Diver responsibilities include helping clean and maintain exhibits and equipment, cleaning and maintaining support areas, preparing and setting up gear, and recordkeeping and tending while other divers are in the exhibit. All divers must be open-water scuba certified by a recognized agency (PADI, NAUI, YMCA, etc.) and must present proof of at least 30 logged open-water dives. Our dive programs are popular, so there is often a waiting list.
COMMITMENT & SHFT TIMES
1 year, preferably more; weekly shifts, a.m. and/or p.m., depending on location
Where do volunteers dive?
In addition to the overall diver responsibilities, Caribbean Reef divers also hand-feed the animals during presentations, answer guests’ questions while underwater, prepare food and assist in animal observations. Volunteers in this role will need to pass a scripted audition as part of training. Public speaking experience, knowledge of aquatic life and an ability to commit to two years or more is preferred.
During morning dives in the Abbott Oceanarium, marine mammals divers help with habitat maintenance, including scrubbing off algae, and with additional gear preparation and setup. At least five hours of cold-water diving experience is required. This role does not involve contact with the animals.
In addition to overall maintenance responsibilities, Wild Reef divers may assist in animal feeding and observations. While there are several habitats our divers enter within Wild Reef, the large shark exhibit is restricted to staff. Rescue diver certification is required for this role.
What are the benefits of being a Shedd volunteer?
- Admission to the aquarium and other cultural institutions
- The chance to see how Shedd works behind the scenes
- Gift shop and café discounts and discounted parking while volunteering
- Helping to spark compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world.
- Meeting a diverse group of staff members, volunteers and guests who share a passion for aquatic life
Volunteering at Shedd FAQs
Want to learn more about volunteering at Shedd? See our frequently asked questions!Read More , on the Volunteering at Shedd FAQs page