Print Logo



Volunteer in Butterfly Lab

Volunteers are vital to our mission of creating positive relationships between people and nature.

They work throughout the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to take care of our critters, engage our visitors throughout our exhibits, preserve our historic collections, and so much more.

Regardless of their role, all Nature Museum volunteers must have:

  • A commitment to our mission
  • A genuine passion for nature and science
  • A friendly personality and positive attitude
  • An active email address that is checked frequently

Thank you for your interest in volunteer opportunities at the Nature Museum. We invest a lot of time in bringing new volunteers on board and finding the right fit for their interests, talents, and schedules. Please know that it may take up to two months to become an official Nature Museum volunteer. If you have an urgent need for service hours, we encourage you to seek out other opportunities. 

Please note: The Nature Museum will be closed until Monday, April 13 due city- and state-wide efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. If you would like to volunteer with us in the future, feel free to apply to any of the below positions. Once we reopen, we will resume interviewing new volunteer candidates.

All current opportunities are listed below. If there are no current positions listed, please check back often as we post positions as they become available.

*Please note, due to our background check process, a valid US Social Security number is required to volunteer at the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Animal Care Volunteer
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Animal Care Volunteers care for the animals of the Museum's living collections from 8am-12pm. The main duties involve preparing food for the animals in the Living Collections as well as cleaning their enclosures. The Animal Care Volunteer cares for a wide range of animals including (but not limited to) snakes, turtles, frogs, salamanders, rats, and many invertebrate species. Be prepared to get dirty.

Position Requirements:

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must have experience caring for animals (including pets)
  • Commitment to a regular 8am-12pm shift for at least one year
  • Willingness to feed live invertebrates and frozen/thawed fish and pinky mice to other animals
  • Comfortable working around and cleaning animal waste
  • Comfortable touching and handling snakes, turtles, rats, and some invertebrates
  • Able to bend to floor level, climb on step stool, reach, and lift 20 pounds

Apply to be an Animal Care Volunteer

Museum Host
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Museum Host volunteers are part of our amazing Guest Experience team, making our guests feel welcome and helping them find their way around the museum. Duties will have you moving all around the museum, doing tasks ranging from welcoming volunteers to the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, to helping guests find the elevator, to just being a smiling face if anyone has a question. Required skills include a quick smile and enthusiasm for talking about the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum!

Position Requirements:

  • Must be 16 years or older
  • Willingness to regularly work with visitors of all ages, from tiny toddlers to adults
  • Willingness to learn our programming and be part of our Guest Experience team

Apply to be a Museum Host

Mobile navigation