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 2017

In 2017, 1,288 volunteers donated 103,346 hours of service to the Seattle Aquarium, representing a donated value of over $2.4 million toward our mission: Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment.

2017 volunteer hours and years


Exhibit interpretation is a task shared by all volunteers and staff at the Aquarium. As an Aquarium diver you share your enthusiasm and the stories of our animals with Aquarium visitors using state of the art underwater communication equipment while performing exhibit maintenance and animal husbandry tasks. Aquarium volunteer divers receive extensive training about our marine animals and interpretive communication techniques. Minimum time requirement is four hours every other week.

To be eligible for a volunteer diver position at the Seattle Aquarium you must*:
*  Be at least 18 years of age
*  Minimum certification level of Rescue Diver
*  Have a minimum of 12 dives in local diving conditions within the last 12 months (the ideal candidate will have between 50-100+ lifetime logged dives)
*  Have an up to date divers log
*  Successfully complete a check out dive with our Dive Safety Officer
*  Commit to a minimum of a four-hour shift every other week for at least one year
*  Attend volunteer orientation
*  Complete an annual diver's physical (at your expense)
*  Complete mandatory new volunteer training

* Please note that meeting the minimum eligibility requirements of the program does not mean that you will be invited to a check out dive.  Each round of training has a limited number of training slots and those divers with the greatest amount of experience will fill these positions first.  You are encouraged to reapply if the training session fills.

To be evaluated for an upcoming checkout dive, please complete the diver experience form and return it to the volunteer office no later than two weeks prior to orientation. For the September orientation and checkout dive, diver experience forms are due no later than August 16.

Equipment requirements: For the check out dive you must provide all of your own gear. However, once you become a volunteer diver at the Aquarium you will only need to provide mask, fins and exposure suit.

Skill requirements for check-out dive

Surface skills
Pre-dive safety check with buddy
Snorkel swim
BC removal and replacement
Weight belt removal and replacement
Tired swimmers carry

Underwater skills Regulator clearing and recovery
Mask removal and replacement
Air-sharing using an alternate air source (stationary and ascending)
Emergency Swimming Ascent
Neutral Buoyancy Hovering
Underwater Navigation

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.

Orientation and checkout dive

Sunday, September 16

Training dates:

(Note: Volunteer candidates will select their preferred training schedule when submitting their official application materials at orientation.)

(Note: Volunteer candidates will select their preferred training schedule when submitting their official application materials at orientation.)

Biology day 1
Saturday, October 6 or Sunday, October 7

Safety night
Monday, October 15 or Tuesday, October 16

Biology day 2
Saturday, October 27 or Sunday, October 28

Graduation night
Monday, November 5 or Tuesday, November 6