Current Volunteer Opportunities

To apply for open volunteer opportunities,
please email application to volunteer@shellmuseum.org
or call 239-395-2233 with questions.

ADOPT-A-CLASS DOCENT

  • Purpose: To educate Lee County 4th Graders about mollusks and create lifelong learners.

  • Location: Various locations throughout the Shell Museum

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer Orientation (~1.5hrs)
- Adopt-A-Class Training for each station that you wish to lead. (~1hr/station)
- Read and study outlines for stations (~2hrs)
- Pass station test

  • Responsibilities:

- Supervise students
- Educate students based on outlines
- Make each student feel empowered by acknowledging their ideas and observations

  • Available shifts: 10am-12pm on field trip days. Monday through Friday.

  • Minimum Time Commitment: 5 field trips per school year

  • Qualifications:

- Must enjoy working with kids
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to follow lesson plan
- Experience teaching is a plus

AQUARIUM DOCENT

  • Purpose: To interpret the Beyond Shells: Living Gallery for guests, answer questions, and facilitate learning. Help create a fantastic guest experience.

  • Location: Ground floor, Museum 

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer orientation (~1.5hrs)

- Study Aquarium Docent training packet

- Aquarium Docent training with staff (~1.5hrs)

- Shadow Aquarium Docent (3hrs)

- Pass Aquarium Docent test

  • Responsibilities:

- Answer guest questions

- Enhance guest experience with positive interactions and enthusiasm

  • Available shifts:  Usually 10 AM – 1 PM or 1 – 4 PM. Every day.

  • Minimum Time Commitment: 2 shifts per month for 3 months

  • Qualifications:

- Must be friendly, accommodating, respectful, understanding, and helpful when dealing with the public

- Must enjoy working with the public

- Must enjoy working with both children and adults

- Must have excellent communication skills and a passion for learning

AQUARIUM HUSBANDRY VOLUNTEER

  • Purpose: Displaying live mollusks requires a high level of care. Help our expert aquarium husbandry staff care for these unique animals.

  • Location: Ground floor of the Museum

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer Orientation (~1.5 hrs)

- Aquarium Husbandry Orientation (~2 hrs)

- At home study of Aquarium Husbandry Training Handbook (~10-20 hrs)

- Shadow husbandry staff (~10-20 hrs)

- Pass required tests and assessments specific to Aquarium Husbandry Volunteer

  • Responsibilities:

- Clean aquariums and associated life support system components

- Prepare a variety of animal foods

- Assist husbandry staff in other tasks and projects as needed

  • Available shifts: 

- Usually 8 AM – 12PM. Every day.

  • Minimum Time Commitment: 1 shift per week, for 6 months

  • Qualifications:

- Must have completed at least 6 months as an Aquarium Docent 

- Must be able to follow detailed direction and safety protocols

- Must be able to lift 15 pounds

- Must be able to stand, bend, stoop, squat, reach, climb a ladder, work safely around water, work in hot or cold environments

- Excellent attention to detail and communication skills

ARTS & CRAFTS VOLUNTEER

  • Purpose: Having the opportunity to create something in a hands-on way is a fantastic way to establish a lifelong love for mollusks and shells in guests that may not necessarily think of themselves as enjoying science. It also gives the guests a free souvenir from their visit. Assemble take home Shell Critter kits OR assist visitors in creating shell critters when in-person crafting resumes (predicted fall/winter 2021).

  • Location: Ground floor of the Museum, behind the scenes for kit assembly. Second floor auditorium in Museum for in-person.

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer orientation (~1.5hrs)

- Kit assembly training (~0.5hrs)

- Shadow in-person  (3hrs)

  • In-Person Responsibilities:

- Assist visitors with the use of hot glue guns

- Hold shells in place while visitor glues

- Wrap shell critter for transport upon completion

- Answer general Museum questions (restroom/vending location, hours, daily programs, etc.)

- Maintain clean workspace (cleaning up extra shells and excess glue from tables, etc.)

- Ensure that guests use an appropriate amount of shells (ex: shell critters should be small and fit into one of the small paper bags provided)

  • Available shifts: 

- Kit assembly: Flexible, between 10am – 5pm. Every day.

- In-person: TBD

  • Minimum Time Commitment: 

- Kit assembly: 10hrs

- In-person: TBD

  • Qualifications:

- Must be friendly, accommodating, respectful, understanding, and helpful when dealing with the public (In-person)

- Must enjoy working with both children and adults (In-person)

- Able to work alone or as part of a team

GREAT HALL DOCENT

  • Purpose: To educate visitors about shells and the mollusks that create them. Engage with guests and enhance guest experience while in the Museum.

  • Location: Great Hall of Shells in Museum

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer Orientation (~1.5hrs)

- Study Exhibits Training packet (variable)

- Great Hall training with staff (~1hr)

- Complete the Scavenger Hunts in the Great Hall of Shells (~0.5hrs)

- Shadow Great Hall Docent (~3hrs)

- Pass Great Hall Docent test

  • Responsibilities:

- Engage with guests

- Educate guests about exhibits and answer questions

- Answer general Museum questions (restroom/vending location, hours, daily programs, etc.)

- Assist guests in finding the answers to scavenger hunt questions throughout the Hall

  • Available shifts: Usually 10 AM – 1 PM or 1 – 4 PM. Every day.

  • Minimum Time Commitment: Two shifts per month, for 3 months.

  • Qualifications:

- Must be friendly, accommodating, respectful, understanding, and helpful when dealing with the public

- Excellent communication skills

- Knowledge of mollusks or ability to learn

- Speaking a second language is a plus

COLLECTION VOLUNTEER

  • Purpose: To assist collection staff with organizing the Museum’s scientific collection, which is the heart of any natural history museum.

  • Location: 3nd Floor at the Museum

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer Orientation (~1.5hrs)

- Collections training with Science Director & Curator (on-going as needed)

  • Responsibilities:

- Organization of scientific collection lots, as determined by Curator

- Data input

- Printing and deploying labels

- Labeling specimens

  • Available shifts: Flexible, but limited to 10 AM – 3 PM. Monday through Friday only.

  • Minimum Time Commitment:  minimum of 2 hours per month, for 3 months

  • Qualifications:

- Enrolled in, or graduate of, a marine biology, systematics, environmental science, or related program, or similar training/experience

- Able to follow directions from collection staff and volunteers

- Able to work independently or with others

GROUP TOUR DOCENT

  • Purpose: To educate groups of adults or children in the Museum, creating a memorable experience and molding life-long learners.

  • Location: Various locations throughout the Museum

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer Orientation (~1.5hrs)

- Group Tour Training for each station that you wish to lead. (~1hr/station)

- Read and study outlines for stations (~2hrs)

- Shadow group tour (~2hrs)

- Pass station test

  • Responsibilities:

- Supervise guests while in the Museum

- Educate group guests

- Answer guest questions and facilitate engagement 

  • Available shifts: Variable. Usually 2.5 hours.

  • Minimum Time Commitment: 5 group tours per year

  • Qualifications:

- Must enjoy working with kids and/or adults

- Excellent communication skills

- Ability to follow lesson plan

- Experience teaching is a plus

MOLLUSKS ON THE MOVE VOLUNTEER

  • Purpose: To educate the students of Lee & Collier Counties about local mollusks, their identification, and their habitats. To inspire each student to get outside and explore the natural world.

  • Location: Various schools throughout Lee & Collier Counties. May meet at the Museum to ride with a staff member or meet staff member at the school.

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer Orientation (~1.5hrs)

- Mollusks on the Move training with staff (~1.5hrs)

- Shadow Mollusk on the Move (~6hrs)

- Pass Mollusks on the Move Volunteer test

  • Responsibilities:

- Assist students with shell identification

- Distribute shell identification guides to students

- Assist trip leader with logistics

- Answer general mollusk biology questions

  • Available shifts: Variable, usually 5+ hours per day, but some days more than 8 hours. Usually begin before 8am. Monday through Friday

  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 per school year

  • Qualifications:

- Must enjoy working with kids

- Excellent communication skills

- Fluent in Spanish a plus

- May be required to pass a background check per school district guidelines

MUSEUM STORE VOLUNTEER

  • Purpose: To assist the Retail Manager with tasks as assigned in order to provide a special and enjoyable shopping experience for guests.

  • Location: Museum Store at the Shell Museum.

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer Orientation (~1.5hrs)

- Store training with staff (~1hr)

- Shadow in store (~2hrs)

  • Responsibilities:

- Restock shelves

- Arrange items to look neat/attractive

- Greet customers and help them find merchandise

- Answer general Museum questions (restroom/vending location, hours, daily programs, etc.)

- Other miscellaneous retail store needs

  • Available shifts: 

- Flexible. Usually 10 AM – 1 PM or 1 – 4 PM. Every day.

  • Minimum Time Commitment: 2 shifts per month, for 3 months

  • Qualifications:

- Must be friendly, accommodating, respectful, understanding, and helpful when dealing with the public

- Must enjoy working with the public

- Must enjoy working with both children and adults

- Customer service experience is a plus

- Sales experience a plus

SHELL AMBASSADOR

  • Purpose: To educate interested beach goers about local mollusks and ecology. To share your enthusiasm with others and help create other life-long learners.

  • Location: Sanibel beaches.

  • Training Required:

- Shell Ambassador training session (8 hrs) 

- Shell Ambassador studying at home (~10 -20 hrs)

- Pass Shell ID, Laws & PR, and Beach ID tests

  • Responsibilities:

- Follow all local, state, and federal laws

- Follow all Museum policies at all time

- Responsible for your own safety 

- Educate general public only after they approach you (you are not allowed to initiate engagement with anyone)

  • Qualifications:

- Enthusiasm for mollusks

- Ability to learn shell identification, local beach ecology, and local laws

  • Dress Code:

- Shell Ambassador shirt

  • Special Notes:

- The Museum does not reimburse for beach parking fees, but does reimburse the Sanibel Causeway toll.

- Trainings are offered periodically through season (Dec – April) depending on need.

SHELL COLLECTING VOLUNTEER

  • Purpose: To collect shells for use in the Museum’s programming. By having volunteers collect shells for us, we are able to guarantee that the shells we provide during programming have been collected in a legal, ethical, and sustainable manner.

  • Location: Sanibel beaches where it is legal to collect shells (Not “Ding” Darling)

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer onboarding (~1.5 hrs)

- Shell collecting training (~1.5 hr)

- Pass Shell Collecting Volunteer test

  • Responsibilities:

- Follow all local, state, and federal laws

- Follow all Museum policies at all times

- Responsible for your own safety 

- Collect, clean, and deliver shells to the Museum

  • Minimum Time Commitment: 10 hrs

  • Qualifications:

- Enthusiasm for mollusks

- Ability to learn select Southwest Florida shell identification

  • Special Notes:

- The Museum does not reimburse for beach parking fees, but does reimburse for the Sanibel Causeway toll.

SHELL SORTING VOLUNTEER

  • Purpose: To sort shells by species for use in Museum programming. The Museum has a large amount of local shells donated to it for use in our programs. Having these shells organized by species is the foundation for streamlining all of the programs that utilize these shells. 

  • Location: Ground Floor of Museum, behind the scenes

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer Orientation (~1.5 hrs)

- Shell sorting training with staff (~0.5hrs)

- Shell identification training with staff (~1hr)

- At home study for shell identification (variable)

- Pass Shell Sorting Shell ID test

  • Responsibilities:

- Correctly sort shells by species

  • Available shifts: Flexible, but within Museum’s hours of 10 AM – 5 PM. Every day.

  • Minimum Time Commitment: 10 hours

  • Qualifications:

- Must be able to correctly differentiate common Southwest Florida shell species, or ability to learn

SPECIAL EVENT VOLUNTEER

  • Purpose: To assist Museum staff before, during, and after special events. Special events may include fundraisers, parties, special lecture series, and more. All of these events help to support the Museum’s mission.

  • Location: Museum or off-site.

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer Orientation (~1.5hrs)

- Event specific training as needed

  • Responsibilities:

- Variable depending on event

- Setting up and breaking tables, chairs, tablecloths, decorations, etc.

- Cleaning

- Handing out name tags

- Bartending

- Running errands

- Guest engagement

  • Available shifts: 

- Variable, usually after 5pm

  • Minimum Time Commitment: Variable

  • Qualifications:

- Various prior experience and skills may be helpful

- Event experience a plus

TOUCH POOL DOCENT

  • Purpose: To facilitate guest engagement, educate, and supervise guests touching mollusks at the Touch Pools. Create a unique and memorable experience for guests and help foster lifelong learning.

  • Location: Touch Pools in Museum

  • Training Required:

- Volunteer Orientation (~1.5 hrs)

- Touch Pool training with staff (~2 hrs)

- At home study of Touch Pool Handbook (~5-20 hrs)

- Shadow at touch pool (~2-10 hrs)

- Pass required tests and assessments specific to Touch Pool Docent

  • Responsibilities:

- Supervise guests 

- Ensure all guests wash hands 

- Educate guests about mollusks

- Engage with all guests

- Public speaking to individuals and small groups

  • Available shifts: 

- Usually 10 AM – 1:30 PM or 1:30 – 5 PM (with 30 minute break). Every day.

  • Minimum Time Commitment: 1 shift per week, for 3 months

  • Qualifications:

- Must have completed at least 3 months as an Aquarium Docent 

- Must enjoy working with both children and adults

- Excellent communication skills and a passion for learning

- Previous educating experience a plus