Volunteer - FAQs
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!
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the Academy volunteers?
Academy volunteers are from all walks of life and diverse demographics, but have a common sense of purpose in identifying with the Academy’s
mission to explore, explain and protect the natural world. Volunteers are professionals, hobbyists, retirees, students, homemakers, or employed
full-time. Some have extensive science backgrounds, others have none. The Academy welcomes all skills, interests, and talents. Volunteers must be
18 years of age.
Many volunteers are interested in the educational opportunities and challenges offered at the Academy, the opportunity to inspire, acquire
specialized skills, and be stimulated by new ideas. Some have fond memories of the Academy as children and now want to be part of the institution.
Still others want the opportunity to see, touch and learn about the Academy’s 26 million specimens. All are conservation-minded,
enthusiastic about the natural sciences, and enjoy the company of kindred spirits.
What are the benefits of volunteering?
Volunteers develop new skills, explore their personal interests, and make a contribution that enables the institution to grow beyond anything
possible with paid staff alone. Volunteering is a great way to meet others and connect with the community. Did you know? Studies show
volunteering is also good for your physical health and sense of well-being.
Do I need a science background?
Not always. If you want to work behind the scenes in the research departments or in some areas of the aquarium, it is helpful to be familiar with
scientific terminology and have some experience and background. But in other areas your enthusiasm and willingness to help is all that is needed.
There are also opportunities for volunteers without specific experience to be trained by their supervisor.
Are all volunteer candidates accepted?
While Volunteer Services endeavors to place each applicant it is not always possible to find an assignment that is appropriate for both the applicant and staff.
What is the volunteer commitment and what is available on weekends?
Volunteer positions vary in terms of time commitment, depending on the assignment and needs of the supervisor. Shifts are available throughout
the week and on weekends but weekend volunteer opportunities are limited to the aquarium and public service areas. There are no volunteer assignments
available in research on weekends.
Are there fees?
Volunteering at the Academy is free but Docents pay a nominal fee for program materials.
If you are interested in volunteering you may phone or e-mail the Volunteer Services Manager for an application or for more information. Once the
application is received you will be contacted for an interview.
Manager of Volunteer Services
Phone (415) 379-5111
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118
The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.