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 Seal Exhibit, Touch Tank, Shark & Ray Touch Pool, Jiggle a Jelly and Ocean Beyond the Sound exhibit.
Volunteers also work behind-the-scenes, helping out in our corporate offices, organizing sleepovers and other special events.
In addition, the divers who plunge in among our sharks are all volunteers as well. (Certified qualified divers can join our dive team, but through a process different than what's described below. Learn more about joining our dive team here.)
Becoming a Maritime Aquarium Volunteer Gallery Ambassador can be an exciting and rewarding experience. As a Gallery Ambassador, you will serve an important role in the education of guests visiting the Aquarium. Being a Gallery Ambassador requires that you are able to perform several job functions:
- All applicants must be at least fifteen (15) years of age at time of submitting application.
- All applicants must successfully complete an introductory training course. Training courses are held in October, March, and June. Each session covers marine science, public speaking skills and activities designed to foster good relations among volunteers.
- All applicants agree to pay a training fee which helps to defray the costs of a Volunteer uniform shirt, name badge, background check, and materials related to the training course ($40.00).
- All applicants must be willing and able to volunteer at the touch tank. This involves handling live invertebrates (including, but not limited to, sea stars and horseshoe crabs), assisting the public in touching these animals, and giving educational talks about them.
- All applicants must be willing and able to speak to aquarium visitors and lead educational talks at assigned exhibits.
- All applicants must be willing and able to volunteer both indoors and outdoors, regardless of weather.
- All applicants must be willing and able to work with children of varying ages, as well as adults.
- All applicants are required to pass a criminal background check, which requires a valid US Social Security number.
In addition to the above information, there are a few things that you need to know before deciding to take the next steps in joining our volunteer program. Our mission is to educate the guests visiting The Maritime Aquarium about life above, on, and below the waterline of Long Island Sound and its watershed, and the need for wildlife conservation. We do not handle any of the aquarium animals other than those in the touch tanks, nor do we help care for them. This is an unpaid volunteer position.
Adult Applicants: If accepted as a Maritime Aquarium Volunteer, I agree to be available to volunteer four (4) days per month and commit to at least one year of service at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. I understand that I will have NO direct animal contact other than those animals at The Maritime Aquarium’s touch tanks. I have read the acknowledgment of understanding, I have considered the requirements and essential functions, and I would like to submit my application for The Maritime Aquarium Volunteer Program. I certify that I am at least 18 years of age.
Teen Applicants and Parents/ Guardians: If accepted as a Volunteer at The Maritime Aquarium, I agree to be available to volunteer 1 day per week (July through September) and commit to at least 100 hours of service (Summer Season) or 2 days per month (September through June) and commit to at least 100 hours of service at the Maritime Aquarium (Academic Year Season). I understand that I will be required to work some weekends and holidays as part of my service. I understand that I will have NO direct animal contact other than those animals at The Maritime Aquarium’s touch tanks. I understand that I am the potential volunteer, not my parent/guardian. I understand that I must follow through with the application process, not my parent/guardian. I have read the acknowledgment of understanding, I have considered the requirements and essential functions, and I would like to submit my application for the Maritime Aquarium Volunteer Program. I certify that I am at least fifteen (15) years of age.
Please consider all the information above before submitting your application, which can be found at the following link:
Please Note: applications are now closed for the summer.
Once we have processed your application, we will contact you to schedule your participation in one of our group information and interview sessions. If you have any questions, please contact me via email at LSlinsky@maritimeaquarium.org or at (203) 852-0700, ext. 2225. Thank you for your interest in The Maritime Aquarium, and I look forward to meeting you in the near future.