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Volunteer in Butterfly Lab

Volunteers are vital to our mission of creating positive relationships between people and nature.

They work throughout the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to take care of our critters, engage our visitors throughout our exhibits, preserve our historic collections, and so much more.

Regardless of their role, all Nature Museum volunteers must have:

  • A commitment to our mission
  • A genuine passion for nature and science
  • A friendly personality and positive attitude
  • An active email address that is checked frequently

Thank you for your interest in volunteer opportunities at the Nature Museum. We invest a lot of time in bringing new volunteers on board and finding the right fit for their interests, talents, and schedules. Please know that it may take up to two months to become an official Nature Museum volunteer. If you have an urgent need for service hours, we encourage you to seek out other opportunities. 

All current opportunities are listed below. If there are no current positions listed, please check back often as we post positions as they become available.

*Please note, due to our background check process, a valid US Social Security number is required to volunteer at the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.


Look-In Lab Maintenance Aid Volunteer
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

This is a trial position, and may be temporary. The purpose of this position is to help our biology team with general cleaning and maintenance tasks to improve the overall cleanliness and appearance of the Look-In Lab (and possibly other labs in the Nature Museum).

Position Requirements:

  • Must be over 18
  • Must be able to life over 40 lbs
  • Comfortable maneuvering large, awkward objects, stretching, and kneeling
  • Willingness to handle live and dead animals
  • Able to deal with unpleasant odors

Apply to be a Maintenance Aid


Museum Host
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Museum Host volunteers are part of our amazing Guest Experience team, making our guests feel welcome and helping them find their way around the museum. Duties will have you moving all around the museum, doing tasks ranging from welcoming volunteers to the Butterfly Haven, to helping guests find the elevator, to just being a present, smiling face if anyone has a question. Required skills include a quick smile and enthusiasm for talking about the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum!

Position Requirements:

  • Must be 16 years or older
  • Willingness to regularly work with visitors of all ages, from tiny toddlers to adults
  • Willingness to learn our programing and be part of our visitor services team

Apply to be a Museum Host


Produce Run Volunteer
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

We need someone who enjoys driving out to the suburbs to lend a hand to our biology team. This position involves driving to Northlake to pick up the biweekly Imperfect Produce donation for the Nature Museum! This produce is diverted from being wasted due to its appearance, and instead is used to feed our museum critters.

Position Requirements:

  • Must have a current driver's license
  • Must have proof of auto insurance
  • Must have own transportation

Apply to be a Produce Run Volunteer


Public Interpretive Programs (PIP) Volunteer
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Serve as the voice of the Museum! Volunteer 10:30am-2:30pm one day per week on a regular schedule to lead all of the programs the Museum offers to the public on a daily basis. These programs include animal-focused programs like Critter Connections and Animal Feedings; activities that connect visitors to our exhibits and collections; and story time for our littlest visitors. You’ll get extensive training before you start, and we can promise that no two days will be the same.

Position Requirements:

  • Must be 18 years old or over
  • Commitment for a regular 4-hour shift for at least 6 months
  • Comfortable around animals including snakes, insects, spiders, and rats
  • Willingness to regularly work with visitors of all ages, from tiny toddlers to adults
  • Willingness to learn our programing and be part of our program team

Apply to be a PIP Volunteer


RiverWorks Maintenance Volunteer
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Our RiverWorks exhibit is a fun, splashy play area for children, but what many kids and parents don't know is that we work hard to ensure our guests’ safe enjoyment of these exhibits through aggressive behind-the-scenes cleaning techniques to stop contamination before it starts. Shifts are from 7:45-9:45am every Sunday. We will provide any necessary protective gear, including rubber gloves, goggles, aprons, face masks, etc. You provide the elbow grease!

Position Requirements:

  • Must be 16 years old or older
  • Ability to work on one’s knees
  • Must be willing to get wet and dirty
  • Ability to work with mild detergent
  • An interest in promoting a clean and germ-free environment for our visitors

Apply to be a RiverWorks Volunteer

 
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