For over 30 years our volunteers have helped visitors from around the world explore the wonders of Monterey Bay and beyond, sharing our mission to inspire conservation of the oceans. As mentors and teachers, volunteers are an essential part of the Aquarium community. They engage, inspire, and have a blast! Won't you join us?See our volunteer opportunities
More than 900 volunteers guide visitors through our exhibits, staff our information desk, and work behind the scenes in husbandry operations, marketing, visitor programs and other areas. Whether you are a professional or a homemaker, retired or work full-time, a teacher or a student, the Aquarium needs your skills and talents.
Our largest group of volunteers (over 500 people!) work as Aquarium Guides. They answer questions about everything within the Aquarium, interpret exhibits for our visitors and staff hands-on stations like the Touch Pool and the Kelp Lab. Aquarium Guides not only know all the best stories about Monterey Bay, they know how to make visitors' faces light up with discovery!
Interested? Our Apprentice Guide program is a great way to "get your feet wet" and see if guiding is for you. Apprentice Guides start with a three-day training course, then work with a mentor Guide. Many Apprentice Guides choose to take more in-depth guide training to become full-fledged Guides. The Apprentice Guide training is held multiple times per year. This opportunity is open to individuals age 18 and older.
Information Desk Volunteers
"What should we see first?" Information Desk volunteers meet and greet visitors from around the world, making suggestions—and getting big smiles—in several languages. Volunteers must be age 18 and older.
Volunteer divers help maintain all of the exhibits and assist with feeding shows. We welcome trained and experienced cold water divers. This opportunity is open to individuals age 18 and older.
Our Husbandry Operations department recruits volunteers on an as-needed basis. If you'd like to volunteer your animal care skills, contact us to find out about opportunities. Volunteers must be age 18 and older.
Sea Otter Program
The Sea Otter Program accepts volunteers on an as-needed basis. Otter Care Volunteers support the Aquarium's sea otter research and conservation program with the care and release of abandoned, ill or injured sea otters. Field Research Volunteers assist in tracking and researching threatened southern sea otters in their natural habitat. Volunteers must be age 18 and older.
Administrative Volunteers and More
We have administrative opportunities for volunteers to assist with the day-to-day operations throughout the institution in areas such as Seafood Watch, Education, Training Programs and Research including our Tuna Research and Conservation Center. Volunteers must be age 18 and older.
Teen Conservation Leaders
Teen Conservation Leaders (TCLs) provide an important volunteer service to the Aquarium, our guests and our communities. During a fun and intensive two-week training at the beginning of summer, TCLs learn basic marine biology and ocean conservation. Upon completion, TCLs provide exhibit interpretation for our guests or support our summer camp programs. As TCLs, students develop important job and life skills, build self-confidence and earn community service hours. Regular conservation experiences connect students with opportunities to better understand science and conservation in the local community.
- Are you under age 18 and interested in learning more about Teen Conservation Leaders and other youth volunteer opportunities?
- Check out our Teen Programs