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Position: Education Volunteer
Organization: Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Location: Vancouver, BC

Role Description

Museum volunteers engage visitors in the wonder of biodiversity through discussions and activities, and answer questions about the museum, its collections, and its research. Volunteers represent the museum on the floor daily and occasionally provide support for special museum events and lectures. Volunteers are almost always stationed inside the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and interact with visitors during open hours.

What do volunteers do?

  • Interact with visitors in the museum using touchable specimens, activities, crafts, and more.
  • Assist with educational and outreach programs, including hands-on activities, for a variety of visitors.
  • Spend time at the Whale Station and Discovery Lab.
  • Provide excellent customer service and answer general museum inquiries from visitors.
  • Assist with flow of visitors through the museum: at closing time, before and after daytime lectures.
  • Help with other tasks related to museum activities and events (organizing supplies, prepping material for activities, registration, set-up and takedown for events, etc.).

Volunteers who are a good fit will be:

  • Friendly, considerate, and are ready to start conversations with visitors in the museum
  • Eager to learn new things about biodiversity
  • Interested in ecology, evolution, biodiversity, natural history, biology, science, and/or STEAM
  • Reliable, punctual, and professional
  • Looking to build and/or use communication, language, and/or teaching skills
  • Welcoming of people from different backgrounds, with different opinions, and different abilities
  • Prepared to commit to regular volunteering: at least four shifts per month (15-20 hours total)

Volunteers are required to:

  • Start conversations with museum visitors of all ages: one-on-one, in small and larger groups
  • Handle real museum specimens, including bones, fur, fish, feathers, fossils, jars, plants, and shells
  • Have regular, verbal conversations in English. Other languages are very welcome, but not required.
  • Use reference materials that are written in English
  • Work independently while following a task-based schedule that moves you around the museum
  • Respect and cooperate with other staff and volunteers in the museum
  • Complete a criminal record check upon selection. This check investigates relevant offences to working with children and/or vulnerable adults in the museum.
  • Occasionally lift over 10lbs and use a ladder, or be willing to ask for help when needed
  • Transport yourself to and from the Beaty Biodiversity Museum for all shifts. Parking is not provided for volunteers. Transit, car-sharing, and cycling are great options!
  • Access a computer to schedule shifts (can be provided at the museum)
  • Call the museum if running late or needing to change a shift
  • Be 16 years old or over on April 27, 2020

Volunteer benefits:

  • Gain valuable training and experience in public speaking and informal education
  • Work with experienced museum staff, UBC biodiversity researchers, and like-minded volunteers
  • Learn about biodiversity and current research through training and development opportunities
  • Invitations to special volunteer appreciation events and ongoing training opportunities
  • Free general admission to the museum and 10% off at the gift shop
  • Receive 4 free guest passes for friends and family per calendar year
  • A written reference letter after you reach 100 volunteer hours, upon request

Time Commitment

  • A minimum of four (4) shifts per month, ongoing, starting in late April 2020. Total hours will be approximately 15-20 hours per month. Volunteers select their own schedule, times include:
    • Morning shifts (9:15am-1:30pm),
    • Afternoon shifts (12:45pm-5:15pm), and/or
    • Special event shifts (for example, occasional evenings from 5:00pm-9:00pm)


Museum volunteers will attend one day of training, and can choose between:

  • Sunday, April 26, 2020: 9:00am-5:00pm, or
  • Monday, April 27, 2020: 9:00am-5:00pm

Attendance at one of these sessions is mandatory for volunteering with the museum; the content is the same both days. We can accommodate a morning one day and an afternoon on the other day if needed.

New museum volunteers will be scheduled with an experienced museum volunteer on at least their first shift.
Most months, additional training is offered to museum volunteers to enhance their knowledge and understanding; participation is not mandatory but encouraged. Dates, times, and topics will be shared with volunteers.


Applicants for the museum volunteer position are assessed on the following mandatory components of their application package:

  • Responses to application questions (see “Apply Now” for the link)
  • In-person interview and activities (45 minutes on Tuesday, April 14)

Important Dates 

  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 by 11:59pm
  • In-person Interviews: Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 5:30pm-9:00pm
  • Training Option #1: Sunday, April 26, 2020, 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Training Option #2: Monday, April 27, 2020, 9:00am-5:00pm

Apply Now

If this position sounds like a good fit for you, we invite you to apply to join our team by applying online at

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum selects volunteers on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. Please ask if you have questions about access and/or accommodations.

About the Museum

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum strives to inspire an understanding of biodiversity, its origins, and importance to humans through collections-based research, education and outreach. As Vancouver’s natural history museum, we work to promote a greater sense of collective responsibility for the biodiversity of British Columbia, Canada, and the world. The unique combination of world-class research, paired with beautiful, compelling exhibits, strives to make the research conducted at UBC more accessible to the public. Among our two million treasured specimens are a 26-metre-long blue whale skeleton suspended in the atrium, the third-largest fish collection in Canada, and myriad fossils, shells, insects, fungi, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and plants from around BC and across the world.

2212 Main Mall | Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4 | Tel 604 827 4955 | Email

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Mar 4 2020    ID: 56321