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Sea Center Volunteer Program

-Adult Volunteer Opportunities
-Family and Teen Volunteer Opportunities
-Sea Center Volunteer Application
 

  Family and Teen Volunteer Opportunities
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The Sea Crew Family and Teen Program training sessions are offered six times a year to those that have completed the application and interview process. Families and youth,16 and under, that have undergone training are eligible to join our exciting Family and Teen Program. After being selected, volunteers begin as Exhibit Interpreters, who interact and engage with visitors about the local marine ecosystem. Not only do volunteers get the chance to share their passion with other ocean enthusiasts and gain valuable work experience, but the Sea Center offers a multitude of benefits and hosts volunteer appreciation events year-round. The hours that volunteers accumulate qualify towards Santa Barbara County high school community service credits. Once a volunteer has completed the initial 48 hour minimum commitment as an Exhibit Interpreter, advanced volunteer opportunities are available in the following areas:
 

Exhibit Interpreter Volunteer
All new Sea Center volunteers begin as Exhibit Interpreters who meet, greet, and educate visitors during public visiting hours. Exhibit Interpreter Volunteers are featured at three of the most popular exhibits; the Shark Cove, Intertidal Wonders, and Wet Deck. Volunteers perform hands-on demonstrations and activities which enhance the Sea Center’s exhibits. This includes giving live animal presentations and leading in-depth marine labs and workshops. The Sea Center offers trainings throughout the year to those looking to gain valuable experience translating scientific terminology and information to aquarium visitors.

Requirements:

  • Complete Exhibit Interpreter Volunteer Application
  • Participate in an interview process
  • Volunteer with a parent or guardian if under the age of 14
  • All applicants 18 years or older must pass a background check
  • Be able to commit to one shift per week for a minimum of 4 months.
  • If selected, attend mandatory two-part training session.
  • Pay $25 program fee which covers the cost of the volunteer uniform
     

Aquarist Volunteer
Exhibit Interpreter Volunteers that have met the minimum requirement of 48 hours and have an interest in the wellbeing and care of the Sea Center’s living collection are encouraged to apply for the Aquarist Assistant position. Under the supervision of the Sea Center Aquarist team, volunteers are given the opportunity to assist with daily aquarist duties, including routine cleaning and feeding.  Once Aquarist Volunteers have fulfilled 24 hours of service participating in aquarist training, specialized opportunities become available to them in areas of exhibit maintenance, dietary management, husbandry, and life support systems.   

Requirements:

  • Fulfilled 48 hours of volunteering as an Exhibit Interpreter Volunteer
  • Contact the Volunteer Manager for an application
  • Must be over the age of 14
  • Be able to commit to one shift per week for a minimum 48 hours.
  • Participate in an interview process
  • If selected, attend mandatory onsite training with the aquarist team.
     

Nature Adventures Volunteer
Exhibit Interpreter Volunteers that have met the minimum requirement of 48 hours and enjoy interacting with and educating children, aged 4-14, about marine science are eligible to apply for the Nature Adventures Volunteer position. Volunteers participate in ocean education and activities tailored to each age group, as well as, apply scientific concepts while guiding the camp kids throughout the Sea Center and to the beach. The Sea Center provides trainings to all qualified applicants before each camp season begins.

Requirements:

  • Completed 48 hours of volunteering as an Exhibit Interpreter Volunteer
  • Contact the Volunteer Manager for an application
  • Participate in an interview process
  • Volunteer applicants must be 14 years of age and older
  • Be able to commit to one shift per week over camp season
  • If selected, attend mandatory training session
     

Marine Mammal Mezzanine Interpreter
Exhibit Interpreter Volunteers that have met the minimum requirement of 48 hours are encouraged to participate in training sessions and lectures related to local marine mammals that migrate through the Santa Barbara Channel. Marine Mammal Mezzanine Interpreters are stationed at a portable exhibit which includes biological artifacts (i.e. sea otter pelt, gray whale baleen,...etc.). Volunteers interact with Sea Center visitors, discussing comparative anatomy, population density, and other intriguing facts about marine mammals. The Sea Center provides trainings to all qualified applicants throughout the year.

Requirements:

  • Complete 48 hours of volunteering as an Exhibit Interpreter Volunteer
  • Be able to commit to one shift per week
  • Participate in trainings and shadow shifts
  • Attend and/or present programs related to marine mammals throughout the year


Education and Outreach Volunteer
Exhibit Interpreter Volunteers that have met the minimum requirement of 48 hours and enjoy educating children (K-6) about marine ecology and biology are eligible to apply for the Education and Outreach Volunteer position. Volunteers participate in ocean education and activities tailored to each grade level on the beach, as well as, assist in guiding the school groups throughout the Sea Center. During Outreach Events, volunteers are involved in educating the public about Santa Barbara’s marine ecosystems and the promotion of ocean conservation. The Sea Center provides trainings to all qualified applicants throughout the school year.

Requirements:

  • Completed 48 hours of volunteering as an Exhibit Interpreter Volunteer
  • Contact the Volunteer Manager for an application
  • Participate in an interview process
  • Volunteer applicants must be 14 years of age and older
  • Be able to commit to one shift per week over the school year (9:45-12:45 PM, Monday through Friday).
  • If selected, attend mandatory training session

 

Plankton Monitoring Volunteer
Volunteers that have completed the minimum commitment of 48 hours as an Exhibit Interpreter and have the desire to advance in their Wet Deck experience may apply to become Plankton Monitor’s.  Once a week Plankton Monitor’s conduct plankton tows along Stearns Wharf.  This volunteer effort tracks the species and abundance of plankton that occur along our coast.  The Sea Center provides trainings to all qualified applicants throughout the year.

Requirements:

  • Complete 48 hours of volunteering as an Exhibit Interpreter Volunteer
  • Commit to one Plankton Monitoring shift per week
  • Participate in trainings and shadow shifts

 

Guest Services Volunteer
Help welcome Sea Center visitors to the aquarium!  Guest Services Volunteers assist in informing visitors about the local abundance of marine life and interactive exhibits within the aquarium.  At the Welcome Table volunteers describe scheduled programs and upcoming events open to the public.  Guest Services Volunteers are offered the opportunity to also interpret to the public using marine related biological artifacts.  Volunteers that have completed the initial Exhibit Interpreter Volunteer Training are qualified to become Guest Services Volunteers.

Requirements:

  • Complete the Exhibit Interpreter Volunteer Training
  • Be able to commit to one shift per week
 

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