Title: Nature Explore Volunteer

Department: Education

Supervisor: Naturalist Program Coordinator

The EcoTarium, a Museum of Science and Nature, seeks volunteers for our Nature Explore® Outdoor Exhibit, a certified Nature Explore Classroom. The Exhibit is an innovative outdoor experience that is designed to engage children and their families through activities such as building, digging, art, imaginative play, and more!

The EcoTarium seeks friendly volunteers who will support and lead interactive, nature-based, drop-in programming in our outdoor classroom space.  Volunteers will work closely with the Naturalist Program Coordinator and Museum Educators to promote appreciation for the natural world through interactive exploration and discovery.


  • Daily operation of the Nature Explore Outdoor Exhibit and Classroom space (may include opening or closing space depending on shift, restocking education materials, and reporting lost or damaged materials)
  • Actively engaging with children of all backgrounds to facilitate learning and foster a safe, welcoming environment
  • Setting up space for self-directed play
  • Encouraging self-directed and child-centered play
  • Support creativity and imaginative play
  • Attend an orientation/training to get oriented with the museum space and responsibilities—and meet other volunteers!
  • Answer questions from guests accurately or direct them to the appropriate resource (Information Desk, educator, etc.)
  • Arrive to their shift wearing the provided EcoTarium shirt and clothes suitable for the day’s weather conditions
  • Assist with program delivery and evaluation, with the opportunity to collaborate with the education team to develop and/or enhance curriculum, if desired
  • Opportunity to deliver at least one drop-in educational program per shift

Schedule & Training:

  • Program volunteers are asked to commit to one or more 3.5-hour shifts weekly for at least three months. Continuation of volunteer shifts beyond three months is encouraged!
  • Shifts are available Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 am - 1:00 pm and 12:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Comprehensive training will be provided during regular volunteer shifts


  • At least 16 years of age
  • Interest in STEM fields and/or education and a desire to learn more
  • Enjoy working with families with children
  • Enjoy being outdoors and comfortable working outdoors in all weather
  • Willingness follow best practices in inquiry-based, experiential learning
  • Have the ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Function well in a high-volume sensory and stimulating work environment, constantly interacting with guests
  • Be able to move program equipment/supplies under most weather conditions with or without accommodations
  • Be able to navigate some uneven terrain (includes crushed stone, some grass, and mulch) within the Nature Explore space with or without accommodations
  • Ability to navigate the building and grounds under any weather conditions, lift and transport up to 15 lbs., and work in a highly sensory and stimulating work environment due to constant interaction with guests. Adjustments to the role may be made to support any individuals who require reasonable accommodations

Disclaimer: Please note this position description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the volunteer for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Click Here to Apply


We simply could not offer the programs and special events that make the EcoTarium a unique resource to our community without our diverse and dedicated corps of volunteers. As a THANK YOU to our volunteers, we offer a Tier Volunteer benefit system which is calculated annually by calendar year. For any questions about benefits, volunteers should contact their direct supervisor.

In addition to the earned benefits below, all volunteers can:

  • Spend time having fun outside
  • Gain knowledge and skills related to nature, science communication, and education
  • View a planetarium before or after your shift
  • Take a train ride before or after your shift (seasonally)

Additional Earned Volunteer Benefits

Volunteers will receive initial benefits immediately after 50 hours of service. Benefits may increase at year-end to the appropriate level.

Complimentary tickets for train rides and planetarium shows are not available for sold-out rides or shows. Please check in at the train station or information desk for availability 10 minutes before a scheduled ride or show.

Membership includes free or reduced admission to 500+ other museums and cultural institutions through reciprocal programs.