Join Our Volunteer Family

As a non-profit institution, The Maritime Aquarium relies on the support of hundreds of dedicated volunteers. They work at Aquarium exhibits, interpreting displays, and welcoming, orienting and educating visitors. Volunteers staff the Intertidal Touch Tank, Shark & Ray Touch Pool, Jiggle a Jelly and our harbor seal exhibit, "Pinniped Cove." In addition, the divers who plunge in among our sharks are all volunteers as well. Volunteers also work behind-the-scenes, helping out in our corporate offices, organizing sleepovers and other special events. Please review the volunteer opportunities below before filling out an application.

Please note: The Maritime Aquarium is requiring that all staff (part-time and full-time), as well as active volunteers and in-house contracted vendors, be fully vaccinated (initial course of vaccination & booster) against COVID-19, with limited exemptions. I understand that if accepted into the volunteer program, I must provide proof of vaccination or written notification of exemption to the Associate Director of Human Resources.

Gallery Ambassadors
Application Period: Feb 1 – March 3
Orientation: March 8 (virtual)
Training: March 14, 16, 21 & 23 (14 & 23 virtual from 6:30-8 p.m. and 16 & 21 onsite from 7-9 p.m.)
Summer Stewards
Application Period: May 15  - June 16
Orientation: June 21 (virtual)
Training: June 27 & 28 (in person from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.) 
 

Current Volunteer Opportunities

 

Animal Husbandry

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis for animal husbandry volunteer program. Individuals are required to complete a minimum of 7.5 hours per week for a minimum of 12 weeks, after which point they can be eligible for an extension. These are not paid positions.

The Maritime Aquarium houses many species of fishes, invertebrates, frogs, and reptiles, from the Long Island Sound and beyond. Our aquarists work daily to provide the best husbandry for the animals in their care. From routine exhibit cleaning and feeding, to water quality testing and health examinations, our staff completes a wide variety of tasks as a part of their jobs every day.

An aquarist volunteer can be anyone 18 years of age or older, who is interested in assisting our team as they carry out their daily husbandry tasks. As a volunteer, individuals will learn how to maintain aquarium exhibits, prepare diets, complete water quality tests, and keep records, as well as be introduced to aquatic animal health assessments, quarantine procedures, and aquarium system design. If you have a love for animals, an enthusiastic attitude, and a willingness to learn, please consider applying to be a husbandry volunteer in one of our galleries! We are offering husbandry volunteer positions working with Jellies, Tropical Fish and Invertebrates, Cold Water Fish and Invertebrates, Frogs and Reptiles, and Hospital and Quarantine, for a total of 5 positions.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate
  • Some background knowledge in aquarium keeping preferred, although not required.
  • Ability to lift and carry 65 pounds.
  • Ability to negotiate stairs and maneuver on wet and uneven terrain.
  • Demonstrates strong written and oral communication skills, and the ability to effectively communicate with both staff and guests.
  • A desire to learn and demonstrate our mission: To inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment.
  • Demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm and willingness to learn.
Requirements
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Minimum time requirement of at least 7.5 hours a week over a 12-week period or more.
  • Upon acceptance, Volunteer will be required to pay a $50 administrative fee to defray the cost of a criminal background check, uniform polo and name tag to be worn while on duty at all times.
  • Be dependable and punctual at all times.
  • Attend educational sessions designed to increase interpretation of every day husbandry tasks.

To apply, please submit the online application below, followed by a cover letter, resume, and list of references to Rachel Stein at rstein@maritimeaquarium.org.

Qualified applicants will be contacted via email to coordinate a skype, or in-person interview. Applicants will be selected after the interview process based upon general knowledge, experience, attitude, punctuality, and by recommendation.

Click Here to Download the ANimal Husbandry Volunteer Application

Dive Team

Interested in joining the Aquarium Dive Team and helping with presentations from inside The Maritime Aquarium's "Ocean Beyond the Sound" exhibit (with 7-foot sharks)?

Minimum Requirements
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Advanced Open Water certification (or equivalent experience)
  • 25 logged open water dives
  • DAN Insurance
  • Current first-aid and C.P.R. certification
  • Physician’s clearance to dive
  • Ability to pass a swim and SCUBA assessment
  • Commit to at least 12 shifts per year

Each candidate for the volunteer dive team must attend and successfully complete a swim and SCUBA assessment. Completed online application, signed Physician’s Statement and an invitation are all required to participate in the assessment.

We Are not currently accepting applications for our dive team

ECHO Teen Program

Calling all teens! Join the Aquarium for an exciting volunteer program for teens ages 14-18. Education Conservation Heritage and Outreach (ECHO) is designed for teens who are passionate about the environment, conservation, and The Maritime Aquarium. ECHO teens will staff interactive floor carts and lead Aquarium guests through mission-aligned activities, participate in beach cleanups and take data on what marine debris is on the beaches, and participate in real hands-on community science opportunities within the local community. In this new tiered program, teens will have more opportunities as they raise through the levels to help work our touch tanks, mission celebrations, and help mentor and supervise teens at lower levels. ECHO teens will gain valuable, transferable skills that will aid them in preparation for life after high school. The program will create confident community advocates that are well-versed in both local and global conservation issues and initiatives.

THE ECHO TEEN VOLUNTEER PROGRAM WILL RUN IN TRIMESTERS
  • Summer: late June – August o Summer applications open beginning of May and close beginning of June. Interviews are held in the beginning of June.
  • Fall: October – January o Fall applications open mid-August and close beginning of September. Interviews are held the beginning of September.
  • Spring: Mid-February-May o Spring trimester applications open December and close early January. Interviews are held mid-January.
TRIMESTER HOURS COMMITMENT
  • Summer: 6 shifts per month (1-2 per week) on weekdays plus additional hours for citizen science and professional development opportunities. A minimum of 60 hours is required for the summer trimester.
  • Fall & Spring: 2 shifts per month on weekends and holidays, plus additional hours for citizen science and professional development opportunities. A minimum of 50 hours is required for each of the fall and spring trimesters.
  • Training hours are included in monthly shift commitment and will be counted towards overall volunteering hours.
POSITION NEEDS/FUNCTIONS
  • Be an interpreter of the Aquarium's mission, conservation initiatives, and exhibits by educating guests about life above and below the water of Long Island Sound and beyond. Engage with guests through using artifacts and conversations about sharks, sea turtles, seals, and other seasonal or temporary exhibits (including outdoor exhibits).
  • Advise guests of Aquarium health and safety policies.
  • Act as a Maritime Aquarium brand ambassador to provide exceptional customer service and enhance the guest experience.
QUALIFICATIONS
  • Anyone ages 14-18 and currently enrolled in high school is welcome to apply
  • Dependability and punctuality
  • A desire to learn and demonstrate our mission: To inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment
  • Demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm and willingness to learn
  • Ability to work with guests of all ages and needs
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time. Accommodations can be made if needed.

Gallery Ambassadors

Position Summary 

Gallery Ambassador volunteers play a critical role in helping The Maritime Aquarium fulfill its mission to inspire appreciation and protection for the Long Island Sound and the global environment. These dynamic volunteers interact with guests of all ages teaching them about the Aquarium’s conservation work, helping them touch animals like jellies and crabs, and assisting guests in feeding the cow nose stingrays. If you have a love for animals, the environment, and interacting with people then this volunteer program is right for you! 

Position Functions 
  • Educating guests about life above, on, and below the water of Long Island Sound and beyond. 

  • Create memorable experiences by helping guests interact with animals at the stingray, jiggle-a-jelly, and intertidal touch pools. 

  • Engage with guests through using artifacts and conversation about sharks, sea turtles, seals, and other seasonal or temporary exhibits (including outdoor exhibits). 

  • Help with special events for Aquarium members, donors, and students. Some of these events may occur outside of operating hours.  

  • Act as a Maritime Aquarium brand ambassador to provide exceptional customer service and enhance the guest experience. 

Volunteer Benefits 
  • Be part of a diverse team of individuals who share similar passions with you. 

  • Active volunteers receive a duo membership allowing them to bring in 1 guest every time they visit. 

  • Free parking during volunteer shifts. 

  • Discounts in the Cascade and Sound Bites Cafes and in the gift shop. 

  • Invitations to attend holidays and other special gatherings. 

  • Rewards and recognition for achieving hours milestones 

  • Free professional development and learning provided through Maritime Academy events.  

Ideal Volunteers 
  • Have a desire to learn and demonstrate our mission: To inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment. 

  • Demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm and willingness to learn. 

  • Ability to work with guests of all ages and needs. 

  • Ability to handle touch tank animals such as, but not limited to, sea stars, crabs, mollusks, jellies, and horseshoe crabs.  

Position Requirements 
  • Applicants need to be at least 18 years old to join the Gallery Ambassador team.  

  • Commit to 6 months of volunteering (Sept – March and March – Sept). Volunteers can re-commit at the end of each 6-month cycle 

  • Non-working adult volunteers are asked to commit to at least one consistent 4-hour shift per week.  

  • Working adults and students are asked to commit to at least one consistent 4-hour shift per month (students are asked to commit to one 4-hour shift per week during the summer). 

  • Attend three Maritime Academy professional development events per 6-month cycle 

  • Volunteer for at least one special event per 6-month cycle 

Application/Onboarding Process 

Two training courses are held throughout the year. Please check above to see when the next training course will be held.  

  • Download, complete, and submit a Gallery Ambassador application.  

  • Applications are reviewed and qualified candidates are selected to participate in a group orientation to learn more about the volunteer program.  

  • Select candidates are invited to join the Gallery Ambassador training course comprised of online units and workshops. 

  • Candidates must pay a one-time $50 onboarding fee. 

  • Candidates 18 years of age and older must pass a criminal background check.  

  • Candidates must submit their COVID-19 vaccination and booster information. 

Guest Services

The Guest Services Volunteer would support the Guest Services team to assist in the operations of the 4D theater, assist in crowd control, help to enforce institutional rules in compliance with CDC guidelines, line expedite and interact with our guests to enhance the experience for everyone visiting.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Able to move quickly and with ease through crowded public areas, up and down stairs.
  • Ability to stand for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to work outside in all weather conditions.
  • Previous experience in guest service preferred.
  • Enthusiastic, friendly, outgoing and engaging.
  • Comfortable interacting with large crowds.
  • Commitment to high guest service standards.
  • Ability to work weekends and holidays.
  • Required to wear a uniform and follow departmental dress code.
  • Multilingual skills preferred.
Essential Job Functions
  • Assist in expediting outdoor admission lines on peak days.
  • Able to make minor decisions regarding crowd control and individual guest concerns.
  • Able to maintain a positive attitude dealing with both guests and staff.
  • Ability to communicate any operational, safety or guest concerns to management timely and effectively.
  • Assist in managing traffic flow, answer guest’s questions, provide direction and enforce CDC guidelines.
  • Must have a comfort level in confronting guests to redirect as needed.
  • Perform duties of 4D Theater Usher which include seating guests while maintaining social distancing between families, remain in the theater during the movie to ensure everyone inside the theater is safe, operate the control panel and clean the seats in between shows.
  • Wash and dry 4D glasses as needed.
  • Perform duties of Front Usher position which include greeting guests, scanning advanced tickets and ability to answer guest’s questions as needed.
Onboarding & Training

Training will be provided by the guest services team. Onboarding for this position will be continual. If interested, please submit an application. Qualified candidates will be asked for an interview with guest service managers.

  • Upon acceptance, Volunteer will be required to pay a $50 administrative fee to defray the cost of a criminal background check, uniform polo and name tag to be worn while on duty at all times.
Shift Requirements

Below are the minimum shift requirements to remain in good volunteer standings at The Maritime Aquarium.

  • Non-working adults: four 4-hour shifts per month
  • Working adults and students: one 4-hour shift per month (students are expected to volunteer for one 4-hour shift per week during the summer).

We ask for 100 hours of service to be completed before recommendations or verification of hours will be provided.

 

This position description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities of the volunteer for this role. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Click Here for the Guest Services Application

Marine Mammal

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis for the marine mammal volunteer program. Individuals are required to complete a minimum of 7.5 hours per week for a minimum of 12 weeks, after which point they can be eligible for an extension. These are not paid positions.

The Maritime Aquarium is home to several species of mammals, both marine and terrestrial.  We currently house harbor seals, North American river otters, slender-tailed meerkats, Geoffroy’s tamarins, a striped skunk and a prehensile-tailed porcupine.  In addition to providing excellent husbandry care we strive to provide an engaging training program for our inhabitants.  Training is an important part of daily animal care; allowing us to mentally and physically stimulate our animals on a daily basis. We train our animals for medical management behaviors such as blood draws, weights, and ultrasounds. We also train behaviors to physically stimulate our animals such as spins, jumps and waves. 

Volunteers will assist us with a variety of tasks.  Ideally a term would last 12 weeks, after this initial timeframe, volunteers would be eligible for an extension.  This is not a paid position. 

Please note that this position does not involve feeding or training the animals, however you will play an integral role assisting staff during training sessions and presentations, and work in close proximity to the animals.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate
  • Applicants must be dependable
  • Have excellent English written and oral communication skills
  • Be comfortable bending and walking on uneven and wet terrain
  • Be able to maneuver 65 lbs.  
  • Desire to learn and demonstrate our mission: To inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment.
  • Demonstrate high level of enthusiasm and willingness to learn.
Requirements
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Minimum time requirement of at least 7.5 hours a week over a 12-week period or more.
  • Upon acceptance, Volunteer will be required to pay a $50 administrative fee to defray the cost of a criminal background check, uniform polo and name tag to be worn while on duty at all times.
  • Be dependable and punctual at all times.
  • Attend educational sessions designed to increase interpretation of every day husbandry tasks.

 

To apply, please submit the online application below, followed by a cover letter, resume, and list of references address to Rachel Stein at rstein@maritimeaquarium.org. Qualified applicants will be contacted via email to coordinate a skype, or in-person interview. Applicants will be selected after the interview process based upon general knowledge, experience, attitude, punctuality, and by recommendation.

Click Here to Download the Marine Mammal Volunteer Application

Summer Steward

Position Summary 

The Maritime Aquarium is seeking energetic volunteers to join us from late-June through Labor Day. Summer Stewards work at the Aquarium’s various touch tanks and exhibits helping guests interact with a variety of animals.  This position is a perfect opportunity for students and adults with summer availability who want to help spread awareness and appreciation for the environment, and gain valuable career experience. There are opportunities to join our Gallery Ambassador program at the end of the summer.  

Position Functions 
  • Educating guests about life above, on, and below the water of Long Island Sound and beyond. 

  • Create memorable experiences by helping guests interact with animals at the stingray, jiggle-a-jelly, and intertidal touch pools. 

  • Engage with guests through using artifacts and conversation about sharks, sea turtles, seals, and other seasonal or temporary exhibits (including outdoor exhibits). 

  • Act as a Maritime Aquarium brand ambassador to provide exceptional customer service and enhance the guest experience. 

Volunteer Benefits 
  • Free parking during volunteer shifts. 

  • Discounts in the Cascade and Sound Bites Cafes and in the Gift Shop. 

  • Rewards and recognition for achieving hours' milestones. 

  • Great networking opportunities. 

  • Free professional development and learning provided through Maritime Academy events.   

  • Receive documented volunteer hours for those who need it for outside organizations, school, college applications, etc. 

Position Requirements 
  • Must be at least 16 years old. 

  • Must commit to volunteering 2-3 shifts per week. Each shift is 4.5 hours in length. Shifts include a 15-minute break.  

  • Attend and participate in all training sessions.  

  • Submit proof of Covid-19 vaccination and booster. 

  • Candidates 18 years of age and older must pass a criminal background check. 

Ideal Qualification 
  • A desire to learn and demonstrate the Aquarium's mission: To inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound and the global environment.  

  • Comfortable with working with guests of all ages and abilities including young children and their caretakers. 

  • Multilingual skills 

  • Previous customer service or volunteering experience 

  • Previous education (formal or informal) experience  

Onboarding Process 

Download, complete, and submit a Summer Steward application. 

Applications will be reviewed and qualified candidates will be selected to participate in a group orientation. 

Final candidates will be invited to join the Summer Stewards program and begin training. Candidates must pay a $25 onboarding fee to cover background checks, uniforms, and ID badges.  

Our Mission

Mission: The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits, marine science, and environmental education.


Contact Us

Open Daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Phone: (203) 852-0700

10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854

Directions Contact Us