Volunteer on Maui
Without the experience, dedication and generosity of our volunteers the sanctuary would not be able to successfully provide the local community and visitors alike with valuable marine resource education and outreach information.
The greatest benefit of volunteering with the sanctuary is the satisfaction of knowing you are an integral part of the effort to protect an endangered animal - the humpback whale, as well as assisting in the protection of other protected species found in sanctuary waters. In addition, as an active sanctuary volunteer you will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing training and learning opportunities by staff and other community leaders, receive volunteer updates, news and announcements, and participate in volunteer appreciation events.
Volunteers are encouraged to attend our free monthly lectures where they can receive credit hours for ‘in-service’ training for our Naturalist Corps & Citizen Scientist Programs. Library resources, research papers, and videos are also available for volunteers to borrow upon request. Join our Sanctuary ‘Ohana’ (family) and experience the benefits of volunteering with the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Make a difference, and help us protect the magnificent animals and habitat of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
Download a flyer with all the great sanctuary volunteer opportunities that Maui has to offer.
Interested to learn more about Koʻieʻie fishpond? Take a tour!
Maui Volunteer Opportunities
Visitor Center Docent
Visitor Center Docents assist in the sanctuary visitor center by
greeting visitors and providing education about the sanctuary and its protected species
and habitats. Visitor Center Docents also assist with community outreach events and
programs held at the visitor center.
School Group Volunteer
School Group Volunteers assist sanctuary education staff
with interactive educational lessons for school groups on-site at the sanctuary, off-site at
Maui community schools or at field locations. Volunteers assist with education classes,
monitoring and survey programs.
Water Quality Volunteer
Water Quality Volunteers travel to assigned sites, record
site observations, and collect water samples following standard protocols. Volunteers
then return to the sanctuary laboratory, process samples, and record data. They also read
and record any samples in the incubator from the previous day.
Community Outreach Volunteer
Community Outreach Volunteers assist the
sanctuary by reaching out to the community. They assist with a variety of programs and
events around Maui.
Marine Turtle Stranding Network Volunteer
South Maui Marine Turtle Stranding
Network Volunteers are specially trained, on-call volunteers that respond to reports of
stranded or injured sea turtles along South Maui Beaches (from Maʻalaea to Makena).
Sanctuary Lecturers are trained to give public lectures about
humpback whales and/or corals and fish. The lectures are offered 2-3 times a week,
depending on the time of year. Presentations are informal "talk-story" sessions, during
which volunteers use an approved sanctuary digital presentation and interact with the
audience using props. The audience may range from 5-50 people depending on the
Administrative Support Volunteer
This position is perfect for volunteers that like to
"work behind the scenes". Tasks can include office support such as compiling lists and
tracking volunteer hours, creating flyers and newsletters, copying materials, cutting and
preparing items for school groups, and helping staff with site projects (painting, etc.).
Landscaping and Native Plant Care Volunteer
Landscaping and Native Plant
Care Volunteers help the sanctuary staff develop landscape plans, perform plant
husbandry and maintain the grounds of the Kihei site.
Please note that the sanctuary does not currently offer any of the following:
- on-the-water or in-the-water volunteer opportunities
- opportunities for volunteers under the age of 18
- short-term opportunities (6 month preferred minimum)
Also, please note that whale season in Hawai`i occurs between November and May.
Interested in Volunteering? Please Contact:
Bo Petty, Maui Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: (808) 879-2818
Sanctuary volunteers are encouraged to attend Ocean Awareness Training. Find out more and get involved in the next session.
Every month, sanctuary volunteers compile the "Sanctuary Whale Tales" newsletter to share volunteer experiences, to get to know each other and to further their knowledge. Take a look at the latest editions: