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Volunteering in the Woods Hole Science Aquarium

Feeding a rescued sea turtleVolunteers help the aquarium staff care for the animals. The volunteer program is an opportunity to learn about aquariums and animals, explore career paths, and contribute to the welfare of marine animals, including some endangered species.

Volunteers help with many tasks:
* preparing food
* feeding animals
* cleaning tanks
* helping with projects such as changing exhibits or updating signs

Experienced volunteers who stay with us for extended periods may be invited to participate in special events such as the release of rehabilitated turtles.


Holding a horseshoe crabVolunteers must be at least 16 years old, and must able to work 3-4 hours once a week, for a period of at least four months. Volunteers who want to work with seals must make a nine-month minimum commitment.

Observing the fishVolunteers do not need to have aquarium skills or experience in animal husbandry. The aquarium staff provides training when each new volunteer begins work.

The WHSA often has openings for volunteers, although occasionally there may be a short waiting period. Anyone interested in volunteering may email Sarah Trudel or call (508) 495-2098.

Please note, we do not accept new volunteers during the summer months.

Volunteer Facts

  • At any one time, 5-10 people are enrolled as WHSA Volunteers
  • Volunteers range in age from high school students to retirees
  • Volunteers include students, teachers, technicians and scientists from other labs, and local citizens with no other connection to marine science
  • Volunteers contribute more than 1,000 hours per year
  • The NEFSCā€™s Jane Foster Award for Outstanding Volunteership is named for a volunteer who gave hundreds of hours in the late 1990s

did you know
The blue whale can produce the loudest sound by an animal - up to 188 decibels - which can be detected as far away as 853 kms (530mi).

See photos of our wonderful volunteers who help keep the aquarium running smoothly.
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