Volunteer Information

The Whitney Lab Accepts Volunteers and Interns

The Whitney Lab is an amazing place, with a suite of scientific experts from around the world that work on cutting edge projects which may yield insight into the health, biological, and conservation issues of today!

Group of people

Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers!

To be considered eligible to volunteer at the Whitney Laboratory you must:
  • Be 18 years of age (sometimes exceptions can be made)
  • Have a good attitude
  • Be reliable and have transportation to/from the lab
  • Have an active email account that you check on a weekly basis
  • Have a working phone number which you can be reached on the day of your shift
Perks of Being at Volunteer at the Whitney Laboratory:
  • Opportunity to work alongside people with like interests and develop new friendships
  • Invitation to special science lectures and educational field trips
  • Invitation to Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
  • Invitation to participate in community events and special on-site Whitney Lab events
  • Training provided on all aspects of assigned program or task operation
  • Volunteer Name Tag, T-shirt, and Manual

Education Department

Education Department

Trained volunteers guide K-6th grade students through a series of learning stations in our elementary education programs (Day at Whitney Program or Travel Marine Zoo).  Volunteers can also assist with special programs for middle and high school children, adult outreach, help represent the lab at off-site outreach or on-site public events, help lead tours of the lab and/or specific facilities, and perform husbandry tasks to care for and maintain animal collections and their housing.

Education Volunteers make 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!

Learn more and see photos of our education programs in action!

Sea Turtle Hospital

Volunteers help with a wide array of tasks in the Sea Turtle Hospital, doing anything from providing basic husbandry for our sick or injured patients (checking water quality, cleaning tanks, prepping daily diets, etc.), assisting animal care staff with individual patient treatments (record keeping, handling, etc), and helping transport turtles between rescue location and hospital sites. Volunteers will develop skills in basic animal husbandry, basic veterinary care, and science communication by representing the Sea Turtle Hospital at outreach events.

Sea Turtle Hospital Volunteers help nurture amazing endangered reptiles so they can be released back to the wild where they belong!

More information about the Sea Turtle Hospital
Research Laboratory

Research Laboratory

Volunteers help with tasks ranging from collecting data in the field, preparing and processing samples, collecting specimens, and performing husbandry tasks to care for and maintain animal collections and their housing.

Volunteering in the Lab contributes to short and long-term research and helps keep Community Citizen Science Projects active and ongoing.

Process to become a Whitney Volunteer

Complete the Online Application: Whitney Laboratory Volunteer Application

Note: Additional documents are not required to apply as a volunteer

Your application will be maintained in our database and you will be put on our waiting list. When a position fitting your experience and availability opens, you will be contacted for an interview. When we have openings, we ALWAYS search our waiting list prior to soliciting help via public avenues. 

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Whitney Laboratory!

If you have any questions about volunteering, please contact Brenda Cannaliato, Education Manager, (904) 201-8406.

Internship Opportunities for High School, College Undergraduates and Graduates

High School

High School Interns in the Research Lab must be 16 years of age

  • Internship: Townsend Scholarship

Competitive ‘paid’ Summer internship. To apply, email your CV/Resume, a letter of interest, and one letter of recommendation from a teacher (preferred) and/or a supervisor from work to Brenda Cannaliato, brenda@whitney.ufl.edu. Include in the email that you applying for the Townsend Scholarship. We accept applications September 1st  – Feb. 28th.  Participants are normally chosen before the end of March or early April.

  • Volunteer

To apply, complete the online volunteer form, upload your CV and a letter of interest and submit. Then email your CV and letter of interest to Brenda Cannaliato brenda@whitney.ufl.edu, include in the email that you are in high school student and are applying for a summer volunteer opportunity.


 College Undergraduates and Graduates
  • Internship: Sea Turtle Hospital

Please see Employment Page 

  • Research Experience for Undergraduates

Research Lab: Competitive Undergraduate Summer Opportunity - See Research Experience for Undergraduates program

  •  Volunteer: Research Lab

To apply, complete the online volunteer form, upload your CV and a letter of interest and submit. Then email your CV and letter of interest to Brenda Cannaliato brenda@whitney.ufl.edu, include in the email whether you are an undergraduate or graduate, which semester(s) are you available, and list the top three Whitney Laboratory Research Projects you are most interested in. See curent research faculty. Your information will be distributed to the Whitney Laboratory faculty, if a lab is interested, they will contact you. You can also email your information directly to any of our principal investigators