Youth Volunteer Training Registration Opens

July 07, 2009

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is looking for teenagers to join its youth volunteer team. Young people have an opportunity to explore the fascinating world of marine science and share their knowledge as Aquarium interpreters. Youth volunteers spend 24 hours in training learning about marine science, marine animals, and conservation.  Successful completion of training can earn young people 3 transferable college credits from the Oregon Coast Community College and high school credit in some high schools as well. 

“If you are interested in marine science and are looking for a way get involved and learn more, joining our youth volunteer team is a great start!” according to Tricia Ratliff, youth programs coordinator for the Aquarium. “Knowledge is gained, friendships are made and doors are opened as youth work side by side adult volunteers and Aquarium staff.” 

Volunteer training offers an introduction to marine biology, animal husbandry and the inner workings of the Aquarium.  They also study the Aquarium’s marine animal collection and exhibits. After completing the training, youth volunteers work with the public as interpreters during the summer and complete team projects during the school year.  During the fall season which runs November through April, volunteers commit to one 7 hour day per month, working together on a project. Projects could range from developing a small exhibit, making an educational video or competing in ocean science trivia competitions. Volunteers are then encouraged to continue on in the summer season. 

Benefits include educational work experience, references, discounts in the Aquarium gift shop and complimentary passes for every 100 hours of volunteer service. After serving for one year and completing 50 hours youth volunteers are eligible to receive an Aquarium membership.

Ratliff encourages young people who would like to join the youth volunteer team to apply for fall training, coming up in September.  Enrollment is open now through August 3rd  for 14 to 17 year-olds for the youth volunteer training course, which runs Saturdays, September 5, 12, 26  and October 3 from 10 am – 4 pm. Applicants need to submit an application packet by August 3rd  and must attend every training session. Interested youths may pick up an application at the Aquarium, on the web at, by calling 541-867-3474 x 5312, or emailing youth programs coordinator, Tricia Ratliff at for more information.