Oregon Coast Aquarium Seeks Volunteers

January 22, 2008

Spring Training Begins March 11

The Oregon Coast Aquarium invites people who want to know more about marine life and the coastal environment to become a volunteer. Enrollment is open now for Spring Volunteer Training which gets underway March 11 and continues each Tuesday afternoon through May 13 from 3 pm – 6 pm. Through a series of lectures and hands-on activities, volunteers learn about the history of the Aquarium, animal care, coastal habitats and animal biology. They also learn how to share their knowledge with visitors as Aquarium interpreters. “It never ceases to amaze me when I witness a volunteer interpreter bringing that lightning bolt of "ah-ha" and wonder to an adult visiting the aquarium,” said Coordinator of Volunteer Services, Carmen Morgan. “Kids get excited all the time, and that is great to see, but it is really exciting to see an adult learn something new and have that sense of wonderment in their eyes!” Morgan said the training offers people an opportunity to share the Aquarium’s mission of educating the public about the coast and its animals.

Earn College Credits

College credits are available through Oregon Coast Community College for volunteers who pay an additional fee of $40, complete the classes and meet all requirements. The volunteer training gives in-depth information about marine animal species exhibited at the Aquarium as well as an overview of the natural history of the Oregon coast. Once training is completed, volunteers become interpreters and share the wonder of the coastal environment with visitors for a minimum of six months. After gaining a greater understanding of how the Aquarium functions during these six months, volunteers may then apply for volunteer positions behind the scenes in facility maintenance, animal care, clerical work or any number of other Aquarium positions.

Cool Benefits

Benefits include discounts in the gift shop, free membership (after serving 50 volunteer hours), Aquarium passes, invitations to special events and evening enrichment programs. Volunteers have the satisfaction of expanding their personal marine knowledge while giving something back to the community by supporting the Aquarium.

Find Out More

The Aquarium asks for a one-year commitment of one half-day shift each week, or a half day every other week for people with special needs or who commute long distances. The spring training classes are held in the afternoons from 3 - 6 pm. Classes run for 10 weeks beginning March 11 through May 13. A $35 fee is required for materials. Participants must be 18 years or older. For adult volunteer training information call Carmen Morgan, Coordinator of Volunteer Services at 541-867-3474, extension 5315 or e-mail carmen.morgan@aquarium.org.