Divers are a big part of the Aquarium—they chat with guests during our daily experiences and can often be spotted working inside our exhibits—but did you know that many of these people are volunteers? The Aquarium is extremely fortunate to have a crew of approximately 100 volunteer divers, and we’re always looking for more!
We asked two volunteer divers to talk with us about why they love diving at the Aquarium, and what keeps them coming back: Jim Middleton has been volunteering with us for over 27 years and has racked more than 10,000 hours of service; Carina Martin relocated to Seattle a couple years ago and has been an active volunteer ever since.
What’s your favorite thing about diving at the Aquarium?
Jim: “The hot water shower afterwards! Only kidding. It’s meeting the people and staying up to date on new technology.”
Carina: “Definitely the community. Everyone here is so passionate. Being somewhat new to Seattle, it’s been a great opportunity to meet new people, learn and support a cause I believe in, all while doing something I love.”
What might people be surprised to learn about volunteer diving at the Aquarium?
Jim: “There’s a good amount of exhibit maintenance: cleaning windows from the inside and vacuuming the bottom, for instance.”
Carina: “You can get involved in all kinds of things, like diving in costume or participating in research efforts like the Aquarium’s annual octopus survey.”
What makes it rewarding?
Jim: “Supporting the Aquarium’s mission. If we don’t work on conservation, we’re going to lose everything. And if people don’t know about something, they won’t care about it—we’re here to help people learn, which helps them care.”
Carina: “Being an ‘algae janitor’ may not sound all that glamorous, but it's fun work that contributes meaningfully to a cause I'm passionate about. Plus, it’s free and convenient diving where you’re guaranteed to see your favorite fish!”
What would you tell someone who was interested in volunteering as a diver at the Aquarium?
Jim: “It will make you a better diver. Jim: “It will make you a better diver. All the safety procedures help divers stay safe whether they’re diving in or outside of the Aquarium.”
Carina: “Do it! The Aquarium is a great place to volunteer.”
VOLUNTEER WITH US!
Opportunities for youth and adults
Meet new people, acquire knowledge and skills, and share what you’ve learned with Aquarium guests! Orientations for youth volunteers will take place in March; for adults (including divers) in April. Check our website for dates and details.