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Animal Encounters

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Animal Encounters: Learn More

Mystic Aquarium has a wide range of volunteer roles that vary in commitment and opportunities. Each contributes to our mission of inspiring people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education, and research. Explore our volunteer roles below and see how you can get involved!

Benefits of Volunteering

  • Free Aquarium admission for yourself
  • Free membership (after 50 hours of service)
  • Continuing education and training
  • Discount on purchases at the Aquarium store and saltwater café
  • Staff rates on programs and tickets
  • Invitations to staff events

Adult Volunteer Opportunities

Docent

Our docents provide guests with information on our animals and their habitats. Exhibits include our sea lions, beluga whales and penguins. Duties: Relay accurate, consistent, and quality information about MA and its collection to guests of all ages. Docents must be friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Docents assist in monitoring the safety of our visitors and animals.

Qualifications: Be willing and able to work one half-day shift per week for at least 6 months. Must be able to work at both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Enjoy working with the public. Enthusiastic and outgoing personality. Comfortable speaking with a microphone to our guests. Must be willing to participate in education sessions by staff. Some experience in biology and public speaking is helpful.

Husbandry

Husbandry volunteers enjoy working in a fast-paced environment and learning about the care of our mammals, birds, fish, and invertebrates. Volunteers in these areas get the opportunity to do some hands-on work such as care and maintenance of animals & exhibits (cleaning, food preparation, operation of life support systems), record keeping, and assisting with presentations and classes.

Qualifications: Be willing and able to work a full 8 hour shift once per week for at least 6 months. Ability to lift 50 pounds, work on your feet, and function as a part of a team. Must be willing to participate in education sessions by staff.

Gardening

Mystic Aquariums garden volunteers assist with maintaining the grounds and planters across campus. The season for this role is from April to October.

Qualifications: Must be willing to commit to one 2 hour shift per week. (Subject to change based on seasonal work load.) Ability to lift 25 pounds, stand, kneel, bend, and reach.

Education

Education volunteers assist our education team with various roles, including regional conservation and outreach, on-site and off-site educational programming and much more. These volunteers also support our staff at our summer camps.

Qualifications: Enjoy working with the public and children. Enthusiastic about environmental conservation efforts. Comfortable interacting with the public. Volunteers for our summer camps must commit to one full camp week.

Dive Team

Our dive program is an occupational dive program which requires well-developed teamwork, with each worker assigned a task or a number of tasks as part of their role. Your recreational dive training is a prerequisite to our occupational dive program. In addition, our volunteer divers must represent Mystic Aquarium in a professional, courteous, and knowledgeable manner. (Only weekday shifts are currently available.)

Qualifications: Able to make required dive commitment by diving twice a month for six months. Ability to lift 50 pounds. Must show proof of 40 logged dives (a logged dive is considered to be in open water for 20 minutes or more and a minimum of 15 ft.). SCUBA certification at Advanced Open Water Level or above by nationally recognized training program (NAUI, PADI, SSI, SDI).Current First Aid and CPR, AED and Oxygen Administration certifications by recognized agency. Must pass Mystic Aquarium’s written dive exam with a minimum score of 80%. Must pass mandatory dive physical and have recommendation from physician. Must pass required swim test and SCUBA evaluation. Please note, final acceptance into the Volunteer Dive Program will be made at the discretion of the Dive Safety Officer (DSO).

Teen Volunteer Opportunities

Mystic Aquarium’s Teen Volunteer Program offers area youth the opportunity to learn about aquarium’s animals and their habitat, develop customer service skills, and will have the ability to seek promotions within the volunteer program after successful completion of a summer session. These volunteers will be required to make a commitment of one shift per week for 8 weeks over the summer months. Additional details coming soon!

Episodic Volunteers

Episodic volunteers assist the Mystic Aquarium with its many events on an as-needed basis. They assist with various tasks such as event set up/breakdown, customer relations, assisting with birthday parties, overnight programing, or events in the community such as beach clean ups. Episodic volunteers will be required to complete the full volunteer application and onboarding process. We ask these volunteers to assist with at least 3 events per year.

Additional Information

  • Individuals must have received or be willing to receive COVID-19 vaccination as well as applicable Booster to be considered for volunteering at Mystic Aquarium.  Proof must be submitted before their first day via an official vaccination card.
  • Mystic Aquarium Volunteer Department Does Not Currently Offer:
      • Court-appointed volunteer opportunities
      • Assistance with school projects/assignments
      • Job shadowing
  • For short-term, group or corporate volunteer opportunities please reach out to our department via email, volunteer@mysticaquarium.org.

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