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Volunteering at the Academy

Ornithology volunteer showing off a bird specimen to children.

Volunteers have been integral to the success of the Academy for 200 years. Nearly 400 volunteers, from ages 14 to 80+, contribute their time each year toward our mission. Dedicated volunteers assist visitors throughout the museum's exhibit spaces and provide critical support behind the scenes in research departments and offices.

Becoming a Volunteer

  • The minimum age is 14; there is no upper limit.
  • You must provide a regular commitment of time, ranging from one-half day to several days per week, for at least one year (although longer commitments are sometimes required for certain positions).
  • All applicants must complete our online application. Once you have completed the application, you may also contact us directly regarding specific openings listed below.

Volunteer Opportunities

Live Animal Center volunteers (minimum 17 years old)
Volunteers are a vital part of our animal programs team. In assisting the keepers in the day-to-day care of our live animal collection (cage cleaning, food preparation, etc.), as well as the maintenance of the center and exhibits (washing windows, doing laundry, cleaning tanks etc.) they gain unique skills in animal husbandry. Volunteering with Animal Programs offers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge and skills, and to explore careers in live animal care.

Outside/In Exhibit Volunteers (minimum 14 years old)
Interested applicants should be outgoing, scientifically minded, and kid friendly. Volunteers greet visitors, make them welcome, explain a few special rules for visiting Outside-In, and encourage their active exploration by circulating informally around the exhibit, interacting with them, and using an inquiry approach to help them become involved with the hundreds of objects and animals in the room. If you love and want to learn about animals of all kinds, volunteering in Outside-In will be a very rewarding experience. (Wednesday-Sunday 10am-4:30pm)

Collections Assistants
Botany, Diatom Herbarium, Entomology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Paleontology, Library & Archives, Malacology, Ornithology, Vertebrate Zoology. (Weekdays only 9am-5pm)

Mediated Experiences Volunteers
Special Exhibits, Dino Hall, Dioramas, Science Live

Special Events Volunteers
Dinos After Dark, Bug Fest, and Members Night.

Patrick Center for Environmental Research Volunteers
Lab and technical support volunteers.

Civic Engagement

Bird Safe Philly & Lights-Out Philly
Monitors and Bird Transporters. For more information visit:

Plastic-Free Philly
Tabling and Education. For more information visit:

Outdoors for Everyone
Naturalists of all interests and experience. Do you use iNaturalist or eBird? Are you interested in supporting nature walks and encounters where accessibility is paramount? Join our crew of citizen scientists! This series is in partnership with Disability Pride PA


Paid Summer High School internships are available through the following opportunities:

To learn more about becoming a volunteer at the Academy, please contact us at 215-299-1029 or

Volunteer Awards

We offer three awards for excellence in volunteering.

Learn more

Volunteer Benefits

The biggest benefit for volunteers at the Academy of Natural Sciences is the opportunity to learn and share that learning with others.

Learn more