Updated: Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The current volunteer opportunities are listed below.

For more information, e-mail volunteers@mbayaq.org.

Aquarium Guide

Seasonal Volunteer Guide

Join the Aquarium Guide program and share the Monterey Bay Aquarium's mission to inspire conservation of the oceans. As a Seasonal Volunteer Guide, you'll explore and share the ocean and Aquarium exhibits with our guests.


Seasonal Volunteer Guides stand at various exhibits throughout the Aquarium on a four-hour shift per week or five-hour shift every other weekend. Guides handle live animals and plants in cold water touch pools and should be able to communicate effectively in large and small groups. Guides interact with multicultural and multilingual guests in a respectful and engaging manner. Volunteers must be age 18 and older. If you're under age 18, please check out our Teen Programs.

Length of Time Commitment

Four months of regular volunteering (once per week on weekdays or every other weekend) is required. We encourage new volunteers joining our program to commit to one year or more of volunteering to experience all the Aquarium Guide program has to offer. Initially, new volunteers joining the program will focus on learning key exhibits and then add to their knowledge banks by completing additional training.

Recruitment Information

Recruitment for the Aquarium Guide program will be open from June to August 2015. Please note there is an application, interview and training process. After submitting an application, we ask all applicants to attend an information and interview session on Thursday, August 20, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. or Saturday, August 22, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. inside the Aquarium Auditorium. We also ask that applicants attend three evenings of mandatory training on September 14, 17 and 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. Following training, volunteers are scheduled to immediately begin shifts and are required to complete three to four additional training sessions during their shifts.

We're no longer accepting applications for the Seasonal Volunteer Guide position. Applications will reopen in 2016. Please check back for future opportunities.

Aquarium Adventures

Seashore Sleepover Volunteer

We're looking to recruit a number of volunteers to assist staff with camp-in sleepover events inside the Aquarium. There are 12 sleepover events per year held on Friday and Saturday evenings. There may be periodic events held on other days of the week. Volunteers are not required to help with every sleepover but regularly assist with camp-in events approximately one time per month.

Sleepover volunteers assist with the set-up and check-in of groups and coordination of camp-in activities. We also ask that some volunteers stay overnight assisting staff with activities, snack time and the pack-up/exit of the Aquarium.


We're looking for enthusiastic candidates that are comfortable greeting and interacting with people and groups of all ages, and are excited to learn about and share marine science with diverse audiences. Standing and walking around the Aquarium is required for the position. There may be some lifting and carrying of light materials, including camping gear.

Length of Time Commitment

There are two schedules for sleepover volunteers:

  • 6 p.m.–9 a.m. if the volunteer stays overnight (this includes a large break for sleeping inside the Aquarium although volunteers remain on call if needed)
  • 6 p.m.–10 p.m. if the volunteer does not stay overnight

Recruitment Information

There is an application and interview process. Volunteers must also complete a Live Scan fingerprint and background check prior to being accepted for the position.

If you're interested in applying to become a Seashore Sleepover Volunteer, please complete our Volunteer Application Form.

Sea Otter Program (Research and Conservation)

Otter Care Volunteer

The Sea Otter Program, which focuses on research and conservation for the threatened southern sea otter, accepts preliminary applications year-round and takes volunteers on an as-needed basis. Volunteers accepted into the program as Otter Care Volunteers will assist the Aquarium's sea otter research and conservation program with the care for and release of abandoned, ill or injured sea otters.


Volunteers serve on weekly shifts for 5.5 hours. Because of the nature of the program, we're looking for volunteers that are comfortable working in cold/wet environments and will carefully observe and follow all protocols for the position. Volunteers must be age 18 and older.

Length of Time Commitment

Due to the level of training involved, we require volunteers to commit to at least one year of service. Otter Care Volunteers have periodic classroom trainings on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Availability for these trainings is also required.

Recruitment Information

There is an application process, including interviews and trainings.

If you're interested in becoming an Otter Care Volunteer, please complete our Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program Volunteer Application Form.