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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 Kōʻieʻie 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 Lecturer
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 season.

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 ext 222

Sanctuary volunteers are encouraged to attend Ocean Awareness Training. Find out more and get involved in the next session.

Volunteer Newsletter
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:

December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014

June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013

October 2013
September 2013

August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013

April 2013
March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012
November 2012

October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012


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