Open 9 am - 5 pm
  • A volunteer diver in Shedd's Caribbean Reef habitat gets eye to eye with a moray eel.
  • A diver comes face to face with three curious cownose rays, each about the size of her torso.
  • A diver in Shedd's Caribbean Reef habitat poses with green sea turtle Nickel.
  • A diver in Shedd's Wild Reef uses a selfie stick to record the movement of animals within the habitat.
  • A diver in one of the habitats above the heads of visitors in Wild Reef waves down at his audience.

Dive locations include:

  • Caribbean ReefConnect guests to the animals in this iconic exhibit. In addition to the overall diver responsibilities, these volunteers also prepare food, hand-feed the animals, and assist in animal observations.

  • Abbott Oceanarium: Enjoy early morning dives as you assist with habitat maintenance. This role does not involve contact with the animals and cold water dive experience required.

  • Wild Reef: Swim among the colorful fishes in one of Shedd’s most popular exhibits. In addition to the overall maintenance responsibilities, Wild Reef divers may assist with animal feeding and observations.
  • Galleries: Experience a variety of habitats in the original Shedd building, which may include Amazon Rising, the Kelp Forest, and Great Lakes.

Diver Applicant Requirements

  • Open-water scuba certified by a recognized agency (PADI, NAUI, YMCA, etc.). Some dive areas may require Rescue diver certification.
  • Proof of at least 30 logged open-water dives. Oceanarium diving also requires proof of at least 5 hours of cold-water diving.
  • Training dives and resort certifications do not count towards these requirements.
  • Ability to pass a swim test and scuba skills evaluation.
  • Ability to pass a dive physical examination. Cost of the examination is the responsibility of the applicant.

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