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  • 1 person is interested

Become a Docent at the Seymour Center and help protect the oceans!

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Seymour Marine Discovery Center

  • 1 person is interested
Seymour Marine Discovery Center

Thank you for your interest in joining the outstanding group of people who volunteer as part of the Seymour Center's Visitor Programs crew. Our team of volunteers brings the excitement and importance of marine science to life for thousands of visitors a year. Spanish speakers are especially encouraged to apply.

What would I do as a Visitor Programs Docent? Teams of volunteers, student employees, and staff work together in our visitor hall to connect the public with the ocean using hands-on, marine science interpretation. Docents are trained to lead 30-minute tours of Seymour Center and Coastal Science Campus research facilities.

What are the benefits? Meet fun and dedicated people who share your enthusiasm for the ocean. Learn about local marine life and scientific research. Gain experience in public speaking, and interpreting marine science research and conservation. Enrichment opportunities are offered to active volunteers throughout the year. Active volunteers receive personal admission benefits, guest passes, and Ocean Discovery Shop discounts. Two units of UCSC course credit are available to UCSC students; course listing is BIOE95. Class participation in BIOE95 is contingent upon a successful in-person interview and permission code.

What are the requirements? Must be responsible, punctual, and reliable. Enjoy working with people of all ages and backgrounds. Desire to learn and communicate marine science and research to the public through hands-on activities and engaging interpretation. Must be comfortable working with live marine animals and be comfortable working with children. Enjoy working cooperatively with a team of other volunteers and staff. Minimum 18 years of age. Must have attitude of a lifelong learner. No previous knowledge of marine science or conservation is required.

What does the training cover? Training sessions provide orientation to Seymour Center Visitor Programs, basic interpretation and marine science presentation skills, safe handling of live intertidal animals and sharks, introduction to a variety of marine science concepts, and current information on Long Marine Lab research.

When and where is the training? All training sessions take place at the Seymour Center on Wednesdays (6:00-7:30 PM) and Saturdays (10 AM-12:30 PM), January through March. Reading and homework will be given each day. Ongoing training and support, and additional training sessions provided throughout the year.

Minimum commitment: One shift every other week for one year after completion of training (including the summer months). Shift times are Wednesday-Sunday 9:30 AM-1:30 PM (morning shift), and 1-4:15 PM (afternoon shift). Volunteers are responsible for arranging coverage for missed shifts (planned absences such as vacations, appointments, work, or school commitments) by arranging a sub or shift trade. Volunteers are able to change regular shift times each quarter to accommodate changes in work or class schedules.

How do I apply to become a Visitor Programs Docent? Submit an application that can be downloaded from our website: Applications will be reviewed, and selected candidates will be contacted for an interview as soon as possible.


More opportunities with Seymour Marine Discovery Center

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About Seymour Marine Discovery Center


Long Marine Lab, 100 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, US

Mission Statement

The Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab is dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the understanding and conservation of the world's oceans.


The Seymour Center is a small aquarium, with exhibits and the largest blue whale skeleton on display in the world. There is a seawater touch table, a shark touch pool, and a wonderful Ocean Discovery Shop.

Volunteer opportunities are plentiful at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. Volunteers are constantly learning about the latest in ocean science, marine biology, and ocean conservation.

Become a Seymour Marine Discovery Volunteer and

* contribute to the community
* explore the ocean and sea life
* learn about exciting marine science research firsthand from the experts
* attend special field trips, seminars, lectures, and outings
* make new friends
* share your knowledge with children and visitors from around the world
* enjoy social events and potlucks
* receive discounts in the Ocean Discovery Shop
* earn courtesy guest passes

It could change your life!

"Loved our visit here. Touch pools were so fun and the staff are so knowledgeable. One docent was our favorite, thank you Jack for being so much fun. The center is lucky to have such great volunteers." J.W., Folsom, CA

Over 200 volunteers continually support the Center in a variety of ways, from teaching underserved kids to painting whale bones to leading tours as a docent. Volunteers support day-to-day operations and many education programs that benefit the community. In return,our volunteers get a lifelong learning opportunity.



We'll work with your schedule.


100 McAllister WaySanta Cruz, CA 95060



  • Environmental Education
  • Customer Service
  • Environmental Science




  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training

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