From members of our board of directors, to gallery educators, to Marine Mammal Rescue Centre care takers, volunteers play an integral role at the Vancouver Aquarium (Photo credit: Vancouver Aquarium).

Hilary Buckley is a Natural Resource Conservation program student at UBC who is passionate about “trying to reduce the impact I have on the environment, educating others about environmental sustainability, and learning more about the mystery that is the ocean and the life it contains.” Hilary scored the perfect internship last January with the Vancouver Aquarium AquaVan, presented by B.C. Hydro. During the first months of her internship, she assisted the program’s educators. She was lucky enough to go on the road with the team during the first week of the Okanagan trip earlier this month.

Hilary is one of the many volunteers whom the Vancouver Aquarium is celebrating this week during National Volunteer Week. Devoted and passionate about the Aquarium’s conservation mission, hundreds of volunteers dedicate their time to the organization every year. On average, 35 volunteers work at the Aquarium daily. In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we celebrate and thank our volunteers; they are vital resources supporting the organization’s mission to connect people to the natural world.

In 2011, 1,000+ volunteers contributed over 100,000 hours to the Aquarium in more than 45 roles across the organization. From all ages and backgrounds, this diverse team participated in various aspects of the Aquarium’s education, conservation, research, and animal care programs.

Meet some of our other volunteers

Mona Martin and Veronica Robinson are called the “dynamic duo!” Since 2000, they have been volunteering together every Wednesday at the Aquarium’s Our World is Research desk located in the Canaccord gallery. Veronica has been volunteering since January 1982 and has provided more than 5,080 volunteer hours. Mona has been volunteering since January 1993 and currently has 3,092 hours of service. They also volunteer once a week with school programs.

Adrian and Blanche Lee are involved and active teenagers! Adrian has been volunteering at the Aquarium since January 2009 and has already accumulated 248 hours of service. He’s vice-president of the Youth Council and is part of the Aquakidz program. He recruited his sister, Blanche, to volunteer in May 2010. She currently has 80 hours and volunteers for the Gallery educator program.  She’s also recently joined the volunteer Youth Council.

Blanche likes to volunteer at the Aquarium because of the interaction she has with the guests. “There are so many different and interesting people I get to meet every time I go in, and I encourage other youth who are interested in volunteering to not be afraid to put [themselves] out there!” Blanche attends Crofton House School and her brother Adrian attends Point Grey Academy in Vancouver.

As part of the Volunteer program, the Aquarium also provides hands-on internships and work experience opportunities, which offer on-site training, supervision, and evaluation for volunteers. The Vancouver Aquarium has developed extensive mentoring programs that reflect our commitment to education.

Consider becoming a Vancouver Aquarium volunteer today!