Volunteer & Internships

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Volunteer Opportunities

The Texas State Aquarium is a unique, not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers to ensure a quality guest experience. We have a great group of volunteers who help keep our plants, animals, and habitats healthy and our guests happy. No matter what your skills, we have a place for you! As one of the top aquariums in the nation and a leader in informal science education, the Texas State Aquarium is a wonderful place to give back to the community.

 

Volunteer Benefits

 

Volunteers at the Texas State Aquarium receive:

  • Orientation program and handbook
  • Free admission to the Aquarium
  • Free parking
  • Earn guest passes for hours of service
  • Special recognition and volunteer appreciation events
  • Discounts in the gift shop and food court
  • Specialized training on exhibits, operations, animals, and conservation (depending on position)
  • Volunteer newsletters to keep you informed
  • Opportunities to meet new people with similar interests
  • Opportunity to support a recognized leader in tourism, informal education, conservation, and rehabilitation

 


 

How do I become a volunteer at the Texas State Aquarium?

  • Complete an online application. (Click here for application)
  • Attend an information class. (Click here for a list of upcoming information session dates.) Please call 361.881.1381 to confirm time of next session. Please come dressed to participate in a tour of our facility – close-toed shoes must be worn in order for you to participate in the tour.
  • Complete all paperwork needed during orientation.
  • Complete interview with TSA Volunteer Staff.
  • Pay non-refundable $35 program fee (only if selected into the volunteer program.)
  • Pass a criminal background check if 18 or older. If under 18, provide two letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, or community leaders.
  • Must provide proof of completion of the Hepatitis B vaccine series.
  • Complete 60 hours of Guest Ambassador Program or Guide Training through the Interpretation department, prior to being eligible for an interview for any animal care, dive, or wildlife care positions. There is no guarantee of acceptance into any of these programs.
  • Complete any other training classes and pre-requisites required for your chosen position.

(Volunteer Program staff will communicate with you via email or telephone to keep you informed as you move through the application process.)

If I want to volunteer, what else should I know?

  • Volunteers are required to follow the uniform guidelines, behavior agreements, all animal care policies and procedures, and other policies and procedures as set forth in the Volunteer Handbook.
  • Most volunteer shifts are scheduled in 4-hour increments.
  • Volunteer positions are based on the interests of the volunteer, the skills required, availability of positions and scheduling availability.
  • ALL positions require a volunteer to be over the age of 18.
  • Some positions, such as diver, also require a volunteer to have outside certifications.

 


 

Volunteer Positions

Exhibit Guides are “volunteer teachers” who share their knowledge of the Aquarium animals and habitats with the guests. The only thing you need to bring is enthusiasm and the ability to work a 3-hour shift once a week. We provide the training. This is a high public interaction position working towards a goal of ultimate guest satisfaction.

Exhibit Hosts assist with monitoring exhibits and provide directional/way-finding assistance to guests as well as program schedule reminder and answer questions from guests. This is a high public interaction position working towards a goal of ultimate guest satisfaction.

Guest Services Hosts assist in welcoming guests and assisting them with direction and general information about the Aquarium as well as conducting surveys. This is a high public interaction position working towards a goal of ultimate guest satisfaction.

Animal Husbandry includes the areas of fish/invertebrates/reptiles, marine mammals, birds/small mammals, and wildlife care rehabilitation. You must have the ability to work a 4 hour shift. Volunteers help prepare food for the animals and keep the animals healthy and the exhibits clean.

Dive volunteers help to maintain exhibits and assist with programming. Divers must be dive certified, will need to have a doctor’s clearance, and pass a check-out dive. Divers get credit for bottom time and overall volunteer time.

Administrative volunteers help stuff envelopes and packets, office work, filing, file conversion to electronic storage, prepare mail-outs and may do some computer work.

Library volunteers help to maintain the Weston’s library by organizing books, interacting with guests, cleaning the library space, story time in Family Learning Center and Weston’s Library, etc.

Education volunteers assist the Education Department with a variety of camps and special programs for kids of all ages. Education volunteers help by facilitating crafts, preparing and cleaning up classrooms and helping instructors out on tours, excursions, and activities throughout the Aquarium and SeaLab. Activities are indoors and outdoors.

 

For more information, email volunteer@txstateaq.org or call 361.881.1381.

To download an application, click here!

 


 

Additional Volunteer Opportunities

 

Guide Partner Program (12-13 years old)

The Guide Partners Program pairs one child with one adult (parent or guardian). They will work as a team, attending training and starting out as apprentice guides, this program in ONLY available in the Exhibit Guide category. They will also work as a team as they move from one exhibit area to another and interact with visitors.

Opportunities: Provides an opportunity for families to work and learn together.

Requirements:

  • Each volunteer must complete an online application.
  • Attend an information class. Please call the Volunteer Department at 361-881-1381 to confirm time of next session. Please come dressed to participate in a tour of our facility – close-toed shoes must be worn in order for you to participate in the tour.
  • Complete all paperwork needed during orientation.
  • Complete interview with Guide Program Area Coordinator.
  • Pay non-refundable $35 program fee (only if selected into the volunteer program.)
  • Pass a criminal background check if 18 or older. If under 18, provide two letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, or community leaders.
  • Must provide proof of completion of the Hepatitis B vaccine series.
  • Participation in the training program.

Benefits:

  • Development of child/adult teamwork
  • Building self confidence
  • Taking part in positive social interactions
  • Learning about the marine environment
  • Taking positive conservation action

 


 

AquaTeen Program (14-17 years old)

 

AquaTeens is an exciting way for teens to explore the opportunities in zoo and aquarium careers. We are looking for positive, responsible students with an enthusiasm for learning and having fun. This is a year-round program that requires a commitment of 32 hours per month during the summer (June, July, and August) and 4 hours per month from September through May. You must reapply each year.

AquaTeen Opportunities:

  • Guest Services – Greet and open doors for guests, serve as TSA mascot, complete guest surveys,  and act as directional guides and sources of information for guests.
  • HEB Splash Park – Help with keeping area clean, and kids safe and entertained.
  • SeaCamp- Assist SeaCamp counselors with daily projects, and act as an extra set of eyes and ears. AquaTeens will also be participating in activities such as canoeing and swimming.
  • Family Learning Center – Help prepare for daily programs, keep area clean, help with arts and crafts. Will also help in the Weston’s Library area (keep area clean, help with story time, and learn basic library procedures).
  • Food Court – Assist with keeping area clean, and with preparing food.
  • Fundraising - Work airbrush tattoo machine, games, arts and crafts to support various aspects of the volunteer department.
  • Recycling – Assist with weekly recycling at the Aquarium and participate in scheduled Adopt-A-Beach clean-ups.
  • Animal Husbandry Assistant – Help Aquarists, Keepers, and Trainers with the care maintenance of the animals and exhibits (volunteering in this area is based on knowledge, training, and experience obtained at the Aquarium.)
  • Dolphin Bay and Wild Flight Interpretation Assistant – Help keep Dolphin Bay and the Wild Flight Theater clean and ready for visitors, help seat visitors for the program and generally assist Interpretation staff at Dolphin Bay. (Volunteering in this area is based on knowledge, training, and experience obtained at the Aquarium. AquaTeens will not have any direct contact with the dolphins or birds.)

 

2nd Year and Beyond Opportunities (in addition to above):

  • Exhibit Guide – Learn about the habitats and animals at the Aquarium, assist visitors, and answer questions about the exhibits.

Requirements:

  • Be between the ages of 14-17
  • Complete an application
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Participate in an interview process
  • If accepted, complete the required training and meet schedule requirements

Application information:

  • Deadline for 2014-2015 year: Monday, April 14
  • Application fee: First-time AquaTeens $40, returning AquaTeens $25
  • Program start date*: End of May each year

*Program start dates are subject to change.

Additional Information on the AquaTeen Program

 

To be added to our mailing list, please email volunteer@txstateaq.org or call 361.881.1381.

 


 

Shadow Program

 

The Texas State Aquarium values job shadowing as an important part of career exploration. Time spent watching a trained staff person can be very enlightening. The staff at the Texas State Aquarium strive to offer the very best experience to the student.

The person requesting participation in the program should contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@txstateaq.org or 361-881-1381 to discuss what area would be most appropriate.

Requirements:

  • Minimum grade level: 8th
  • Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Program will attempt to schedule on date requested.
  • Completion of Application, Student Questionnaire and Waiver of Liability after discussion of request with the Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Two week notice required

 

Group Volunteer Opportunities

 

The Texas State Aquarium has a variety of opportunities for groups to volunteer. Whether you are a Boy/Girl Scout troop, fraternity, sorority, church group, etc., we have something for you!

If you are interested in a group volunteer opportunity, email  volunteer@txstateaq.org or call 361.881.1381. Click here for a group application.

Please be sure to provide the following information so we can help you identify the correct group volunteer opportunity for you:

  • Group name
  • Name of the main group contact
  • Contact email address
  • Contact phone number
  • Number of participants in the group
  • Date(s) or timeframe interested in volunteering
  • The type of group volunteer activity you are interested in
  • If applicable, the number and age of volunteers under 18

Click here for Group Volunteer application.

  Internships / Externships

 

The Texas State Aquarium provides internship and externship opportunities for students looking for invaluable experience, professional connections and unique opportunities. They are available in a variety of areas throughout the Aquarium. Our internships and externships are typically offered in the fall, spring and summer and we accept applications year round – deadlines for each term are specified below. Not all areas will have positions available during all semesters.

Applicants must:

  • Be a college student or recent graduate, Husbandry applicants must be 18 and over
  • Submit and internship/externship application, resume, cover letter
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from employers, professors, or community leaders
  • Interview with Aquarium Staff*
  • Pass a criminal background check if 18 or older. If under 18, provide two letters of recommendation from teachers, employers or community leaders
  • Complete Internship/Externship/Volunteer Orientation. If internship/externship is a paid position, intern must complete all employment orientation and paperwork requirements through the HR department.
  • Complete any other training classes and pre-requisites required for your chosen position
  • Any applicable university or college credit must be arranged by the student through his/her institution
  • All housing and transportation must be arranged by the intern.

*Only applicants that are selected for an interview will be notified of their application status.

Spring term:

Application Deadline: November 30

Proposed Intern period: January – April

 

Summer term:

Application Deadline: March 31

Proposed Intern period: May – August

 

Fall term:

Application Deadline: July 31

Proposed Intern period: September – December

 

For available internships and externships, click here.

To be added to our mailing list, please email volunteer@txstateaq.org or call 361.881.1381.Click here to apply.