Fishes Husbandry

Nothing fishy here: It takes a lot to care for our animals! Help us provide a healthy environment for fishes, reptiles, invertebrates, small mammals and amphibians. Volunteers enjoy the messier aspects of maintaining our diverse animal collection by preparing food, cleaning animal care and support areas, and assisting with other important tasks.  

Assigned areas may be:

  • Amazon: tropical, freshwater animal species found in our Amazing Rising exhibit
  • Animal Programs: our “meet-and-greet” public encounter animals, which include reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and insects
  • Galleries: species found in the iconic original Shedd building, native to rivers, lakes and oceans
  • Quarantine: the first stop for any new animal arrivals, which can include freshwater fishes, saltwater fishes, amphibians and more
  • Special Exhibits: current special exhibit animals, live foods, seahorses and smaller exhibits
  • Wild Reef: sharks, live corals and other tropical saltwater animals found in our Wild Reef exhibit

Be ready for active days of moving throughout your assigned areas, and expect to become wet and dirty over the course of a shift. Areas are often hot and humid and include exposure to salt water and/or fresh water. While little contact with the animals occurs, individuals gain experience and learn while working closely with our knowledgeable staff.

Animal care experience and knowledge is helpful, but not required.

For Ages


Shift times

8 a.m. - 12 p.m. (Quarantine, Special Exhibits, Wild Reef, Galleries), 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Amazon), or 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Animal Programs) Monday−Sunday


1 year

What are the benefits of being a volunteer?

• Opportunities to help Shedd fulfill its mission by sparking compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world.

• Knowledge gained about our animals and the environments they live in

• Interactions with a diverse group of staff members, volunteers and guests who share a passion for aquatic life

• The chance to see how Shedd works behind the scenes

• Admission to the aquarium and other cultural institutions

• Gift shop and café discounts

• Discounted parking while volunteering

• And more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions? Get all the answers right here! 

Contact Us

Still have questions? Email volunteer services.