Volunteer Opportunities


  • Aquarium Educators (formerly known as Aquarium Interpreters) are ambassadors, representing the Waikīkī Aquarium by engaging visitors of all ages and backgrounds in one-on-one conversations and small group presentations. Our Educators share information about marine animals and the environment at our outdoor reef touch tank exhibit, our monk seal exhibit and inside our galleries. Aquarium Educators commit to work one two-hour shift per week for a minimum period of six months. Shifts are available every day of the week from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

    Aquarium Educator Volunteer Training

    Aquarium Educator training consists of an online training module and hands-on training. The flexible online course covers interpretation skills and various marine science topics. After completion of the online portion, volunteers schedule two one-on-one sessions where they receive on-the-job training. When trainees feel comfortable, they choose a two hour shift and become Aquarium volunteers.

    To Apply:

    • Complete the Volunteer Application
    • Upload background Check to Application Profile
    • Schedule Meet-and-Greet Session at Volunteer Center
  • Share a sense of wonder about the sea!

    School Support Program Docents help give lively presentations and guide interactive discovery tours of Waikīkī Aquarium exhibits for students in Kindergarten through grade 6. Volunteering as a Docent provides rich opportunities to learn about Hawaii’s marine life and contribute to conservation education in our community. Upon completion of training, School Support Program Docents volunteer one morning a week (Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday) from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. throughout the school year (October-May).

    School Support Program Docent Training

    The 12-session training course for new Docents is held once per year in September.

    Missed this year’s training course? Prospective Docent volunteers are encouraged to inquire regarding shadowing and pre-training opportunities throughout the year.

    To Apply:

    • Complete the Volunteer Application
    • Upload background Check to Application Profile
    • Schedule Meet-and-Greet Session at Volunteer Center
  • Help support the Waikīkī Aquarium’s mission by volunteering in The Shop at Waikīkī Aquarium. Volunteers act as Aquarium “ambassadors” assisting guests with purchases and helping with shop upkeep and displays. Our merchandise collection includes clothing, jewelry, books, children’s toys, and souvenirs all with ocean and marine life themes. This volunteer opportunity is good for individuals who like to work inside.

    Qualifications

    Customer service and retail experience is encouraged but not required. We provide all training. The Shop at Waikīkī Aquarium volunteers receive individualized on-the-job training from staff and current volunteers. Volunteers work one 4-hour shift per week for a minimum of six months. Morning shifts are from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and afternoon shifts are from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Contact us today for more information about getting involved and sharing the Aloha Spirit with our guests.

    To Apply:

    • Complete the Volunteer Application
    • Upload background Check to Application Profile
    • Schedule Meet-and-Greet Session at Volunteer Center
  • Many events hosted by the Waikīkī Aquarium would not be possible without the time and energy of dedicated volunteers. Special Events volunteers assist at Aquarium functions throughout the year. Special Event crews help in various capacities such as set-up, registration, craft and activity tables, scrip sales, food booths, guest greeting, and much more!

    All events support the Waikiki Aquarium’s mission

    to inspire and promote understanding, appreciation, and conservation of Pacific marine life.

    Our annual events include:

    • International Koi Show (February)
    • Mauka to Makai (Earth Day Celebration) (April)
    • Ke Kani O Ke Kai Summer Concert Series (June-August)
    • Family Night (August)
    • FOWA – Friends of Waikiki Aquarium Members’ Night

    To Apply as an Individual:

    • Complete the Volunteer Application
    • Upload background Check to Application Profile
    • Schedule Meet-and-Greet Session at Volunteer Center

    To Apply as a Group:

    • Please contact the Volunteer Center at (808) 440-9020.
  • Waikīkī Aquarium offers a Teen Interpreter Program during the summer. Spots for this program are limited and students are selected based on availability, experience, and enthusiasm. High school teenagers learn about Hawaiian marine life and share that knowledge by interacting with adults and children who visit the Aquarium..

    Program Dates for 2016:

    Teens must be available to volunteer for a half-day shift (either morning or afternoon) on Tuesdays (July 5 to 26) or Wednesdays (July 6 to July 27), or both days.
    All applicants are required to come to a training session on July 5 from 3:00 to 6:30 PM. Teens will be expected to read and review materials outside of class.

    To Apply:

    Complete the Teen Interpreter Volunteer Application by June 1st.
    If you have further question please email roney@waikikiaquarium.org.

  • Now accepting applications for:

    Fiscal and Administrative Internship

    Appropriate for: Business major or related field
    Direct Supervisor: Administrative Officer: Byron Apo

    Required Qualifications:

    Detailed oriented, working knowledge of MS Word, Excel, basic accounting knowledge, professional manner, customer oriented, initiative-goal oriented and positive attitude. Business Major or related field.

    Narrative of Duties

    Assist the Administrative Officer with all functions relating to the daily operations of the Waikīkī Aquarium. Update fiscal documents, budget tracking, Inventory management, complete forms such as purchase orders, requisitions, etc. Perform follow up tasks. Resolve minor problems and questions. Answer incoming phone calls, maintain mail run schedule, set up and maintain filing of completed fiscal and HR forms, with the main emphasis on maintaining the highest level of service with all related departments within the Waikīkī Aquarium and other Departments. Other duties as assigned.

    To Apply

    • Complete the Volunteer Application
    • Upload background Check to Application Profile
    • Upload short resume of relevant experience to Application Profile
  • Invasive Algae Clean-ups

    Click here to read more. To sign up for the Invasive Algae clean up email listing to receive clean up registration dates please send your name, and e-mail to volunteer@waquarium.org

  • Beach Clean Ups

    Interested in Beach or Algae clean ups? Eventbrite - Waikiki Aquarium Invasive Algae Clean-Up

    To sign up for the Beach clean up e-mail listing to reviece clean up registration dates please send your name, and e-mail to volunteer@waquarium.org

  • Special Projects

    The Waikīkī Aquarium Volunteer center is open to supporting local schools and community groups by partnering on special projects. Proposals are approved on an individual basis and are up to the discretion of the Volunteer Program Coordinator and supporting staff. Past special projects proposals submitted to the Volunteer Center include:

    • Interactive marine face-whole photo board
    • Paper Shredding
    • Marine themed holiday decorations completed by school students
    • Creative marine themed large-scale lawn decorations

    For special projects proposals please call the Volunteer Center at (808)-440-9020.

  • Hawaii Cultural Gardening

    The Waikīkī Aquarium has always treasured the property’s gardens, but often need help with upkeep, and landscaping. At this time, the Volunteer Center is seeking volunteers who have formal experience with gardening and are willing to dedicate time to help our growing Hawaii Cultural Gardening team. Team members must be willing to get dirty, work early hours, able to work with little supervision, be able to bend and kneel for long periods of time, and capable of lifting up to 30 lbs.

    To Apply:

    • Complete the Volunteer Application
    • Upload background Check to Application Profile
    • Schedule Meet-and-Greet Session at Volunteer Center
  • General Office Support

    Did you know that Aquarium volunteers outnumber staff 8 to 1?

    While many volunteers work directly with visitors and our Aquarium residents, we are also in need of volunteers to help behind the scenes in office support roles. Office Support Volunteers work closely with and for staff members, at a desk they share with other volunteers/staff or from home if the task permits. We seek volunteers with basic computer skills, punctuality, good writing, spelling and typing skills. Staff will provide training for database and website content management software used at the Aquarium. Volunteers must also have an outgoing personality, professional manner/attire, and organizational skills. Serving in an office is an easy way to develop and use professional skills. Some support volunteers are assigned special projects that use their unique skills.

    To Apply:

    • Complete the Volunteer Application
    • Upload background Check to Application Profile
    • Upload short resume of relevant experience to Application Profile
    • Schedule Meet-and-Greet Session at Volunteer Center
  • Coastal Restoration Service Learning

    To compliment local college Service Learning requirements, Waikīkī Aquarium has created individualized student programs. Each student is required to commit at least 25 hours of service time. The Aquarium’s Service learning module incorporates active learning through a combination of training and hands-on experience through the semester.

    Typical projects assigned to Service Learning students include, but are not limited to:

    • Planning and execution of Beach Clean ups
    • Support and participate at Waikīkī Aquarium and UH Botany Department Invasive Algae Clean up
    • Create original social media material to act as marketing
    • Assist with set-up, execution, and tear-down of Aquarium Special Events
    • Take online training focused on Marine Life in Hawaii and use that knowledge to educate visitors about tide pool animals and endangered endemic animal.

    To Apply:

    • Complete the Volunteer Application
    • Upload background Check to Application Profile
    • Upload short resume of relevant experience to Application Profile
    • Upload Class Schedule
    • Schedule Meet-and-Greet Session at Volunteer Center
  • Live Exhibits Volunteer Opportunities

    Aquarist assistants work behind the scenes learning the basic routine maintenance of saltwater and some freshwater exhibits. Duties include, but are not limited to: animal feeding and training, exhibit maintenance, and learning the ropes of aquarium systems and basic aquarium ecology.

    • Animal feeding:
      • Learn to feed fish, invertebrates, reptiles, and possibly our monk seals.
    • Exhibit maintenance:
      • This may or may not include diving in tanks (UH scientific diver status is required to dive our shark exhibit; other tanks only require training and the proper comfort level similar to snorkeling in the ocean).
    • Husbandry:
      • Learn about breeding animals and the husbandry of live feeds plankton systems.
    • Aquarium systems and basic ecology:
      • Learn what creates and maintains healthy aquarium ecosystems and how to recover when one becomes out of balance. Learn about pumps, UV’s, lighting, and temperature regulation within exhibits.
    • Collecting:
      • We are lucky to live in Hawaii where we collect many of the local animals that you see on display. Perhaps you can assist in catching our next octopus or with the collection of new moon jellies.

    Requirements

    Only applicants with previous fish and invertebrate animal care experience or related academic background will be considered. Aquarist assistants are:

    • Enthusiastic and committed
    • Self-motivated and able to work independently and as part of a team
    • Able to climb on top of, around, and inside tanks to clean them when required
    • Capable of lifting a 50-pound bag of gravel

    Training and Commitment

    After successful completion of CITI online training classes and additional Live Exhibits training, volunteers commit to working at least 4 hours a week (minimum shift must be at least 2 hours long) for a minimum of 6 months. Ideal candidates will be able to commit to a minimum of 4 hours a week for one year.

    To Apply:

    • Complete the Volunteer Application
    • Upload background Check to Application Profile
    • Upload short resume of relevant experience to Application Profile
    • Upload Class Schedule (If Appropriate)
    • Schedule Meet-and-Greet Session at Volunteer Center
    • Schedule Interview with Biologist
  • Community Partner Volunteer Programs

    The Waikiki Aquarium prides itself on partnering with community organizations, educational institutions, and non-profits. These partnerships include ancient Hawaiian traditions like the concept of the AhupuaÊ»a, a Hawaiian word for plot of land that is linked by similar geographic, socioeconomic, and climatic factors. An Ahupua’a starts at the top of a mountain and stretches to the sea. This is often referred to as Mauka to Makai (Mountain to Ocean).

    Keeping with the tradition of Mauka to Makai, the Aquarium supports community partners who do their part to conserve and educate through volunteer programs. Waikiki Aquarium has a volunteer program consisting of approximately 300 volunteers in addition to holding both Beach and Algae Clean ups. Our Mauka partners who offer volunteer programs include Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai and Papahana Kuaola.

    Volunteer at Ka Papa Loʻi O Kānewai

    Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai Website

    First Saturday Community Work Days are a Kānewai tradition going back to 1980 and the revitalization of the current garden area. First Saturdays are open to anyone in the community looking for an opportunity to experience traditional farming methods, converse with Hawaiian Language speakers, talk story with practitioners, ku‘i ‘ai, ku‘i ka imu, and enjoy the day with family and friends. Please visit their website for more information.

    Volunteer at Papahana Kuaola

    Papahana Kuaola Website

    Papahana Kuaola is successful with the support of dedicated and passionate volunteers. While the work that volunteers do can be physically challenging, the experience is invaluable. Volunteer Workdays are hosted every 3rd and 4th Saturday of the month. To RSVP, please visit their website.

  • Educator Aquarist Job Description

    Educator Aquarists work in the Critter Holding Area to maintain our touch tank animals in addition to being an Educator at our Edge of the Reef (EOR) and Hawaiian Monk Seal Exhibits.

    Responsibilities:
    Answer questions from the public, initiate conversations with visitors, and demonstrate appropriate animal handling of our live touch tank animals. Maintain Critter Holding Tanks, e.g., change critters at EOR every 2 hours, wash gravel, siphon, feed animals, etc.

    Requirements
    A Bachelor’s degree or college major in marine biology/biology/science, or applicable experience in marine science. Please upload a resume of relevant experience and copies of official transcripts to Application Profile. Must have completed Aquarium Educator training and completed a minimum of 20 volunteer hours as an Aquarium Educator.

    Educator Aquarists are:

    1. Enthusiastic and committed
    2. Self-motivated, able to work independently and as part of a team
    3. Capable of lifting a 50-pound bucket of water

    Training and Commitment
    After additional Educator Aquarist (EA) training, volunteers commit to working at least 4 hours a week for a minimum of 6 months. Ideal candidates will be able to commit to a minimum of 4 hours a week for one year. Your dependability is a top priority, as you are responsible for animal safety.
    Time Commitment: 4 Hour Shifts will occur from 9am-1pm and 1pm-5pm

    EA Prerequisite to Live Exhibits Volunteer Policy
    EA Training & Service is a recommended prerequisite for general Live Exhibits (LE) Volunteer positions. After 6 months of service, EAs are eligible for general LE Volunteer positions.

    To Apply:

    1. After completing a minimum of 20 volunteer hours as an Aquarium Educator, upload resume of relevant experience to your existing volunteer application and email Guerin to notify him you are interested in the position.
    2. After verifying that you meet the requirements, Guerin will contact you to schedule an interview & training. Training occurs Tuesday-Saturdays, though Sunday & Monday schedules are available.

    Attendance
    Regular and punctual attendance is expected of each Educator Aquarist (EA). EAs are expected to actively participate for the scheduled duration of their shift and share duties with other Educators. Use EA Shift Schedule in Critter Area to sign in your time upon arrival and departure. Attendance, absence and tardiness will be recorded. If you will be absent, late for your shift, or need to leave early, please notify your supervisors by phone or email as soon as possible. Two weeks’ notice is required for an absence, except in the event of an emergency or illness. Two unexcused absences within 6 months will result in dismissal from our EA program.

    Leave of Absence
    EAs may be granted a “leave of absence” for up to three months before becoming inactive. Requests for a “leave of absence” should be discussed with your supervisors prior to the period of absence unless an emergency occurs.

    Resignation
    If you are no longer able to fulfill your commitment as an EA, please give Guerin and the Volunteer Office two weeks’ notice.

    4 Hour AM or PM Shift Work Schedules:
    9am Critters to EOR*
    9:15am-10:15am Siphon
    30 minute Break
    10:45 Critters to EOR
    11am-1pm Educator at EOR*

    1pm Critters to EOR
    1pm-3pm Educator at EOR*
    3pm Critters to EOR*
    30 minute Break
    3:30pm-4:30pm Siphon
    4:45pm Critters from EOR
    *Please check Educator Schedule in Volunteer Office for vacant shift and “cover” EOR as needed.