Volunteer Opportunities at ASDM

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum!

Looking for an opportunity to work with animals? Consider volunteering with the Interpretive Animal Collection! Volunteers in this position enjoy the up-close and personal nature that the IAC provides. For more information, select 'Interpretive Animal Collection, Animal Experiences' in the list below.

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Volunteer Opportunities are available in the following areas:

Volunteer Description:
Are you looking for a short-term service project, ideal for groups of any size? Consider signing-up for a Buffelgrass pull. These volunteers enjoy a guided hike into the mountains that surround the Desert Museum while learning about the invasive plant species, Buffelgrass. Removal efforts focus around wildfire prevention.
Benefits:
This is a great opportunity to enjoy a scenic hike in the early morning or late afternoon while directly contributing to desert conservation.
Requirements:
Applicants must be able to hike off trails and handle steep/rocky terrain. Applicants must also be willing to perform manual labor in hot and cold weather conditions.
Current Openings:
Buffelgrass pulls typically occur during a 3-4 hour period in the early morning. Weekly pulls will be scheduled based on volunteer sign-up.
Volunteer Description:
Works with a group of other volunteers digging out buffelgrass in the mountains near the Desert Museum. Primary Specific Tasks: 1. Hikes into the mountains near the museum 2. Digs out buffelgrass and puts rocks on top of the piles
Benefits:
Benefits to the volunteer: Volunteers get to hike out into the Tucson Mountains and enjoy the desert outdoors and the beautiful scenery. Volunteers can feel good that they are contributing to a very worthy cause — the eradication of a serious invasive species. In this volunteer job they will learn about the ecological problems of non-native species.
Requirements:
Physical requirements: Must be able to hike cross-country, off trail, over very steep and rocky terrain. Must be able to do manual labor in hot or cold weather on steep slopes with precarious footing. Skills/knowledge required: None Background/Experience desired: Experienced hiker
Current Openings:
Varies, usually 1 morning/week during mild weather season. Infrequent during hot season. Hours: Varies, usually 7am - 11am. Season: Fall, Winter, & Spring
Volunteer Description:
Volunteers in this position are stationed around the front patio and they support Guest Services staff by approaching museum Guests and welcoming them in a friendly manner. Volunteers in this position are also the Museum’s first impression to Guests and they are essential when it comes to creating a welcoming and informative museum experience. 1. Approaching Guests (of all group sizes) and welcoming them to the Museum 2. Directing Guests to the appropriate entry lines to keep things moving 3. Suggesting that Guests become museum members 4. Distributing maps and providing information on daily programing/upcoming events 5. Assisting GS staff by retrieving wheelchairs 6. Assisting GS staff by retrieving electric scooters and demonstrating their use to Guests 7. Helping to answer or solve a variety of visitor questions or concerns 8. Monitoring the exit gates and thanking Guests as they depart 9. Collecting Lost & Found items and giving them to GS staff Duration: 6-12 months # of volunteers in this role: 42
Benefits:
This is a great opportunity to meet Guests from around the world, while sharing your passion for the Sonoran Desert region.
Requirements:
Physical requirements: Applicants must be able to maneuver around the front patio areas and be comfortable working in winter cold and summer heat. Skills/knowledge required: Applicants must demonstrate excellent customer service skills and be comfortable interacting with a diverse population of Guests (i.e.: age, race, gender, etc.). Other Requirements: Volunteers in this position must be available to attend a one hour training session for each year they volunteer.
Current Openings:
Cool Summer Night Saturdays 4 - 8:30pm, Mondays & Saturdays 7:30 - 11am,
Volunteer Description:
The Interpretive Animal Collection is dedicated to the husbandry and training of a diverse collection of birds, mammals, reptiles, and invertebrates. The IAC volunteer will assist the staff with projects related to the daily care of the IAC animals.

Primary Specific Tasks: Assist with proram animal management tasks including but not limited to: cleaning animal enclosures, handling snakes, feeding animals, enrichment.
Aspects of daily animal husbandry and care:

  • 70% Cleaning of exhibits and enclosures (scrubbing, hosing, raking, sweeping)
  • 10% Daily observations (visuals on animals and their surroundings)
  • 10% Daily diet feeding/animal handling
  • 10% Implementing animal enrichment
Benefits:
Unique experience of working in a hands-on environment with captive wild animals of the Sonoran desert.
Requirements:

Work schedule: This is an in-depth program requiring a 4.5 hour per week commitment. The shift has a constant day and we require an 85% attendance rate. The IAC has volunteers every day of the week including weekends and holidays.

Commitment: We require at least an 8 month time span commitment to volunteer in IAC as it takes up to 4 months to be trained. With our 85% time commitment we do ask that time off be requested as far ahead as possible to potentially find coverage.

Qualifications:
Physical requirements: Walking, standing, ability to bend, kneel, balance while doing a variety of tasks, work outdoors throughout the year, ability to lift 25 lbs.
Skills/Background/Experience desired: no specific background or skills required.

Other Requirements: Good general communication skills, ability to work independently as well as in group settings. Work well with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Current Openings:

Shift: 7:30AM - 12:00PM
One opening on Saturday

Volunteer Description:
Exhibit Greeters welcome guests to an immersive play-based exhibit. Greeters will orient visitors, provide instructions, answer questions, and provide customer service. Greeters will assist with safety protocols and occasional interpretation. The position is indoors in an air-conditioned environment. Primary Specific Tasks: 1) Welcomes groups of visitors to the Playhouse 2) Follow safety protocols and help direct positive behavior 3) Providing customer service 4) Encourage visitors to learn how they can live in harmony with the desert 5) Opportunities to interpret southwest ecology, primarily as it pertains to packrats
Benefits:
Packrat Playhouse Greeters gain experience working with children of all age groups, grow their confidence and public speaking abilities, and gain experience working in an immersive learning exhibit.
Requirements:
Applicants should have a passion for working with people. Comfortable with customer service, creating welcoming environments, and working with families and children in a non-traditional educational setting. Applicants should have a positive and upbeat attitude.
Current Openings:
Cool Summer Night Saturdays from June through September: 5 to 9pm
Volunteer Description:
The Raptor Free Flight program hosts one demonstration per day, during the fall and spring seasons. The RFF collection consists of predatory birds native to the Sonoran Desert. The RFF demonstrations feature free flighted birds in a desert setting (the birds are loose and are not presented on the glove). Volunteers assist with every aspect of the program, including husbandry, demonstration setup, and active participation in the demonstration- maintaining crating behaviors, doing glove calls and cueing birds to perches.
Benefits:
This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about birds of prey- their natural history, their behavior, proper handling techniques and what is needed to care for them in captivity. Raptor Free Flight volunteers will learn information about falconry, operant conditioning techniques and the philosophy of power of choice training.
Requirements:
Applicants must be 18 years or older to participate. Volunteers in this position make a once a week commitment, between the months of mid-September thru mid-April (the hours of 8:30am-12:30pm). Applicants must be able to crouch for a period of 45 minutes, stand upright quickly, run a mile, and lift/carry up to 40 pounds steadily. Applicants need to be comfortable volunteering outdoors in all weather conditions including rain and cold inclement conditions, as well as in wild desert surroundings: cactus, loose footing, wild snakes, scorpions, etc. For the safety of the animals - applicants must be able to think quickly in demanding situations, listen well and communicate decisions that related to animal needs. Applicants should have a clear understanding of the boundaries of animal interactions. Applicants are asked to submit three references. Applicant interviews will be scheduled in July and August of 2022.
Current Openings:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays (Shifts on all days run from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)

If a position aligns with your interests and availability, please fill out the following form:

Volunteer Application Form

If you're having trouble accessing the online application, please print this application form (PDF) and mail it to Volunteer & Internship Programs Coordinator (Catherine Kastens) at: 2021 N. Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85743.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please don't hesitate to call the Volunteer & Internship Programs Coordinator (Catherine Kastens) at: 520-883-3082 or at ckastens@desertmuseum.org.

Volgistics Link for current volunteers
Docent Schedule for current Docents
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