Make a difference by volunteering at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

Aquarium volunteers not only have the opportunity to make a difference in their local community, but they receive all kinds of training and benefits along the way. (News-Times file photo)

Do your New Year’s resolutions involve connecting with your community, increasing your social and emotional wellbeing, and learning more about the incredible marine life here on the coast? You have the opportunity to fulfill these through volunteering at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

The New Volunteer Information Session and tour of the Aquarium will be held on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 10 a.m. 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 Beth Hawkyard, Volunteer Services Manager. 

Interpreter volunteers are ambassadors for nature and are an integral part of the Aquarium’s mission. Collectively connecting with over 400,000 visitors each year, interpreter volunteers ensure that our visitors leave the Aquarium with a better understanding of, and appreciation for, our coastal and marine environments.

Speaking on behalf of animals and their environments is no simple task, which is why the Oregon Coast Aquarium treats its volunteer trainees to a five-weekend crash course, which starts on Feb. 1, on the coastal and marine fauna of Oregon, husbandry practices and interpretive strategies.

On her training experience, Ronda Hipshman shared: “I felt well-prepared by my classroom training. It was very comprehensive and well organized with wonderful materials and group activities – all familiar to a retired teacher who went to many required workshops/trainings. This one was most enjoyable as it was by choice.”

Upon graduation, these volunteers spend a few hours each week speaking on behalf of Oregon’s marine animals and their environments to Aquarium visitors. This exposure provides people a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact for their local environment, and the ocean on a global scale.

Additional perks for Aquarium volunteers include:

- Complimentary Aquarium membership and free passes.

- Reciprocal membership to 11 other museums and attractions in the Portland metro area, including the Oregon Zoo.

- Invitations to participate in exclusive lectures and continuing education programs.

- A behind-the-scenes look at a facility that is consistently ranked among the ten best Aquarium’s in the U.S.

- The opportunity to join rank with nearly 400 other outstanding volunteers that share a passion for marine science.

- Discounts at the Aquarium gift shops.

For more information, visit or contact the Aquarium’s Volunteer Services department at [email protected] To become one of the newest voices for Oregon’s marine and coastal animals, fill out an online application at


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