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

November 1

Application Deadline

December 1

Interview Deadline

December 19

Candidates Notified

December 22

Scavenger Hunt Deadline

January 15

Class: 6:00 - 8:00pm

January 18

Post Class Assessment Deadline

January 25

Mentor Shift Deadline

February 28

Solo Shift Deadline

March 31

• May not complete any hours in January due to starting so late.
• Expected to complete 6 hours per month starting in February.
• 6 month commitment: January - June.
Must have volunteered since July 2017 as a Zoo Docent to get cross trained in this class.

Zoo 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 stingray 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 January 18, 2018, to be considered for the January class. No exceptions will be made.
  1. Submit an application by 5pm on December 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 December 19. 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 December 22 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 January 15 to learn more about the Greensboro Science Center.
  6. Attend training on January 18 or October 10 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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