- Saturday - Sunday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Monday - Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 2430 N. Cannon Dr.
Chicago, IL 60614
Volunteers are vital to our mission of creating positive relationships between people and nature. They work throughout the Museum to ensure that our critters are fed, our visitors are happy and our collections are in good working order.
We’re always looking for volunteers to join our team!
If your schedule does not allow you to commit to a full year of volunteering, we encourage you to help with our special events. It’s as simple as sending an email and attending an informational session. Sign up for as many or as few events as you like. Ages 16 and over are welcome. This is an ideal opportunity for group volunteering, so bring your friends! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Volunteers Work in the Following Areas:
Animal Care volunteers work in the Istock Family Look-in Lab to care for our living creatures. They feed the animals, monitor their health and keep the habitats clean. The Museum’s living collections include snakes, turtles, salamanders, frogs and toads, rats, and many invertebrate species.
Shift: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm or 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, every day.
Bird Care volunteers care for the birds in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. They prepare food, feed the birds, monitor their health and keep the habitat clean.
Shift: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm, Sunday.
Judy Istock Butterfly Haven Interpreters answer visitors’ questions and enforce USDA rules in our most popular exhibit. The Judy Istock Butterfly Haven displays more than forty types of tropical butterflies, several bird species and many tropical plants. Interpreters serve as a resource to make sure our visitors make the most of their experience
Shift: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, every day.
Butterfly Lab volunteers ensure that the chrysalides make it into the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven as adults. They keep the lab area clean, pin chrysalides to the display case,and record butterfly emergence.
Shift: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, every day.
Horticulture volunteers work on Nature Trails, the Museum’s first outdoor exhibition. They rid the grounds of invasive species and maintain the natural landscape. This is a seasonal volunteer position, generally active between April and October. Horticulture volunteers embrace Chicago’s unpredictable weather with hardiness and stamina.
Shift: 9:00 am – 11:00 am or 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, every day.
Green Team volunteers focus on environmental sustainability. They lead tours to highlight our sustainable design and educate visitors on living green in their own homes.
Shift: 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, every day.
Museum Collections and Archives
The Chicago Academy of Sciences’ collections and archives are extremely diverse and vitally important to the mission of the Museum. They represent the disciplines of ornithology, mammalogy, herpetology, entomology, malacology, botany, geology, paleontology, oology, photography, art and history. Volunteers assist collections staff to preserve and organize the scientific collections and archives of the museum.
Shift: flexible timing between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm on Tuesday.
PIP volunteers deliver daily public programs. They educate children and adults using curriculum kits, live animals, and their sunny dispositions.
Shift: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm, every day.
Special Events volunteers are always on call to help us execute our monthly, annual, and one-times events. From face painting and kids games to food service and registration duties, special events volunteers make it possible for us to host things like Nature on Tap, Bugapalooza, Supper with the Snakes, and the Run for Science 5K.
Shift: depends on the event; sign up for as many events as you like, whenever it suits your schedule.
Visitor Studies volunteers help determine how visitors interact with exhibits by completing observational studies and exit interviews. Their work results in quantifiable evidence of which exhibit elements resonate with visitors and which could use some work.
Shift: flexible timing between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, every day.