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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.


Butterfly Haven Horticulture Assistant Volunteer
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

This morning-only position is focused on watering, sweeping, cleanup, and general care of plant life in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. This position's purpose is to get the Butterfly Haven ready to open in the morning at 9am. Gardening experience preferred but not necessary.

Position Requirements:

  • Must be over 18
  • Must be able to lift over 40 lbs
  • Must be able to step over low walls
  • Must be able to work in a hot, humid environment

Apply to be a Haven Horticulture Assistant


Conservation Care Volunteer
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

The Conservation Care Volunteer’s main tasks involve caring for the animals we keep at the Museum for head-starting and other conservation projects. Currently, the animals include Blanding’s turtles, smooth greensnakes, and wood frogs. The volunteer must be willing to feed live prey to animals (invertebrates and fish) as well as learn other tasks to help care for other animals in the living collections as needed. Tasks include cleaning aquatic tanks (includes siphoning water, cleaning rocks, writing identification number on turtles’ carapace), as well as feeding, giving fresh water, and misting tanks of wood frogs and smooth greensnakes.

Position Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 20 lbs above your shoulder
  • Must be able to bend, kneel, stretch, and push heavy carts

Apply to be a Conservation Care Volunteer


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 lift 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 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


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

 
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