55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

There are no notifications at this time.

Volunteering at the Academy 

Welcome volunteers! It’s always exciting to volunteer at the Academy as we offer a wide range of novel and challenging assignments. There is something for everyone!


Orienteer with Cluade mascot

Join the Academy’s hospitality team. Greet, meet, and guide Academy visitors as “roving concierges.” Orienteers help visitors make the best use of their time by providing impromptu itineraries and helpful suggestions. A short training is offered every month. The commitment is 2-two hour shifts a month. Experienced Orienteers also have an opportunity to join the Information Desk volunteer crew.

Aquarium & Rainforest

Volunteer Diver

Budding marine biologists and hobbyists alike are welcomed by the aquarium staff. Over 38,000 animals make their home at the Academy. Become an aquarium volunteer and learn how to take care of a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial animals, test water quality, check on animal health, or show off your horticultural skills. “Dive in” if you’re an experienced certified rescue diver and have at least 50 logged dives. You’ll interact with exotic and unusual creatures while feeding the fish and keeping the tanks sparkling clean. Divers may also be trained to deliver dive presentations in the Philippine Coral Reef.

Research Collection Management

Research Department

Learn specialized curatorial and archival skills working with the collection managers, as they prepare and maintain scientific collections in some of our research departments. Mount plants, classify bones, shells and rocks and rebottle specimens. Help inventory and document the collections, or join our monthly “botany bee” and make specimen envelopes for the curatorial staff.

Most research placements require a 3-4 hour weekly commitment and are only available weekdays.

Academy Docent

Volunteer explaining the eclipse

Do you like to talk with people, to share your knowledge and passion for the natural world? Do you want to inspire them to learn about science and to take action to protect our environment? Then being an Academy Docent may be just the right opportunity for you.

What is a Docent at the Academy?

Docents engage guests in inspiring conversations to help them appreciate the wonder of the world around them. We explore with our guests how humans got here, how we live in our natural world, and how we are going to be able to stay here. Docents receive comprehensive training in scientific concepts and how to engage visitors. The commitment is three 3.5 hour shifts a month for one year.

You don’t need a scientific background: just an interest in our natural world.

The next training is scheduled for 2014. If you are interested in becoming a Docent, please call or email the Manager of Volunteer Services for an application or for more information.

Click here to see the Docent Position Description.

Museum Educator in Training

Learn to teach informal science education and help evaluate our programs. This training program is designed to provide an in-depth, hands-on experience for people interested in pursuing a career in informal education. People participating in the program will work alongside the Academy’s Education Staff to learn about the different facets of school programs in a museum.

These short-term, in-depth placements require ~ 10 hours per week from September - December and/or January - May. They are only available on weekdays.

 Bilingual Student Programs

Programs for Children

Interact with our youngest visitors in the Early Explorers Cove. Twice a month volunteers help pre-school children and their caregivers learn about science as they introduce them to the aquatic and terrestrial features of “the Cove.” Read stories and assist with nature crafts!

In addition...

Put your office, organizational, and computer skills to good use while providing administrative assistance for the staff. Volunteers who work behind the scenes enjoy a variety of assignments.

Outreach volunteers can also help promote the Academy at trade shows and festivals.

These are just some of the volunteer opportunities available at the Academy.



Rosalind Henning
Manager of Volunteer Services
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118

Volunteer Links


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Click below to explore a sampling of volunteer positions currently available within the Education Division:
 Teacher Education
 Early Childhood Programs
 Bilingual Student Programs