Heartfelt thanks from the bottom of Elliott Bay!

Since the Seattle Aquarium opened in 1977, volunteers have contributed over one million hours of service supporting our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment. Simply put, the Seattle Aquarium would not be what it is without our talented, dedicated and passionate volunteers—amazing and generous people who are interested in learning more about the marine world around them, getting their hands dirty, and inspiring others to conserve our precious, one world ocean.


Service levels reached in 2015

In 2015, 1,335 volunteers donated 100,032 hours of service to the Seattle Aquarium, representing a donated value of over $2.3 million toward our mission: Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment.

2015 volunteer hours and years

Exhibit interpretation

Exhibit interpreters share their enthusiasm and the stories of our animals with Aquarium visitors; assist with feeding presentations; and support special events. They spend most of their time at our Life on the Edge, octopus and/or sixgill shark research station exhibits. With additional training and mentoring, interpreters may move throughout the exhibit galleries and focus on other exhibits such as the Pacific Coral Reef, Underwater Dome, Birds & Shores, and Marine Mammals.

Don’t know much about marine animals and their habitats? You can still volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium! All Aquarium volunteers receive extensive training about our marine animals and interpretive communication techniques to prepare for time spent in our exhibits. Volunteers are also assigned to a team of 10–15 volunteers, led by a staff marine science interpreter who shares the important work of actively engaging our guests. The minimum time requirement for exhibit interpreters is one four-hour shift every week for a minimum of six continuous months; shifts begin at 9am, 11am and 2pm seven days per week.

The training schedule for this opportunity is below. New volunteers must complete the full series of new volunteer training to begin volunteering. If you are unable to complete the full series, you will be asked to join us for the next one. Each training session will be offered twice during the series, with a maximum of 60 new volunteers in a class. You will select your training dates during the application process.


Saturday, January 21
Monday, January 23

Training dates:

Biology day 1
Saturday, January 28 or Sunday, January 29

Safety night
Monday, February 6 or Tuesday, February 7

Biology day 2
Saturday, February 11 or Sunday, February 12

Graduation night
Monday, February 27 or Tuesday, February 28