Volunteer Information

Whitney Docent Program

The Whitney Lab has a great Volunteer Program, and we could have just the opportunity you’ve been looking for!

Whitney Laboratory docents are enthusiastic volunteers dedicated to promoting an understanding of science among school children. Docents come from all walks of life and levels of experience and need not have a science or marine-related background.  Docents are used to help increase the number of children reached through education programs far beyond what would otherwise be possible with the very limited staff within the education department.

Spring 14 Docents

The Perks of Being a Whitney Docent:

  • Making a difference in the lives of thousands of children ~ for many this could be the experience that ignites their interest in science and marine life!
  • In-person training and study materials provided on all aspects of program operation
  • Invitation to annual Appreciation Dinner
  • Snacks provided during volunteer shifts and required trainings
  • The opportunity to work alongside people with like interests and develop new friendships
  • Invitation to both local and over-night volunteer field trips
  • Invitation to special education lectures on a variety of marine and scientific topics

Because training is time-consuming and expensive, it is our hope that new members will stay with the program for at least two years.

Docents are placed in one of two programs – the Day at Whitney or the Traveling Zoo program.

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The Day at the Whitney Lab program is geared toward 4th-6th grade students and offers an opportunity for children to practice being a “Scientist for the Day”.  Students learn about some of the marine invertebrate animals used in research, conduct their own snail experiment, study the marine fouling community under the microscopes, and discover the plankton that inhabits local waters!   Docents usually volunteer from 9am – 1pm (exact time frame varies by program).

Learn more and see photos of a typical Day at the Whitney Lab

The Traveling Zoo is designed for students in grades K through 3. Docents transport small marine animals to schools and present programs that permit the youngsters to see, touch, and learn about local marine life.  The children’s enthusiasm and curiosity keep Whitney Docents on their toes and keep them involved in the program for years and years!  Docents usually volunteer from 7:30am – 1:00pm (exact time frame varies by program).

Are you interested?

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator & Educator, Angie Golubovich at angie@whitney.ufl.edu or by phone at 904-461-4015.

UF Record of Volunteer Service