Pursue your interest in marine animals – and share your knowledge and enthusiasm with others – by becoming a member of the vital volunteer staff at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Applications are being accepted now for the Aquarium’s next Gallery Ambassador training course, which will be conducted entirely online – in virtual workshops, along with an online course – in January. The application deadline is Dec. 31. Virtual interviews will be held on Tues., Jan. 5, with the course starting two weeks later for selected candidates.
“Volunteering here is fun and personally rewarding, and it’s also vital to fulfilling The Maritime Aquarium’s mission of educating and inspiring guests about Long Island Sound,” said Ann Marie Lisi, the Aquarium’s associate director of education. “If you’re retired, the Aquarium offers a great way to stay active and connected. A weekday-morning shift could be perfect for stay-at-home parents after they get their kids off to school. And serving as a weekend volunteer is a great experience for high-school students thinking about a career in marine biology.”
Prior knowledge about marine animals isn't necessary for becoming an Aquarium Gallery Ambassador. That's what will be taught in the upcoming training course, which will meet in online workshops from 7 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 19, Jan. 21, Jan. 25 and Jan. 27. Participation in all four sessions is required. Candidates also must complete an online course.
You must be at least 15 years old to sign up. Adult volunteers are especially needed for weekday time slots.
Gallery Ambassadors are stationed at Aquarium exhibits – such as the seal exhibit, Shark & Ray Touch Pool and “Jiggle A Jelly” exhibit – to engage with guests and help them learn about the represented animals.
The minimum time commitment required of Aquarium volunteers is 100 total hours, at four hours per week for weekday volunteers and four hours per month for weekend staff. Letters of recommendation and other service-award forms will be signed at the completion of 100 hours of service.
The Maritime Aquarium is fully open with special pandemic precautions for guests, volunteers and staff. Protocols include: mask requirements for everyone over age 2; reduced capacity implemented through admission by advance, online-only ticketing with timed entry; enhanced cleanings; and one-way flow through galleries.
A $50 fee covers the costs of training materials and uniforms. Volunteers receive discounts in the Aquarium Gift Shop, Cascade Café and on many programs.
The Maritime Aquarium’s volunteer program is critical to the Aquarium’s success. Last year, volunteers gave an invaluable 23,565 hours of service to the Aquarium.
For more details and to sign up, go online to www.maritimeaquarium.org/volunteer and download the application.