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.

Beach Cleanup
On the first Saturday of each month, join CMA Educators and volunteers in a beach cleanup, clearing the shore of marine debris. Meet at the steps in front of the auditorium.

Groups are required to make reservations by the Thursday before the event: Call Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, 310-548-7562.

FREE; open to all ages.

• Saturday, February 1, 2020 • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
• Saturday, March 7, 2020 • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Research Program Icebreaker
Each year of high school student research at CMA, the Young Scientists Program, begins with a Research Program Icebreaker to meet and interview new applicants. Applications are provided below and must be
submitted online by Sunday, April 19, 2020.

The Research Program Icebreaker takes place in the aquarium and in the laboratory so please dress appropriately for lab work (close toed shoes are a must). A sandwich lunch and light snacks will be provided. If you have special dietary restrictions we recommend bringing your lunch. Attendance throughout the entire icebreaker, which starts promptly at 10am, is required for the program application. Please arrive a few minutes early to check in.

Space is limited. Applicants must RSVP by April 12 to

Click here to access Young Scientist Program online application form

Click here to learn more about the Young Scientists Program.

This event is for high school students only.


• Sunday, April 19, 2020 • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM


Spring Program Docent Training Class
We need volunteers to dance like a jellyfish, swim like a whale and hatch the mysterious grunion fish!

Join CMA staff as we welcome 4,000 school children a week and teach them about the animals and habitats of Southern California's ocean. Volunteers will be trained as docents to provide school children with information about the ocean and to help conduct Spring Program activities.

QUALIFICATIONS include an affinity for the outdoors; a desire to learn about the ocean, marine animals and the ocean environment; and an interest in educating children.

Training sessions will be conducted Monday, March 2 and Monday, March 9 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm.

Docents are asked to give one morning per week from 9:00 am to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, from March 29 through June 3.

Applications are available and must be turned in by February 16, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Floyd Anderson at (310) 548-7562 x229.

• Monday, March 2, 2020 • 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
• Monday, March 9, 2020 • 9:00 AM - 12:30 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.