Volunteer

The volunteer program at Florida Oceanographic is successful because it attracts dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate people who live our mission.  We currently have over 250 volunteers integrated into every aspect of our organization. Volunteers take ownership and pride in working with Florida Oceanographic and contribute thousands of hours each year.
 
A variety of volunteer opportunities exist at Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center for individuals 15 and older. We also have family and group opportunities with project specific activities that take place throughout the year. Please take a minute to browse through our Volunteer Opportunity Descriptions (below), fill out our online application and plan to attend an information session to learn more about our Coastal Center and how you can contribute to our mission.
 
2014 Information Session & Orientation Dates
 
Description Date Time
Information Session            August 12       2 - 3 p.m.
Orientation            August 19       2 - 4 p.m.
Exhibit Guide Training            August 26       2 - 4 p.m.
Information Session           September 10      11 - 12 p.m.
Orientation           September 17      11 - 1 p.m.
Exhibit Guide Training           September 25      11 - 1 p.m.
Information Session             October 8      11 - 12 p.m.
Orientation             October 15      11 - 1 p.m.
Exhibit Guide Training             October 22      11 - 1 p.m.
 
If you have questions about our volunteer program or would like to attend an information session please contact Karla George, Communications and Volunteer Coordinator, at 772.225.0505 ext. 104 or email kgeorge@floridaocean.org for more information.
 
THANK YOU!

Current Volunteer Opportunities

EXHIBIT GUIDES - Are you passionate about the environment?  Do you enjoy working with children and adults?  If you are a people person and aren't squeamish around sea creatures, then consider joining the team of volunteers helping to inspire environmental stewardship among the 50,000 guests that visit Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center each year.  Initial training will help you get started, additional training opportunities are available and independent study is encouraged. Shifts range from 3.5 - 4 hours per week and volunteers must make a minimum commitment of 4 consecutive months.  Exhibit guides must be at least 15 years old. Youth volunteers applying to work with exhibits and programs must submit a 500 word essay on the volunteer application and submit 2 teacher recommendations
 
PROGRAM PRESENTERS - Program presenters are exhibit guides who specialize in delivering one or more of the daily programs that take place at the Coastal Center.  They have the ability to captivate an audience with roughly scripted information and are extremely knowledgeable about their specific subject.  Daily programs include the Rays on the Reef Presentation, Game Fish Lagoon Presentation, Sea Turtle Presentation and the Guided Nature Walk.  Shifts and age restrictions are the same as Exhibit Guides.
 
ADMISSIONS/GIFT SHOP ATTENDANT - Are you comfortable operating a computer in a fun & bustling atmosphere?  Do you have exceptional customer service skills?  If you are looking to volunteer but prefer to keep your fingers dry, this might be a good fit for you.  Volunteers cover the admissions desk and the gift shop during staff lunch breaks or when staff are sick or on vacation.  A weekly commitment is not required unless covering a regular lunch shift.  Must be at least 18 years old and proficient on the computer.
 
AQUARIUM INTERNS - Do you have a background in marine biology or previous experience working with saltwater aquariums?  We are looking for degree seeking students interested in gaining college credit in an internship program.  This is a volunteer position which requires a 2-3 full day commitment every week.  Interns will help staff care for the animals, monitor diet, behavior and health, prepare daily food rations and assist with feedings, documentation and upkeep of aquariums and quarantine.  College credit is not guaranteed and must be applied for with your educational institution.  Must be able to lift 50 pounds and be at least 18 years old.
 
BIRTHDAY PARTY HOST/HOSTESS - Do you have a knack for working with kids?  Are you interested in helping to make a child's birthday extra special?  Our birthday party hosts/hostesses meet and greet the birthday group and help to transition the group from one program to the next.  They provide that extra attention all kids crave to make a birthday party at Florida Oceanographic a most memorable experience.  Must be at least 15 years old and a current exhibit guide.
 
WATER QUALITY TESTERS - Water quality is a much talked about subject on the Treasure Coast and something very important to area residents and our quality of life.  With the help of dedicated volunteers, Florida Oceanographic has been closely monitoring water quality in our area since 1998.  Collected data is reported and published in the newspaper and on our website on a weekly basis.  We are currently looking for volunteer water quality testers in these areas of the St. Lucie River: 1) the North Fork of the St. Lucie River including River Park Marina and 2) between the Roosevelt and Evans Crary Bridges.  If you are interested in volunteering for this program contact Vincent Encomio (vencomio@floridaocean.org) or Pam Hopkins (phopkins@floridaocean.org).
 
OYSTER REEF RESTORATION - Improving the health of the St. Lucie River and the Indian River Lagoon is an important endeavor.  Did you know a single adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day?  That is why Florida Oceanographic is committed to restoring oyster reefs to our estuarine waterways.  With the help of volunteers in our community, we're cleaning up our waterways by creating restored oyster reefs and monitoring their success using various techniques including the use of underwater microphones called hydrophones.  To get involved with our research projects, fill out the application to begin receiving project updates and notification of volunteer opportunities or keep an eye on the research page of the website.  Project specific research opportunities are also promoted through Facebook.
 
BEACH CLEAN-UPS - The Ocean DREAM Project provides the opportunity for families, individuals and groups to participate in beach clean-ups and report data back to Florida Oceanographic which will be forwarded to the county and to the state.   Every one of us can do something to help our environment.  Ocean Debris Removal Eliminates Accidental Mortality. Take action today and everyday by removing trash and manmade debris from areas where it doesn't belong.  Please download & print the Ocean DREAM data card and when your clean-up is done, return the completed card to Florida Oceanographic attn:  Megan Roberts.  Please note:  All minors must be accompanied by an adult during beach/waterway clean-ups.  Thank you for participating!
 
PLANT RESTORATION VOLUNTEERS - If you have ever taken a stroll through the butterfly garden, you have no doubt seen skippers and other butterflies flittering about and sipping sweet nectar from the many flowers adorning an abundance of green foliage. Each week, volunteers and staff work together to create harmony and balance in the garden.  They prune, transplant, propogate, nurture and remove invasive weeds that could otherwise choke out our beautiful garden.  It's a labor of love!  If you are interested in joining our Friday morning garden crew, please contact Pam Hopkins at 225-0505 x114 or e-mail phopkins@floridaocean.org.
 
TEAM OCEAN YOUTH VOLUNTEER SUMMER INTERNSHIP -   Teens Excited About Marinelife Ocean is a summer internship program for high school students who are at least 15 years old.  Interns apply to specific program areas and work under the direction of Florida Oceanographic's staff.  Program areas include:  Aquariums (described above), Education (exhibits & programs as described above) and Research.  Interns must commit to working 2-3 shifts per week and fulfill 5 out of 7 service learning projects. We are now accepting applications. Please follow the link for program requirements and application instructions.
 
 
 
For more information contact Karla George,
Communications & Volunteer Coordinator at 772-225-0505 x104 or
 

Benefits of Volunteering

  • Meet new people, make new friends
  • Make a difference in your community
  • Share your knowledge with others
  • Learn new skills, challenge yourself
  • Be part of the solution to environmental issues
  • Inspire others

Community Supporters

The following businesses support Florida Oceanographic's volunteer program with donations or discounts and/or incentives to our amazing volunteers who are actively involved in inspiring environmental stewardship.  We extend our sincerest thanks to these businesses!
 
 
 
 
The Chef Shack at Stuart Beach
 
To join our growing list of businesses who support our volunteer program, please contact Karla George at 225-0505 x104.
 
 

Spotlights

Volunteer Spotlight

Has your experience with the Coastal Center been enhanced by a particular volunteer?  Are you a volunteer who wants to recognize a co-worker?  Or, is it time to toot your own horn!  To nominate a volunteer for the volunteer spotlight section of Florida Oceanographic's newletter,  please take a moment to fill out and return this very brief questionaire