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 2016
In 2016, 1,291 volunteers donated 99,124 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.
2016 volunteer hours and years
Life sciences/animal husbandry
Volunteers assist animal care staff with a variety of tasks including: exhibit maintenance; diet preparation; feeding and monitoring animal behavior; and special projects. All life sciences volunteers must complete new volunteer orientation and the complete new volunteer training series. Must be willing to learn and be flexible with daily routines. Must have a strong desire to participate in all husbandry tasks, and observe animal behavior. , and Must also be willing to interact with and educate guests by answering questions and presenting information in an appropriate manner suitable to the Aquarium’s mission statement. Must take direction well and easily accept constructive feedback. Final decisions of regarding daily task assignment are at the discretion of Aquarium staff. Must be able to work well with others, work independently if needed, and be able to follow verbal or written directions. Must be reliable with attendance and report missed shifts in a timely manner.
Typical duties include:
Birds & mammals:
Cleaning and maintain of bird and mammal exhibits, food preparation, vitamin supplementation, animal observations, and other various cleaning and sanitation. Assist with bird and mammal feedings, enrichment, and special projects on an as-needed basis under staff discretion and supervision only. No direct, physical animal contact, animal training, or maintenance of animal behaviors is permitted. Time commitment: one four-hour shift per week from for one continuous year. Shift times vary based on placement: 8am–noon, noon-4pm or 4–8pm.
Cold-water fish & invertebrates:
Clean and maintain of fish and invertebrate exhibits and holding areas. Assist with feedings, enrichment and special projects on an as-needed basis under staff direction and supervision only. Time commitment: one four-hour shift from 8am to noon, each week from for one continuous year.
Warm-water fish & invertebrates:
Clean and maintain of fish and invertebrate exhibits and holding areas. Assist with feedings, enrichment and special projects on an as-needed basis under staff direction and supervision only. Time commitment: one four-hour shift from 8am to noon, each per week from for one continuous year.
At this time we do not have any openings in our life sciences/animal husbandry areas. We encourage you to complete training and join our program as an exhibit interpreter. All openings are offered first to individuals actively volunteering with the Seattle Aquarium.