Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers provide vital support to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and its mission.  Volunteers add diversity and depth to the Museum’s staff, allowing the Museum to better connect with the community.   In return, Museum volunteers are given the opportunity to expand their knowledge and learn new skills, while gaining valuable experiences in a unique environment.  Join us and start sharing your talents and enthusiasm today!

Special Events

MUSEUM EVENTS

Volunteers help ensure the success of the Museum’s large-scale educational events like BugFest, Reptile & Amphibian Day, Astronomy Days and many more!

Nature Exploration Center (NEC)

CURIOSITY CLASS PROGRAMS

Volunteers present hands-on programs to visiting school groups (Kindergarten-Grade 5) using live animals and objects to teach the classes.

DISCOVERY ROOM

Volunteers assist and present programs to groups of Preschool-Grade 1 students using live animals and objects to teach the classes.

WINDOWS ON THE WORLD

Volunteers assist Museum staff during programming offered seven days/week.

EXPLORATION STATIONS

Volunteers interact with visitors and provide information on natural history topics by providing cart programs throughout the Museum.

ARTHROPOD ZOO VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers assist with the care and husbandry of living arthropods and with preservation and labeling of specimens. Occasionally volunteers run cart programs in the Arthropod Zoo.

THE LIVING CONSERVATORY

Volunteers introduce visitors to the Conservatory and monitor interactions between visitors and the exhibit.  Occasionally volunteers run cart programs outside the Conservatory.

SPECIAL EXHIBITS

Volunteers provide Museum guests a deeper, more meaningful experience during their visit of the Museum’s Special Exhibits.

Nature Research Center (NRC)

THE NATURALIST CENTER

Volunteers greet and assist visitors as they interact with specimens and resources available.

INVESTIGATE LABS

Volunteers greet and assist visitors in these hands-on education labs.

  • MICRO WORLD — focuses on everything from biotechnology & bacteria to chemistry, protozoology, and mycology.
  • NATURAL WORLD — visitors can use a variety of tools to observe and study the natural world — from plants and animals to our world, and even ourselves. 
  • VISUAL WORLD — focuses on some of the most important discoveries and processes in science through the use of maps, models, animations and simulations.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Volunteers make Citizen Science opportunities available to the public through the development & presentation of interactive cart programs, assist visitors in the use of the Citizen Science Center Exhibits, and/or assist in public programs focusing on citizen science activities.

RESEARCH LABS

Volunteers assist laboratory staff in a variety of research projects.

  • PALEONTOLOGY & GEOLOGY
  • GENOMICS & MICROBIOLOGY
  • ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS
  • BIODIVERSITY

Behind-the-Scenes Opportunities

BRIMLEY LIBRARY

Volunteers shelve and file library materials, process new materials, enter data into online applications, transcribe typed and written historical documents, scan images (chiefly 35mm slides), and help with special projects such as conducting inventories and writing short historical accounts.  

TEACHING COLLECTIONS

Volunteers help to organize and maintain the Education Department’s collection of specimens, which includes mounted animals, skeletons, skins, rocks, fossils and more.  

EDUCATIONAL LIVING COLLECTIONS

Volunteers work with Living Collections staff in the care and husbandry of the Museum’s live program and exhibit animals, including a variety of invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals.  

RESEARCH & COLLECTIONS

  • BIRDS — Volunteers assist with data entry and updating and organizing bird research publication list.  Volunteers may learn study skin preparation.
  • MAMMALS — Volunteers assist with specimen preparation, data entry and cataloging.  Note:  Does not involve working with live program animals. Volunteers may learn study skin preparation.
  • PALEONTOLOGY — Volunteers assist with the paleo collection by picking matrix samples, numbering specimens and cataloging fossils. 
  • FISHES — Volunteers assist the staff with cataloging, labeling, and shelving specimens.
  • HERPETOLOGY — Volunteers assist with curating a research collection of ~200,000 preserved specimens of amphibians and reptiles.  
  • MOLLUSKS — Volunteers assist with the mollusk collection.

Prairie Ridge Ecostation

PRAIRIE RIDGE EDUCATORS

Volunteers assist Museum staff in the development and presentation of outdoor educational programs.  

NATURE STORIES

Volunteers assist or lead these outdoor story time programs and activities, and help with set-up, clean-up, and may assist with program development. 

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Volunteers provide assistance in support of the Museum’s Citizen Science Program in a variety of ways.

PRAIRIE RIDGE GARDENERS

Volunteers assist in the planting and maintenance of cultivated areas, including weeding, mulching, pruning, watering, and much more.

Summer Camps

Volunteers will assist Summer Camp staff.  Volunteers may be asked to help set up, lead small activities, and perform other tasks as needed. The Museum offers camps at three locations; downtown Raleigh, Prairie Ridge Ecostation, and Yates Mill Pond County Park.  Volunteers must be 18 years or older.  For more information about summer camp volunteers, please email laura.dameron@naturalsciences.org.

Youth and Teen Opportunities