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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.

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 Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, to helping guests find the elevator, to just being a 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 programming and be part of our Guest Experience team

Apply to be a Museum Host

Public Interpretive Programs 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 assist Guest Engagement Facilitators with our daily floor programs. In this public-facing role, you will engage with visitors of all ages and knowledge levels, from one-on-one interactions to large school groups. These programs include working with turtles, snakes, amphibians, and bugs for our Critter Connections and Animal Feedings; educational table programs and activities using real touchable and scientific specimens from our teaching collections; and leading story time for our youngest visitors.

Position Requirements:

  • Must be 18 years old or over
  • Commitment to a regular 4-hour shift for at least 6 months
  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Comfortable around animals including snakes, turtles, amphibians, and bugs
  • Willingness to work regularly with visitors of all ages, from toddlers to adults
  • Willingness to learn Nature Museum programs and follow Nature Museum interpretive standards
  • Ability and flexibility to learn new programs quickly

Apply to be a Public Interpretive Programs Volunteer

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