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

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ORGANIZATION: The Dickens Project

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.

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 (6-8 PM), January through March. Starting the first full week of February, docent trainees will also be required to attend a weekly shadow shift. 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 Tuesday-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.


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About The Dickens Project


1156 High Street, 327 Humanities Bldg. 1, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, US

Mission Statement

The mission of the Dickens Project is threefold: to promote and carry out research and teaching on Charles Dickens and 19th-century literature and culture; to share its research findings with students, teachers, scholars, and members of the general public through domestic and international conferences, as well as through outreach efforts focused on the public humanities; and to professionalize the next generation of 19th-century studies scholars.


We seek volunteers to assist with our high school educational outreach programs and our annual summer conference, the Dickens Universe.


Animals, Community, Environment


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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