Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Volunteer Programs

    We welcome your application to become an Aquarium volunteer. To begin your volunteer journey, please review the opportunities below and complete the appropriate application form as noted. Depending upon the position a training period may be required and there may be a waiting period as openings become available. For your convenience, you can print out the volunteer application.

For more information on volunteer opportunities, please send us an email or call 310-548-7562.

Aquatic Nursery Docent Training
Become a docent in the Aquatic Nursery! Training will provide you with an explanation of animals and basic procedures of the Aquatic Nursery and an information packet for daily duties; then use your knowledge to interpret lab activities for Aquarium visitors. This position requires a three-month commitment for a Tuesday through Friday weekday shift between 9am and noon.

To attend, please RSVP to Kiersten Darrow by calling 310-548-7562 x204.

• Wednesday, September 16, 2015 • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Coastal Park Naturalist Training
We are looking for volunteers who enjoy spending time outside, care about the environment and are interested in educating others about our coastline. Fifth grade students through adults who would like to make a difference in the environment are invited to apply.

Following five consecutive once-a-week training sessions, Coastal Park Naturalists will provide interpretation and monitoring of the Cabrillo fishing pier, Salinas de San Pedro salt marsh, Point Fermin State Marine Park and other Cabrillo Beach habitats. Pre-registration is required to meet the minimum class size of 13 students. Space is limited to 25 individuals. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated.

Please fill out the Coastal Park Naturalist form (below) by April 24 or call 310-548-7562 to register.

Member Price:  $30, Non-Member Price:  $30


• Thursday, October 08, 2015 - Thursday, November 05, 2015 • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Fall Docent Training Begins
Docents guide schoolchildren on tours through the Exhibit Hall, providing information and activities relating to the exhibits. Following three months of training, docents will chose one morning per week to provide tours. A desire to learn about the ocean, an interest in children and willingness to work with CMA for two years are the primary qualifications. Applicants will be accepted through September 14.

Training begins on September 21 and runs every Monday through December 14.

A $30 fee covers training costs and the docent training manual. Financial aid is available. Registration is required. Please contact Volunteer Coordinator Floyd Anderson at 310-548-7562 x229 or

• Monday, September 21, 2015 • 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM


Native Garden Workday / Beach Cleanup
On the first Saturday of each month, join CMA Educators and volunteers in maintaining the Cabrillo Native Garden and learn more about its plant and animal inhabitants. Also join other volunteers in a beach cleanup clearing the shore of marine debris.

Groups are required to make reservations by the Thursday before the event. Meet at the steps in front of the auditorium.

Group registrations: Call Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, 310-548-7562.
Fee: FREE; open to all ages.

• Saturday, September 05, 2015 • 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
• Saturday, October 03, 2015 • 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
• Saturday, November 07, 2015 • 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
• Saturday, December 05, 2015 • 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM


Research Program Icebreaker
Learn about CMA research opportunities during this one-day event where staff and previous student researchers demonstrate laboratory techniques, conduct interviews for research positions and discuss project options. Mentorship by CMA staff for student projects for fall 2014 will be assigned. RSVP to Kiersten Darrow at 310-548-7562 x204.

This is a free event for high school students.

• Sunday, September 13, 2015 • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Opportunities are offered to help students fulfill academic service hour requirements and to help us fulfill our mission to educate the public about our local Southern California marine environment. For more information on community service or service-learning requirements, please click here.

Per City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks policy we may not provide opportunities for individuals who are court referred. Contact the Volunteer Center, South Bay/Harbor/Long Beach at 310-212-5009 for court referred assignments.

Once accepted into our program, volunteers are registered with the City of Los Angeles. Volunteers, 14 years and older, must be fingerprinted. All volunteers under 18 years of age must have parent/legal guardian permission to volunteer.  Name badges are provided and t-shirts are available for purchase. Volunteers are encouraged to become a member of our support organization, FRIENDS of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
View our complete list of volunteer opportunities.