We would have a much smaller Academy in programmatic terms if it were not for our hundreds of volunteers. Since 2008, over 900 volunteers have donated over 300,000 hours of their time and considerable skills to every department and every program. They bring enthusiasm, creativity and a sense of fun to their jobs. They contribute to a better Academy on an ocean of goodwill.
We are grateful for their efforts as: orienteers, staff in exhibits and education, library assistants, water quality monitors, living roof horticulturalists, specimen preparators, specimen envelope-makers, divers, husbandry assistants, research generalists, clerks, special events participants, outreach and tabling event participants, and field workers.
In addition, our engagement volunteers—the great 360-strong team of docents—are often the first people our visitors meet. They welcome our guests into the world of science, and inspire them with demonstrations of earthquakes, volcanoes, and skulls. Fully 91% of our guests recently surveyed rate their interaction with the docents as excellent.
As you know, I believe that people are the best educators—the best inspirers. When I first visited the Academy—anonymously on Howard Street—I spoke with the volunteer docents who were on the public floor and interacting with visitors like me at the time. I felt they were doing such a good job that I became really interested in joining the Academy.
Thank you docents. Thank you volunteers. You help bring this place to life.