Jobs, Internships, Volunteering

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Thank you for your interest in opportunities at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences.

For more than 167 years, we have been dedicated to educating Chicagoans about nature and science.

We were originally founded in 1857 as the Chicago Academy of Sciences, an institution of scientific discourse and learning among scientists and nature enthusiasts. We continue to build on our legacy of natural history exploration and education at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum through immersive exhibits, critical conservation and research initiatives, public engagement, and education programming. Our mission is to create a positive relationship between people and nature through collaborations, education, research and collections, exhibitions and public forums to grow our region’s urban connection to the world of nature and science.

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

Employment Opportunities

Reports to: Building Operations Manager

Summary of Position:

As the Urban Gateway to Nature and Science, the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum prides itself on a clean, well functioning, and safe museum environment that connects people to nature and inspires audiences to learn more about the world around them. The Building Operations Assistant performs in all facets of building operations, from HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical maintenance to exhibit and special event support. This full-time, hourly position is primarily located at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park with occasional work located at the museum’s Collections facility in the Ravenswood neighborhood.

Principle Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform maintenance, repair, and troubleshoot lighting issues including ballast and daily lamp changing
  • Routinely perform upkeep and repair of all building systems
  • Control and adjust HVAC system via direct digital control, utilizing computer programs
  • Light service and maintenance of building plumbing as well as effect general plumbing fixture repairs in staff and public restrooms
  • Light electrical repair, carpentry, and renovation work
  • Service and maintenance of Judy Istock Butterfly Haven environment mechanicals
  • Maintenance and repair of small equipment, electric, and gas motors
  • Assist with the construction, setup, and strike of temporary exhibits
  • Assist with building maintenance issues at off-site Collections facility
  • Assist in the setup and breakdown of AV equipment/lighting and seating for presentations, meetings, and special events
  • Intermittent assistance in the supervision of service contractors and personnel
  • This full-time position will require a work schedule that will include one weekend day as well as occasional evening work and taking call duty

Education & Qualifications:

  • High school diploma or GED equiv.
  • Bachelor’s or associate’s degree in electrical, mechanical, or HVAC installation, service, and maintenance preferred
  • Experience in carpentry and light construction
  • Excellent familiarity with wood/ metal working machinery and equipment
  • Must be able to lift 60 lbs
  • Must be comfortable working on ladders and elevated heights
  • Proficient in verbal and written communication
  • Ability to operate a forklift and skid steer a plus

How to Apply: Please send resume to hr-buildassist@naturemuseum.org

No phone calls please. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all areas of the organization. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the US. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visa at this time.

Reports to: Chief Curator and VP Museum Experience

Summary of Position:

The Nature Museum prides itself on original, creative, educational exhibits that inspire our visitors to learn more about world around them. Critical to this is the ability to create and maintain a safe, clean and fun environment which our visitors can enjoy. The Building Operations Manager will act as the main museum quality control officer and contact for the facilities maintenance, security contractor and building technical services. The role will also provide critical oversight and support of special events in regard to the planning of facilities porter function and security personnel. This position will work collaboratively across various departments, with internal and external teams, as well as independently. Candidate will possess excellent communication, planning and organizational skills. One weekend day will be required.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Main in-house contact and supervision for maintenance and repair contractors. Coordinates and oversees all building support services ranging from preventive maintenance to emergency service. Coordinating the work of outside vendors, such as elevator services, HVAC maintenance and repair, security and custodial maintenance, roofing and MEP contractors.

  • Main in-house contact for all City of Chicago building inspection personnel

  • Direct supervision of Building Maintenance Assistant. Create, maintain and review the “weekly task list” with the Building Operations Assistant, updating as required.

  • On-boarding and oversight of maintenance and security contractors

  • Supervision and maintenance of ME storage areas, facilities storage, paint room, and AV room.

  • Management of loading dock and paver lot to maintain areas clean and clear of clutter

  • Responsible for light electrical, plumbing and Drywall Repairs

  • Responsible for in house light construction and painting projects

  • Coordination and assistance with snow removal as required

  • All administrative aspects of building operations such as:
    • Processing of building operations purchase orders, including invoice request from all contractors/vendors

    • Keep inventory & order all facilities maintenance supplies

    • Log all technical activities into the Building Report Entries

    • Attending all meetings of Museum Experience Team, internal & external partners as it pertains to special events

    • Routinely check functionality of all AV equipment, such as lamps, software updates and batteries

  • Oversight, implementation and maintaining current best practices of the Emergency Action Plan, including planning of fire drills and specialized security issues.

  • Development of cross department initiatives involving building operations such as accessibility & safety concerns.

  • Main in-house contact for internal & external special events. Coordinating staff coverage, engineering, facilities, and security. Coordinating room set up and strike. Coordinate & implement AV set up.

How to Apply:

Please apply at: https://peggy-notebaert-nature-museum.breezy.hr/p/4634031f5bfb-building-operations-manager

Only qualified candidates will be contacted. No phone calls please.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all areas of the organization. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the US. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visa at this time.


Department: Collections & Archives

The Chicago Academy of Sciences seeks to fill a part-time Collections Technician position with its Collections & Archives Department. Reporting to the Senior Director of Collections, the Technician will work closely with the Collections Manager and Senior Director to assist with a range of projects to achieve departmental initiatives of preservation, access, and development of the collections. This position will be stationed primarily at the Academy’s off-site collections facility in the Ravenswood neighborhood and may occasionally conduct work at the Nature Museum in Lincoln Park.

Principle duties and responsibilities:

  • Assist with processing items, including cataloguing, databasing, labeling, establishing appropriate housing, and integrating into storage. This may be with all manner of types of objects, from vertebrate, invertebrate, botanical, fossil, cultural, archival, library, etc.

  • Digitally image objects using a flatbed scanner or digital SLR camera and imaging software. Embed descriptive, technical, and administrative metadata into image files.

  • Assist with projects to expand access to the Academy’s collections, including cleaning data for migration into data portals, creating visual representations of data through maps, charts, and other diagrams, georeferencing, collection tours, and other activities.

  • Carefully handle irreplaceable natural history objects and associated data to maintain specimen and data integrity.

  • Assist with facility management activities, including integrated pest management, environmental monitoring, and storage maintenance to ensure collection preservation.

  • Assist with sharing department activities with public audiences including through blogs and social media, as well as participating in museum events.

Qualifications:

  • Must have strong organizational skills and attention to detail; be reliable; able to follow directions precisely; and have effective time management skills.

  • Possess good communication skills, both written and oral.

  • Must have good interpersonal skills and work well with other staff, volunteers, and visitors.

  • Able to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.

  • Able to carry out research through hard copy references or online resources. Able to solve problems creatively.

  • Good physical coordination and ability to handle fragile objects. Ability to work within 32-inch aisles, climb ladders, and lift 25 pounds.

  • Comfortable working with computers and learning new software and equipment. Technicians will use CAS/PNNM’s online collections management system, Arctos (http://arctos.database.museum/); Adobe Photoshop, Bridge, and other imaging software; GeoLocate and online mapping resources; as well as other software and online resources.

  • High school diploma, some university experience. Preference for those interested in working with museum collections and natural history.

Who We Are: The natural history collections are interdisciplinary and consist of approximately 300,000 specimens and artifacts from zoological and earth science disciplines to cultural heritage items that date from the 1830s to the present. The archives include institutional records, manuscript collections, and an audiovisual collection. The library is focused on the natural sciences and includes monographs and serials.

Compensation: This is a part-time position (20-24 hours per week). Compensation is $18.00 per hour. Regular schedule would fall within the collections facility hours of Tuesday – Saturday, 9am-5pm, and set with supervisor. Occasional weekend days required to participate in programs and events.

How to apply: Please send your resume and a cover letter in PDF format to
hr-colltech@naturemuseum.org. Application deadline is July 31, 2024. No phone calls please. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all areas of the organization. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the US. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visa at this time.

Reports to: Education Leadership Team

Status: Full Time

Position Summary:

This position requires a multi-dimensional bilingual educator with natural science content knowledge and a passion for teaching. It entails implementation of onsite and offsite science and environmental education programming (in English and Spanish) for a wide variety of audiences varying in ages from pre-K to adults. Some program development responsibilities especially curriculum writing and revision (in English and Spanish) are also required. Classroom experience that is transferable to school and community outreach education, teacher professional development, after school programming, and museum settings is essential. This position’s responsibilities include staying current on best practices in education with English Learners and collaborating with program leads and museum educators across the Education Department to integrate current best practices into all programs. This position also provides primary support for the sharing of cross-program knowledge around bilingual Spanish initiatives and culturally-responsive teaching practice with English Learners and Spanish-speaking audiences.

Minimum Education Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree in science and/or education fields.

Minimum Experience Required:

  • Two years teaching experience working in formal K-12 (classroom) setting or informal (museum, zoo, nature preserve) educational setting strongly preferred

  • Experience speaking and writing Spanish

  • Experience teaching or training adults, especially teachers, a plus

Principle Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Implement science education and environmental science programs to students and teachers in Chicago area schools, at the Nature Museum, and as community-based programs.

  • Support all regular functions and programming of the Education Department, including program development, evaluation, and operations

  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with the teachers, parents, students, external partners, and other members of the communities the Nature Museum serves

  • Stay current in best practices for English Learners in school-based and out-of-school time settings

  • Communicate to other Nature Museum educators about relevant best practices to strengthen Nature Museum programs for Spanish-speaking audiences

  • Participate in collaborative development processes for bilingual Spanish initiatives which include: sharing ideas; creating systems and tools; and translating, creating, and editing written materials

  • Collaborate with program leads to prioritize projects and bilingual Spanish initiatives for their programs

  • Support the sharing of cross-programming knowledge, including lessons, development procedures/systems, approaches, and content

  • Develop, write, and translate curricula for formal and non-formal programs, collaborating with appropriate people

  • Maintain administrative operations and records related to bilingual Spanish resource development

  • Complete animal handling training

  • Some weekends and evenings are required

  • Participate in special Museum-wide events and planning committees when appropriate

Brief List of Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of the K-12 Framework for Science Education, Common Core, and Next Generation Science Standards

  • Knowledge of and ability to teach science, nature, and environmentally-based content to a diverse population of learners, including teachers

  • Ability to organize and manage multiple projects and tasks at once

  • Ability to communicate effectively with other educators, school administrators, outside partners, volunteers, and Museum staff.

  • Working knowledge of Google Suite, MS Office, Outlook, and Windows XP

  • Ability to physically lift, transport, and carry program materials off-site and throughout the Museum

  • Ability to lead activities both indoors and outdoors

  • Comfort handling live animals and non-living specimens

  • Bilingual (Spanish) required

  • Valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle is required

Compensation: $43,888/ year

How to Apply:

Please send resume to HR-EduPrograms@naturemuseum.org

No phone calls please. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all areas of the organization. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the US. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visa at this time.

Status: Part-Time

The Guest Experience Associate is a multi-faceted position that requires an energetic and welcoming individual who thrives in a team environment providing the Nature Museum’s visitors and guests a dynamic experience during their visit to the Museum.

Desired Experience:

Previous customer service experience at a cultural institution such as a museum, art gallery, or theater.

Position Requirements and Duties:

  • Professional and engaging personality that promotes a spirit of positivity to guests and fellow teammates

  • Providing excellent customer service by centering diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and equity into each interaction

  • Greeting guests, processing Museum visitor admission tickets and selling memberships

  • Working the register in the store selling items; as well as stocking, cleaning, and organizing the Museum Store

  • Monitoring our Butterfly Haven exhibit (special training provided)

  • Working the coat check window

  • Assisting with school group processing

  • Support Daily and Special Event program facilitation

  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including weekends, evenings and holidays

  • Participating in on site and virtual training pertaining to Museum-relevant subjects

  • Other customer service related duties as assigned

Compensation: This role is a part-time non-exempt position and pays an hourly rate of $16.20 per hour.

How to Apply:

Please send resume and cover letter to hr-geassociate@naturemuseum.org

No phone calls please.

Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all areas of the organization. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the US. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visa at this time.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences has a long history of hiring engaged, talented employees, and we’re looking for a Human Resources (HR) Manager to continue this tradition. The Human Resource Manager is a key member of the Nature Museum team and is responsible for supporting a collaborative, mission-driven culture and providing excellence in HR support and services. The ideal candidate will have experience in HR or employee recruitment, with a thorough understanding of HR policies and procedures. The bulk of the role will involve strengthening our collaborative and productive culture, as well as employee orientations, benefits administration, compensation, rewards, and conflict resolution, and there is great opportunity for developing and refining policies and systems. We are looking for a Human Resources Manager who connects easily with people and has a detail-oriented mindset for handling the dynamic nature of today’s workforce. This role is in-person at the Museum.

The Ideal Candidate Is:

  • A detail-oriented self-starter with prior experience in human resources
  • Passionate about building collaborative cultures for mission-driven organizations
  • Someone who exhibits sound judgement with the ability to prioritize and make decisions 
  • Empathetic and an excellent listener
  • A team player capable of cultivating productive working relationships across the organization 
  • Resourceful, with a can-do attitude
  • Thrives in fast-paced environment

Responsibilities

  • Enhances the organization’s human resources framework by planning, implementing, and evaluating employee relations and human resources policies, programs, and practices.
  • Maintains the work structure by updating job requirements and job descriptions for all positions.
  • Supports organization staff by maintaining a recruiting, testing, and interviewing program; assisting managers with candidate selection when needed; conducting and analyzing exit interviews; and recommending changes.
  • Prepares employees, for assignments as a part of both their onboarding and ongoing professional development, by establishing and conducting orientation and training programs.
  • Manages a compensation plan by conducting periodic wage and salary surveys; scheduling and conducting job evaluations; preparing pay budgets; monitoring and scheduling individual pay actions; and recommending, planning, and implementing pay structure revisions.
  • Ensures planning, monitoring, and appraisal of employee work results by training managers to coach and discipline employees; scheduling management conferences with employees; hearing and resolving employee grievances; and counseling employees and supervisors.
  • Implements employee benefits programs and informs employees of benefits by studying and assessing benefit needs and trends; recommending benefit programs to management; directing the processing of benefit claims; liaising with benefits brokers; obtaining and evaluating benefit contract bids; as necessary; awarding benefit contracts; and working with the broker to design and conduct educational programs on benefit programs.
  • Ensures legal compliance by monitoring and implementing applicable human resource federal and state requirements, participating in investigations, and maintaining records
  • Enforces management guidelines by preparing, updating, and recommending human resource policies and procedures.
  • Retains historical human resource records by utilizing the HRIS (currently Paylocity) and maintaining past and current records.
  • Cultivates professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks, and participating in professional societies.
  • Collaborates in cross-departmental initiatives such as the museum’s DEAI Strategy Team.
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • At least 5 years professional-level HR experience, with at least 3 years of exempt-level
    professional recruitment and ATS experience
  • Knowledge of federal and state employment laws and regulations
  • Experience working with employees in collective bargaining units in unions
  • Experience managing multiple projects concurrently, demonstrating a sense of urgency, and results orientation
  • Exceptional communication skills: verbal, written, and presentation
  • Strong customer relations and interpersonal skills with a high level of response to all inquiries
  • Strong professional maturity and judgment; Ability to handle confidential information with
    discretion; Ability to deliver difficult messages
  • Nonprofit experience a plus

Benefits

  • Comprehensive Medical, Dental + Vision Plans
  • Life + Disability Benefits
  • EAP + Work/Life Program Services
  • 401(k) Savings Plan
  • Paid Time Off
  • Paid Sick Leave

Salary range: $70,000-$80,000

To Apply: Please send a resume and cover letter to hr-humanresources@naturemuseum.org to apply.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all areas of the organization. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the US. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visa at this time.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is hiring independent contractors to install and dismantle temporary exhibitions in the Special Exhibitions Gallery and for other events during the year on a temporary basis- generally winter, late spring, and early fall.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Requirements vary for each exhibition. Most contractors will be required, under direction of the Exhibit Production Supervisor and/or the Lead Exhibit Fabricator to:

  • Assist in preparing the gallery (including new construction, and repainting).
  • Assist the forklift operator loading and unloading trucks at the dock.
  • Handle crates to and from the dock, the freight elevator and the 2nd floor gallery.
  • Pack and unpack exhibit components and move empty crates to and from storage.
  • Distribute and assemble or disassemble components per provided instructions and drawings.
  • Assist in hanging, moving, and focusing lighting instruments in the gallery.
  • Clear and clean the gallery and the exhibition in preparation for opening.
  • Ability to lift and hold up to 60 lbs.
  • Familiarity with the safe use of hand and power tools, dock equipment and personal protective gear, and general carpentry/assembly experience are preferred.
  • A positive attitude toward the work and the exhibition team, pleasant and professional conduct toward all museum staff and visitors, and self-motivation to complete assigned tasks are required.

Compensation: Compensation starts at $15 per hour working 6-10 hours per day.

Some evenings and/or weekends are required.

How to Apply:

Please send resume to CAScontractor@naturemuseum.org

No phone calls please. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all areas of the organization. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the US. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visa at this time.


The Staff Accountant is a key member of the finance team and is responsible for treasury management, month-end close, postings to general ledger, inputting monthly journal entries, balance sheet account reconciliations, bank reconciliations, miscellaneous financial reports as requested, processes accounts payable, maintains vendor files, is responsible for coordinating all calendar year-end tax forms and providing back-up for other functions within the Finance Department.

The Ideal Candidate Is

  • A detail-oriented self-starter with prior experience as a Staff Accountant 
  • Someone who exhibits sound judgment with the ability to prioritize and make decisions
  • Energetic and eager to tackle new projects and ideas 
  • Comfortable interacting with high-level executives
  • A team player capable of cultivating productive working relationships across the firm 
  • Resourceful, can-do attitude
  • Thrives in a fast-paced environment 

Responsibilities

  • Oversees daily cash management, maintains bank accounts, and act as a liaison between CAS/PNNM and financial institutions
  • Records all payroll fee invoices in general ledger (MIP) and perform quarterly payroll reconciliations and analysis of fees, taxes, and the like 
  • Records all cash transactions in MIP, including development and all other miscellaneous revenue
  • Records account transfers, bank fees, electronic payments, and the like in MIP 
  • Assists with preparations for annual financial audit and annual tax filing and provide support during audit fieldwork.
  • Maintains carefully organized files of the company’s financial records in accordance with the document retention policy 
  • Maintains depreciation schedule pre- and post-monthly journal entry, reconciling monthly
  • Supports reconciliation of balance sheet accounts 
  • Custodial account reconciliation for investments 
  • Reviews invoices for accuracy and ties-out balance to check requests 
  • Reviews general ledger coding and proper approvals on all check requests to ensure expenses are coded correctly per the budget
  • Processes check requests and invoices in MIP (data entry) 
  • Prepares and process accounts payable checks
  • Monitors accounts to ensure payments are up-to-date 
  • Resolves invoice discrepancies
  • Corresponds with vendors and responds to inquires 
  • Determine, process and issue 1099’s to the IRS by due dates
  • Document and regularly update related processes and procedures 
  • In coordination with the finance team and the organization as a whole, supports, implements, maintains, and reports on work that upholds inclusion, diversity, equity, and access
  • Other duties as assigned by VP of Finance 

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting plus 2 years as a Staff Accountant, preferably with a nonprofit organization, or equivalent skills and experience required.
  • Experience gathering and evaluating financial information and making accountable recommendations to senior leadership. 
  • Experience inputting and processing journal entries into a computerized accounting system, as well as a solid understanding of general accounting principles.
  • Ability to analyze and reconcile balance sheet accounts and bank statements. 
  • Excellent computer and superb Microsoft 365, particularly Excel, skills required. 
  • Must be professional, analytical, detail-oriented and have excellent communication skills. 
  • Background and reference check required.
  • Deep commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity is required. 

Benefits

  • Comprehensive Medical, Dental + Vision Plans
  • Life + Disability Benefits
  • EAP + Work/Life Program Services
  • 401(k) Savings Plan
  • Paid Time Off
  • Paid Sick Leave

To Apply: Please send a resume and cover letter to hr-finance@naturemuseum.org to apply.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all areas of the organization. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the US. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visa at this time.

Internship Opportunities

There are no open positions currently available. Please check back for opportunities as they become available.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are no open positions currently available. Please check back for opportunities as they become available.

A Note on Volunteering

Regardless of their role, all Nature Museum volunteers must have a commitment to our mission and a genuine passion for nature and science.

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. You can browse the variety of volunteer positions offered below. Questions? Please our Volunteer and Intern Coordinator, Anabel Hirano, at ahirano@naturemuseum.org.

  • Host Volunteers provide meaningful assistance and support to museum guests of all ages. They provide wayfinding assistance throughout the museum, highlight daily programs and upcoming events, and help to answer questions from guests. Host Volunteers provide invaluable support by acting as a conduit between museum guests and museum staff and volunteers.

  • Public Interpretive Program (PIP) Volunteers serve as the voice of the Museum, helping 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.

  • Special Event Volunteers support larger museum events such as Summer Nature Fest, Bugapalooza, and Booseum Bash. Special Event volunteers do a variety of roles, depending on the day’s needs. Roles may include things such as greeting and checking in guests, facilitating craft activities, or helping guests collect insects in the prairie. This role is best suited for those who want to be involved, but may not be able to commit to a regular schedule.
  • Living Collections Volunteers assist staff with the care of the animals in the museum’s Living Collections. This may include preparing food, feeding, and cleaning enclosures. The animal care volunteer cares for a wide range of animals including (but not limited to) snakes, turtles, frogs, salamanders, birds, and many invertebrate species. Duties may vary by day and at the discretion of the Living Collections staff.

  • Horticulture Volunteers work in the museum’s outdoor and indoor garden spaces to maintain and restore landscapes.

  • Butterfly Lab Volunteers care for the butterflies within the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. They keep the receiving lab area and pupae cases clean, keep records of butterfly emergence, prepare food trays for the butterflies, and process shipments of new chrysalises. All work in the lab must follow strict USDA regulations.

  • Collections Volunteers assist Collections staff in preserving and organizing the scientific collections and archives of the museum. Work takes place primarily at the museum’s off-site Ravenswood Collections Facility. Collection Volunteers who are preparing new specimens (taxidermy) primarily work at the Nature Museum’s Beecher Lab.

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