Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Volunteer Program
Dedicated volunteers are one of the sanctuary’s greatest assets. Current volunteers are members of the community including residents and visitors, students, and senior citizens. They come from many different backgrounds and bring a variety of skills and talents to the sanctuary.
For information about volunteering on O‘ahu, Maui, or Hawai‘i, contact Amy Eldredge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about volunteering on Kaua‘i, contact Jean Souza at email@example.com.
Maui volunteer opportunities
Visitor center docent
Engage visitors with sanctuary exhibits, provide information about whales and their habitat, and support events and programs onsite.
Represent the sanctuary at community events. Conduct hands-on activities with the public at a NOAA booth. Staff Maui Ocean Center interactive booth.
Get trained to present about humpback whales, sea turtles, and other marine wildlife as part of the sanctuary’s weekly programs. Provide information about the sanctuary mission and promote ocean awareness and responsible recreation.
Education program assistant
Lead interactive educational activities for K-12 students. Support Kalepolepo Fishpond cultural classes.
Sanctuary shore naturalists
Provide beachgoers with information on whales. Record observations on litter and wildlife. Promote responsible wildlife viewing.
Team Ocean Hawai‘i
Team Ocean Hawai‘i volunteers serve as on-the-water naturalists in kayaks. Volunteers provide ocean users information about whales and promote responsible wildlife viewing.
Whale watch expert
Serve as a naturalist on whale watch tours. Volunteers provide information about the sanctuary, and promote ocean awareness and etiquette.
Participate in the annual Sanctuary Ocean Count, a shore-based humpback whale monitoring project. Volunteer citizen scientists can also assist with land-based whale research and collect water samples for quality assessment.
Volunteer opportunities are also available for administrative support, landscape, photography and videography, special projects, and more.
Kaua‘i volunteer opportunities
Participate in the annual Sanctuary Ocean Count, a shore-based humpback whale monitoring project. Held three times annually (January, February, and March) at 15 designated locations around Kaua‘i. Online registration at oceancount.org.
Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery greeter
Greet guests at Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery. Assist with learning stations, activities, tours and field trips, and events. Training is provided. Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery is open year round.
Volunteer opportunities are also available for administrative support, special projects, and more.
Please note that the whale season in Hawai‘i occurs between November and May. Volunteers must be U.S. citizens or Green Card holders, and at least 16 years old. A minimum six-month commitment is preferred. Volunteers are unpaid, and the sanctuary is unable to provide transportation, room, or board for volunteers.