The application deadline for the upcoming 2021–22 school year has passed. Please check back in January 2022 when applications open for the upcoming school year. Forms are due in April 2022. The links to both the student form and teacher recommendation form will be posted at the bottom of this page when applications open.

Grades 9–12 (in 2020–2021 school year)

Junior Curators are volunteers with an intense interest in conservation, animal care and field biology. Junior Curators directly support the Museum’s conservation efforts by participating in educational programs and events, field experiences to natural areas, natural history service projects and assisting in the care of the Museum’s live animal collection.

Students work together with like-minded peers for the duration of their volunteer experience. Junior Curators follows the traditional Wake County Public School calendar and runs from September to April.

Junior Curators commit to the following:

  • One required monthly meeting with animal care staff who work the Museum’s Ambassador Animal Collection.
  • Two required monthly group meetings with guest scientists, researchers and Museum curators to explore a variety of natural science topics (meetings will take place on the first Friday and third or fourth Tuesday of the month, 3:30–5pm, and may be held at the Museum or offsite).
  • Optional trips, field experiences and service projects across North Carolina and beyond (trips may involve an additional fee to cover travel costs).
  • Optional additional one-on-one volunteer service hours with a curator or other Museum staff member to work on special projects in labs, collections or other areas.
  • Annual group retreat in August and graduation event in May.

The goals of the Junior Curator program are:

  • To participate in opportunities for advanced students and experience the natural world.
  • To gain field experience learning about conservation and the diversity of life on Earth.
  • To develop good work habits and gain knowledge of responsible animal husbandry skills by caring for the Museum’s live animals.
  • To grow personally and academically by working and interacting with scientists, educators and Museum curators.
  • To develop teamwork, leadership and good interpersonal skills and contribute to the Museum through volunteer service.

Fee: $75/year. Fee covers snacks for meetings, Junior Curator T-shirt and program equipment like scrubs, boots, protective eyewear, camping gear, etc.

Scholarships are available. Please contact Lynn Cross for more information.

This application-based program is highly competitive, and we receive more applications than we can accept. If selected for the program, you will be expected to uphold the required volunteer time commitment described above and attend all group meetings and volunteer shifts. Failure to do so may result in removal from the program.

Junior Curator Facebook Group— for all past and present Junior Curators associated with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.