Youth Volunteer Training

September 27, 2011

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, gain valuable life skills and work on team projects. After completing orientation training, youth volunteers commit to serving one Saturday a month from October to April, working on team projects that benefit both the Aquarium and local community. These projects are then presented at an event open to the public. Youth volunteers are encouraged to continue on to the summer program as marine science interpreters.

“As a youth volunteer, I have been given the opportunity to participate in a number of projects that promote conservation and biodiversity, two things that I care strongly about,” said Emily Branigan, an Aquarium youth volunteer program alumni. “I have done a beach cleanup with the Surfrider Foundation, educated the public on the importance of swamps and the animals that live there and taught visitors about climate change and many other environmental issues. I have learned so much about the environment as a youth volunteer, and thanks to the Aquarium, I was able to share my knowledge with the community,” said Branigan.

Tricia Ratliff, Aquarium Youth Programs Coordinator, said the program offers youths the opportunity to get involved in the field of marine science and share their enthusiasm and knowledge with others. “Friendships, personal development, and networking opportunities are also benefits of the program,” said Ratliff. “Volunteers will find themselves working alongside Aquarium staff and adult volunteers. Some volunteers go on to pursue a career in marine sciences based on their experience as a youth volunteer.”

Other benefits include educational work experience, professional references, discounts in the Aquarium gift shop and café along with complimentary passes for every 100 hours of service. After completing 50 hours of service, youth volunteers are eligible to receive an Aquarium membership.

Enrollment is open now through September 15 for teens entering 9th grade through 12th grade. Interested youths may pick up an application at the Aquarium, on the Aquarium website at, by calling 541-867-3474 x 5312, or by email for more information.