of every month, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Please RSVP.

NEXT OPPORTUNITY: Saturday, July 21, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.
Email volunteer@santacruzmuseum.org to sign up

Events

Beach Cleanups
Description: Clean up Seabright Beach!
Duties: Pick up trash and recycling and take data to support ongoing research
Relevant Skills and Interests: Environmental stewardship, recycling
Commitment: No commitment necessary. Cleanups are hosted by the Museum 4-6 Saturdays per year.

NEXT OPPORTUNITY: Saturday, August 11, 9:00 am – 11:00 am.
Email volunteer@santacruzmuseum.org to sign up

Special Events
Description: Help before, during, and after events, including Naturalist Night lectures, walks, and workshops.
Duties: Set up (tables, chairs, activities), greet guests, serve drinks, help with crafts/activities, clean up and other duties as assigned by staff.
Relevant skills and Interests: Friendly and outgoing, knowledge about the Museum and its mission, event coordination, fundraising, photography. Ability to lift up to 30 pounds.
Commitment: No commitment necessary. Events occur 1-4 times per month, usually on weeknights and weekends.

Summer Camp
Description: Assist our camp staff in facilitating crafts and activities, in additional to general camper supervision and management. Camps are for students in K-5th grades. Read more about our camps.
Duties: Help set up crafts and activities, support campers in completing tasks, ensure all campers are listening to instructors, monitor campers’ safety, help clean up, and other duties as assigned by staff.
Relevant skills and Interests: Arts & crafts, working with children, natural science. Must be 14+ years old.
Commitment: Summer camps are Monday through Friday, from July 9 to August 3, with one to two volunteer shifts available each day. Ideal volunteers will be available for a minimum of three shifts. All camp volunteers will be required to complete three hours of training before volunteering. Interested volunteers should complete our summer camp volunteer application.

Education 

Museum Programs Docent
Programs: Ohlone Program (K-4th grade), Our Animal Neighbors (K-2nd grade)
Description: Facilitate students in investigating Museum exhibits, artifacts, and specimens through inquiry-based learning curriculum. Training provided. Detailed program descriptions here.
Duties: Attend training and enrichments, teach programs to achieve learning objectives.
Relevant skills and interests: Teaching, natural science, anthropology, working with children, storytelling, Ohlone culture, animal biology and ecology, wildlife biology. Must be 18+ years old.
Commitment: Preferred commitment of one year; average of teaching 2 programs per month. Shifts are available Wednesday-Friday, 8:45 – 10:15am or 10:45am – 12:15pm

Field Programs Docent
Programs: Wetland Walk (3rd grade), Nature Rangers (4th grade), Watershed Walk (5th grade)
Description: Lead students in exploring their natural surroundings and the life within them by facilitating making observations and recording data. Programs are held outdoors at Pogonip or Neary Lagoon. Training provided. Detailed program descriptions here.
Duties: Attend training and enrichments, teach programs to achieve learning objectives and collect data. Ensure student safety.
Relevant skills and interests: Teaching, natural science, geology, biology, ecology, wetlands, birding, hiking, working with children, outdoor education, watersheds, water quality. Must be 18+ years old.
Commitment: Preferred commitment of one year; average of teaching 2 programs per month. Shifts are available Wednesdays and Friday, 8:45 – 12:15pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:45 – 11:15 am.

Exhibits

Exhibit Care: Cleaning and/or Live Animal Feeding
Description: Help us keep our exhibits clean and fed!
Duties: Feed snake (California Kingsnake), change snake’s water, clean snake enclosure. Clean all glass cases in Museum.
Relevant skills & interests: Museum operations, reptiles, wildlife. Must have experience handling snakes.
Commitment: Six-month commitment. Flexible scheduling. Snake feeding and care once a week. Case cleaning twice a month.

Outreach

Mobile Museum
Description: Engage with the community through educational activities and conversation to promote awareness of our mission, events, and opportunities.
Duties: Attend events such as Farmers Markets and community fairs to staff a booth. Engage attendees in conversations about our mission, exhibits, and events. Answer questions and foster interest. Encourage museum support through membership and volunteerism.
Relevant skills and interests: Communications, marketing, community engagement
Commitment: One event per month.

Interested in volunteering?  Please fill out a Volunteer Application.

For more information please contact: volunteer@santacruzmuseum.org