Land a hand at Oregon Coast Aquarium

Oregon Coast Aquarium is offering the chance to start 2020 on a positive note by volunteering to speak on behalf of Oregon’s marine animals and their environments.

The aquarium will hold its New Volunteer Information Session and tour this Saturday, Jan. 11, starting at 10 am. Anyone interested in joining the aquarium’s dedicated interpreter volunteer team is encouraged to attend.

“The connection that volunteers develop with the aquarium’s animals, staff, fellow volunteers and guests continues to be the energy that brings us all together as a close-knit community,” said Volunteer Services Manager Beth Hawkyard.

Interpreter volunteers are an integral part of the aquarium’s mission. Collectively connecting with more than 400,000 visitors each year, these volunteers ensure that visitors leave the aquarium with a better understanding of, and appreciation for, Oregon’s coastal and marine environments.

In order to make sure they are full prepared, volunteers undergo a five-weekend crash course on the coastal and marine fauna of Oregon, husbandry practices and interpretive strategies. The upcoming course starts on February 1.

“I felt well-prepared by my classroom training,” said volunteer Ronda Hipshman. “It was very comprehensive and well organized with wonderful materials and group activities.”

Upon graduation, volunteers spend a few hours each week speaking on behalf of Oregon’s marine animals and their environments to aquarium visitors.

As well as regular doses of cute animals, volunteer benefits include free aquarium membership; reciprocal membership to 11 other museums and attractions in the Portland metro area; invitations to exclusive lectures and continuing education programs at the aquarium and Hatfield Marine Science Center; and a behind-the-scenes look at a marine science exhibition facility that is consistently ranked among the 10 best in the USA.

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