Aquarium Searches For Youth Volunteers

AZA Accreditation, Veterans, Volunteers

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is offering teens a chance to tread in the footsteps of famous wildlife ambassadors this summer. Just like Jack Hanna, Jeff Corwin or the late, great Steve Irwin, these teenagers will embark on a journey of discovery, for themselves and some of the 400,000 people that visit the Aquarium each year. The Aquarium is currently recruiting future youth volunteers for a six-weekend crash course on the coastal and marine sciences of Oregon. Youth will go on to share what they learned with the Aquarium’s visitors.

Tazzy, Skinny, Pinky and Tater during a feeding session behind the scenes at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Tazzy, Skinny, Pinky and Tater during a feeding session behind the scenes at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

The experience is not all work and no play. Youth volunteers also enjoy outdoor adventures, like whale watching expeditions, and practice key marine science skills like putting on survival suits. The program draws high school age students from as far away as Portland.  “I think the summer-time social network this provides the kids keeps them coming back every year,” said Teresa Mealy, Youth Programs Coordinator for the Aquarium.

Many youth volunteers continue their service throughout the school year. They team up with Aquarium staff to develop their own ocean advocacy projects to teach their peers and Aquarium visitors about marine conservation. The Aquarium’s youth volunteers may not become the next Jacques Cousteau or Sylvia Earle, but they will carry environmental awareness and stewardship they develop for the rest of their lives.

To complete an application to join the Aquarium’s volunteer teams, visit aquarium.org or contact the Aquarium’s Volunteer Services department at volunteer@aquarium.org.

Information and photos by Oregon Coast Aquarium