Aquarium Docent

Do you like science, animals, and people? If so, consider applying for our Aquarium Docent program. Our aquarium features fishing cats, Asian small clawed otters, African penguins, stingrays, sharks, an anaconda, and lots of fish! Aquarium Docents help us greet, interact with, and educate our visitors in the Aquarium. Being a Docent requires good people skills, a love of animals, and the ability to retain information. You'll interact with our visitors during every shift and contribute to their positive experiences here at the GSC. You’ll share important conservation messages with our guests, an essential part of how we meet our mission to inspire scientific curiosity and encourage personal discovery about life and the natural world.

Aquarium Docent

“Being an aquarium docent allows me the chance to learn, educate and socialize with members of my local community. It combines my passion for science with my love for animals while granting me opportunities to involve myself with great causes.”

-Paulette Wyatt, Aquarium Docent since February 2015


Applications Posted

June 1

Application Deadline

July 1

Interview Deadline

July 28

Candidates Notified

August 1

Scavenger Hunt Deadline

August 26

Class: 6:00 - 8:00pm

August 30

Post Class Assessment Deadline

September 6

Mentor Shift Deadline

September 30

Solo Shift Deadline

October 31

• Expected to complete 6 hours per month starting in September.
• 6 month commitment: August - January
• Must have volunteered since March 2018 as a Zoo Docent to get cross trained in this class.

Aquarium Docent Application


A Docent is a volunteer educator. Docents are a visible part of the GSC team and interact directly with our visitors every day. Aquarium Docents have two main responsibilities: monitoring our sting ray touch tank and talking about important conservation messages related to our animals at each exhibit in the aquarium.

Yes, but not in the way you might think. Aquarium Docents do not have direct contact with animals other than the stingrays and bamboo sharks in the touch tank. Touching protocols for volunteers are the same as those for our guests. Animal care—including feeding, training, cleaning exhibits, etc.—is handled exclusively by professional staff. Instead, Docents serve as animal educators by teaching our visitors about the animals in the touch tank and answering questions about other species in the aquarium. Docents do, however, learn about typical behaviors for our animals and are often the first to point out any irregularities to our staff. Our Docents are our eyes and ears!
Docents are expected to volunteer a minimum of six hours per month. The shifts are split up into two hour blocks of time; however, volunteers can sign up for multiple blocks in one day. The blocks are 9:00-11:00, 11:00-1:00, 1:00-3:00, 3:00-5:00. There are no shifts after 5:00 unless we have a special event or rental.
Docents must be at least 15 years old to apply. Applicants must be at least 15 years of age by August 30, 2018 to be considered for the August class. No exceptions will be made.
  1. Submit an application by 5pm on July 1. Our staff will review all applications after that deadline and will contact selected candidates to schedule interviews. We will likely be unable to interview every candidate, so please provide thoughtful responses to your application questions.
  2. Schedule and successfully complete an interview. All interviews must be completed by July 28. You will be given a fact sheet on some of our animals when your interview is scheduled. During the interview, we'll be looking for you to teach us something about the animal you choose just as you would when interacting with our visitors.
  3. All candidates who were interviewed for the program will be notified by 5pm on August 1 to let them know if they have been chosen for the program.
  4. Successfully pass a background check for those ages 18+.
  5. Complete one scavenger hunt by August 26 to learn more about the Greensboro Science Center.
  6. Attend training on August 30 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the GSC.
  7. Complete an online assessment from home.
  8. Complete three mentor shifts with a veteran docent followed by an online assessment.
  9. Complete three solo shifts followed by an online assessment.
The fee for our docent program is $35.00. This includes the cost of your name tag and your volunteer t-shirt which you will wear during your shifts. The fee also helps defray the cost of running the program. That fee is due at the time of your entry into the program, NOT when you submit your application. This is a one-time docent fee. Once someone becomes a docent at our facility, they are eligible to take docent workshops for other areas pending good evaluations from staff in their current areas. The two docent areas include the zoo and aquarium.

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