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The Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Drive
Tampa, Florida 33602
Open daily - 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The mission of the Florida Aquarium is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship of our natural environment by engaging 800,000+ visitors of all demographics from around the world in quality marine science education programs and exhibits. Our programs and exhibits share the Florida water story, emphasizing the important role each of us plays in protecting and restoring our water’s resources.

You can help The Florida Aquarium protect and restore our blue planet by becoming a volunteer! We are seeking individuals who are passionate about marine life, the natural environment, and are eager to assist the Aquarium with its mission to entertain, educate, and inspire stewardship of the natural environment.

No experience is necessary for any of our volunteer positions because we provide all training!

Please note the majority of our volunteer opportunities require a minimum 8 hours per month for a minimum of 6 months.

The first step to become a volunteer is to attend one of our information sessions to find out more about our amazing opportunities. Information sessions are held quarterly. We invite you to look over the volunteer opportunities; if any are of interest, we'll give you the link to view the information sessions.

Although there are eight volunteer positions at the Florida Aquarium, only the top four, with respect to immediate needs, are inluded in this web site.  The four positions are listed in the buttons below.  Positions shown in the blue buttons are all at the Tampa location.  However, the one in purple is at the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach.

Click any of the four buttons to see a detailed description of the associated volunteer position.

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Cownose Cove EducationGuest ServicesHusbandry CommissaryHusbandry Dome

Position Title: Cownose Cove Education Volunteer

Work Location:
Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. 6990 Dickman Rd, Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Description:

Cownose Cove Volunteers are stationed at the stingray touch habitat located at the Manatee Viewing Center (MVC) in Apollo Beach. They interact with guests and other team members at MVC, providing accurate information about the animals that call Cownose Cove home and those in the surrounding environment. Cownose Cove Volunteers monitor the safety of guests of the MVC, as well as the health and safety of the Cownose Cove residents, by implementing breaks for the animals and recording data for the biologists when necessary.

Key Responsibilities:
• Provide excellent customer service for the visitors of the Manatee Viewing Center.
• Monitor the health and safety of the resident animals at Cownose Cove.
• Monitor the safety of the visitors to Cownose Cove and provide redirection as necessary.
• Provide interpretive information that is correct and engaging to the visitors of the Manatee Viewing Center.
• Assist with removal and replacement of habitat cover as necessary.
• Report any concerns about animal health, guest safety, or guest conduct to an Aquarium staff person immediately.

Possible Assignments
Entry Position (monitors density of humans in touch pool area and controls traffic into that space)
On Microphone (delivers touching rules, safety guidelines, and interpretive information via microphone)
Floating Interpreter (walks around the outside of the habitat, interprets for guests, monitors animal and guest safety)

Expectations
• Customer Focus
• Reliability
• Timeliness
• Safety Mindedness
• Curiosity
• Teamwork
• Excellent Internal Communication
• Full Season Participation

Typical Physical Requirements
• Standing (4 hours)
• More than normal talking
• Able to lift 25 pounds
• Able to be outside in a west central Florida climate

Work Schedule:
Must be able to commit at least one four-hour shift every other week for the entire duration of the MVC’s season. (November 1 - April 15).

Next Steps:
All new Cownose Cove Education Volunteers must attend one of two information sessions as well as five training classes at at 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. New volunteers must register in advance for the information sessions.  The dates and times for the information sessions are:
August 7th 6:00 PM - 8:00 pm
August 10th 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Five Training Sessions:
1. Sept. 18 or 21 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
2. Sept. 25 or 28 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
3. Oct. 2 or 5 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
4. Oct. 9 or 12 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
5. Oct. (date and time to be determined) 2 hour class

If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Hughes, rhughes@flaquarium.org, for more information.

If you would like to volunteer for this position and register for one of the two information sessions, Click here (or scroll down to the blue button below). 

Position Title: Guest Services Volunteer

Work Location: The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Description:
Guest Services volunteers assist with a variety of tasks including interacting with guests about tours, shows, programming, membership, and basic Aquarium information. Volunteers may also assist with school group check-in, greeting buses. Volunteers may also be asked to spend time in our Splash Pad and 4D Theater .

Duties:
• Assisting Field Trips/Camp groups to include greeting and helping with lunches.
• Greeting guests in front lobby and providing Fond Farewell at exit- wave goodbye to guests,
• Cleaning with Pan and broom/Picker outside areas
• Help queueing lines (outside entrance/boat/4D)
• Give guest directions during construction down times
• Help with strollers, cleaning and rentals/returns on busy days
• 4D theater help including handling glasses, helping guests enter and exit, and preparing the theatre for showings

Expectations
• Customer Service Orientation — Listening and understanding the guest and anticipating the guests’ needs;
• Teamwork — Supporting, facilitating, and participating in activities that promote team effectiveness; demonstrating sensitivity for the feelings and needs of team members and supporting team goals.
• Integrity and trust --- Maintaining social, ethical, organizational values: building trust and confidence with the team members and guests; respecting the confidentiality of personal and proprietary information

Typical Physical Requirements
• Standing and Walking (up to 4 hours per day)
• Bending/Stooping — Occasionally
• Reaching above shoulders — Occasionally
• Carrying and Lifting (up to 20 lbs.) — Occasionally
• Exposure to marked changes in temperature and humidity
• More than normal talking

Next Steps:
All new Guest Services volunteers must register for and attend an information session. Scheduled dates are:
August 7th 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
August 10th 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
November 21st  6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

If you have any questions, please contact Aaron Johnson, AaJohnson@flaquarium.org, for more information.

If you would like to volunteer for this position and register for one of the three information sessions, Click here (or scroll down to the blue button below).

Position Title: Husbandry Commissary Volunteer

Work Location:

The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Description
As a Commissary Volunteer, while following all USDA and AZA guidelines, you will be preparing and weighing food necessary for the well‐balanced diet provided to our animals. All Husbandry Commissary volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.

Duties:

• Preparing food pans according to meal chart; handling, cutting, chopping a wide variety of fish and food.
• Follow all USDA and AZA guidelines of safe animal food preparation and storage.
• Follow all USDA and AZA guidelines of safe animal food preparation and storage.

Work Schedule
Commit to one regular shift each week from 9:30am to11:30am. Availability of openings vary. Ability to commit to a minimum of six months.

Expectations
• Concern for detail – Holding high standards and values to maintain the highest level of accuracy according to meal plan.
• Independence – Ability to carry out completion tasks assigned with low to moderate supervision.
• Integrity – Maintaining social, ethical and organizational values while respecting the access given to information and animals that are proprietary.

Typical Physical Requirements
• Standing/walking during entire shift.
• Repetitive cutting.
• Carrying/lifting up to 50 lbs.
• Repetitive cutting.
Considerations
• Interactions with shellfish, should be cautioned if allergic.
• Potential exposure to zoonotic diseases ‐ people with a suppressed immuno response should be cautioned.

Next Steps:
All new Guest Services volunteers must register for and attend an information session. Scheduled dates are:
August 7th 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
August 10th 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
November 21st 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

If you have any questions, please contact Anita Chitwood, AChitwood@flaquarium.org, for more information.

If you would like to volunteer for this position and register for one of the three information sessions, Click here (or scroll down to the blue button below).

Position Title: Husbandry Dome - Wetlands Ranger

Work Location:
The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Description:
This position supports the Husbandry department at The Florida Aquarium by assisting in directing and orienting guests in various locations, and general monitoring of the Wetlands area. Monitoring includes reminding guests to treat the animals of the Wetlands Gallery with respect, observing the animals for unusual behaviors, and contacting appropriate staff via radio when necessary. Oftentimes, the Dome Rangers are the first people who the public interacts with; as such, have a unique opportunity to deliver conservation messaging, provide a warm reception to visitors, and actively promote the mission of the Aquarium.

Duties:
• Meet and greet visitors, helping them locate items of interest and/or the daily schedule of presentations and events, report and assist lost parties
• Monitor The Wetlands Gallery for appropriate guest behavior and animal wellness
• Answer questions as needed, with the ability to refer to staff for additional information

Work Schedule
Must be able to commit to one regular shift a week, 4 hour shifts, typically 10-2 or 1-5. Availability of openings vary.

Expectations: 
• Must be willing to learn about the animals and habitat represented at The Florida Aquarium, particularly the Wetlands Gallery.
• Must be eager to engage with people of all ages and from different backgrounds.
• A love for people, patience, excellent verbal communication skills, flexibility, and a sense of humor are essential in this position.
• Listening, understanding the guest, and anticipating the guests’ needs. Second language skills are a plus.
• Working 50% of the time in an open aviary, must be comfortable with bird droppings.

Typical Physical Requirements
• Standing and Walking entire shift
• Climbing Stairs
• More than normal talking

Considerations:
• There are snakes in two of the habitats, you will not be in contact with them but they are highly visible something to note if you have an extreme fear of snakes
• Possibility of contact with fire ants
• Free-flighted aviary, birds may come in close proximity
• Potential exposure to zoonotic diseases - people with a suppressed immuno response should be cautioned

Next Steps:
All new Guest Services volunteers must register for and attend an information session. Scheduled dates are:
August 7th 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
August 10th 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
November 21st 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

If you have any questions, please contact Anita Chitwood, AChitwood@flaquarium.org, for more information.

If you would like to volunteer for this position and register for one of the three information sessions, scroll down to the blue button below.

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