Public Engagement Volunteers


Docents are trained as educators that lead school groups on museum tours, conduct an outreach program at regional schools, and engage guests at The Nat. A 6-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 1973. New Canyoneers receive a comprehensive class taught by our scientists and local experts on the natural history of the San Diego region. The 10-week training begins the first Saturday after Labor Day and continues through mid-November. A commitment to lead six public hikes a year (minimum of two years) is expected.

Museum Whalers

Museum Whalers provide naturalist interpretation on whale watching cruises during the winter season (December through April) and summer season (June through September). 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 year is expected.

Camp Aides (Youth Volunteers)

Youth Volunteers (at least 16 years old) gain valuable work experience and/or earn college credit working with children Pre-K through 8th grade in a fun, camp setting during the summer.


NATuralists engage visitors 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 the public. The best NATuralists are outgoing, friendly people with a desire to put a little sparkle in someone's day.

Get involved

Interested? We hope so. Visit our main volunteer page to learn how to apply and contact us with questions.