Marine Mammal Husbandry

Help care for some of the popular and charismatic residents of the Abbott Oceanarium! Marine mammal volunteers provide support to the animal care specialists that work with whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea otters, penguins, and birds of prey. Volunteers enjoy the messier aspects of maintaining our marine mammals by preparing a variety of frozen foods, cleaning exhibit and support areas, and assisting with other critical tasks.

These roles are physically demanding, and volunteers will be exposed to cold temperatures and saltwater. Be ready for active days of moving throughout your assigned areas, and expect to become wet and dirty over the course of a shift. While very little contact with the animals occurs, individuals gain experience and learn while working closely with our knowledgeable staff.

Please note: this role does not include direct animal contact. Animal care experience and knowledge is helpful, but not required.



Shift times

7:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., 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.