Public Engagement Volunteers


Docents are trained teaching guides who lead school and adult groups on Museum tours, and take the Museum on Wheels programs to schools and adult groups around the county. A six-month comprehensive course in natural history begins mid-September and continues through the end of March. A two-year commitment, monthly meetings, and 10 hours of continuing education each year are expected.


Canyoneers have been leading guided nature hikes throughout San Diego County since 1972. They receive a comprehensive class taught by our scientists and local experts on the natural history of the San Diego region. The ten-week training begins the first Saturday after Labor Day and continues through mid-November. A commitment to lead six hikes a year for a peiord of two years is expected.

Museum Whalers

Museum Whalers provide naturalist interpretation December–October and June–September on whale-watching cruises. An 8-session training course begins the first week in October and continues through the second week in December. A minimum of 10 cruises per season during the whale-watching season (mid-December through April) is expected. Summer whale watching (June–September) has fewer cruises so requirement is at least one.

Camp Aides

Gain valuable work experience and/or earn college credit working with children Pre-K through Grade 8 in a fun, camp setting. Camps are held over the summer. Volunteers must be age 16 or older.


NATuralists engage the public in the Museum through fun, interactive games and crafts. No need to be an expert in natural history as long as you are curious about nature and enjoy interacting with strangers. The best NATuralists are outgoing, friendly people with a desire to put a little sparkle in someone's day. Trainings are held quarterly.