We depend on volunteers to help us run quality programs for the community. We accept volunteers of all ages and abilities, and are adept at working with volunteers’ busy schedules. Whether you’re interested in teaching children about nature, assisting with our auction, filling in at our front desk, greeting visitors at Evening Lectures, or working in our native plant garden, we have an opportunity for you!

If you’d like to become a volunteer, please fill out the form under the “Volunteer Application” tab.  Or just stop by and visit us!

Evening Program Assistance

Wednesday, December 6th, 6:45 – 9:00 p.m.
Naturalist Trivia Night
Watch the front desk, direct participants to the program, and collect donations. 
Wednesday, December 13th, 6:45 – 7:15 p.m.
Sip & Felt Evening Program
This program is full! We could use a volunteer to help check in attendees at the front desk.

For more information and to sign up, contact Christine at cmorris@montananaturalist.org.


Visiting Naturalist in the Schools

Most school days in December


December is fruit month! Continuing where we left off in November, this month we discover what happens after plants produce flowers. We dissect three types of native Montana fruits, exploring their structures and searching for clues to their functions. In the process, we learn how each fruit is specially adapted to spread its seeds. As a volunteer, you can assist staff naturalists while students use loupes to investigate their fruits and discover their structures and functions.
Even if you have not volunteered with VNS before, you can still sign up to help!  Click here to see the December VNS class schedule. To sign up for a class, get the lesson plans, or for more information, please contact Drew at dlefebvre@montananaturalist.org.  



Saturday Kids’ Activity: Wild Gift Workshop

December 2nd, 1:45 – 3:00 p.m.


Help kids and families at several stations set up around MNHC as they craft nature-inspired holiday gifts. Assistance with set-up and clean-up would also be appreciated. 

To learn more or volunteer, contact Christine at cmorris@montananaturalist.org.


miniNaturalist PreK Program

Thursdays, 9:45 – 11:30 a.m.


Sing songs, help with science discovery and crafts, and assist with clean-up for our miniNaturalist PreK Program. This weekly program is always a fun way to start the day! December’s theme is Coyotes, Foxes, & Wolves.

For more information, contact Christine at cmorris@montananaturalist.org.

Wanted: Discovery Day Leaders


Lead your own Discovery Day walk or hike!  Take a group on your favorite outing, either in Missoula or out of town. It can be as long or short as you like, for families or seasoned hikers, instructional or just based on sharing a sense of wonder. Look for birds on the river trail, walk in the north hills, snowshoe out of town– let us know what you’re interested in, and we’ll help you brainstorm an activity!

For more information, contact Christine at cmorris@montananaturalist.org.


Stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities!



Want to work with kids? Want to lead natural history field trips? Or would you prefer to write a Field Note or help in the Garden? Here are all the great ways to get involved!

Volunteer Naturalist
Bring natural history to local 4th-5th grade school kids as a specially trained Volunteer Naturalist for the Visiting Naturalist in the Schools Program.

Saturday Kids’ Activities, miniNaturalists and Center Visits Volunteer
During the school year, assist our staff naturalists in running our Saturday Kids’ Activities on the weekends (on topics from birds to bugs to space, and more!), miniNaturalists program on Thursday mornings from 10-11, or help with school class visits during the week.

Summer Volunteer
Help out with our Summer Science Day Camps – a fun and fantastic opportunity to gain experience working with kids in the outdoor classroom, where No Child is Left Inside. Assist staff with activities, or create your own lesson and activity on a natural history topic that interests you. This is also a great opportunity for young people aged 14-17 to participate in our Leaders in Training program.

Outreach and Special Events
Annual events such as Wild Fest and KidsFest are exciting ways to engage families in MNHC activities. Other events include and are not limited to the Farmer’s Market, Missoula MADE fair, Kids Fair at Southgate Mall, Out to Lunch, University tabling and recruitment, and Missoula Children & Nature Network programs.

Native Plant Garden at Fort Missoula
Do you have a green thumb or just love to pull weeds? We could use your help! Work in our native plant garden and learn about Montana’s native prairie grasslands, or help with Garden education activities. In June, July and August we have weekly volunteer afternoons on Thursdays from 4-6pm.

Field Notes
Research and write ~600 word natural history essays for our Field Notes radio program aired weekly on Montana Public Radio.

Nature Discovery Traveling Trunk Maintenance
Assist in keeping our Traveling Trunks well-stocked and ready for use by our local schools.

Volunteer Receptionist
Help the Montana Natural History Center with answering phones, greeting visitors, assisting with sales and memberships, and registration for MNHC’s exciting programs.

Auction Assistance
Help us prepare for our largest fundraising event of the year! Each summer, we need 6-8 volunteers to solicit silent auction items from local businesses. We also need ~25 volunteers to assist on the night of the event (usually from 4-10pm on a Friday or Saturday in early October), checking attendees in and out, selling raffle tickets, displaying live auction items, and more.

Ralph Lee Allen Environmental Education Library
Help the Montana Natural History Center with ongoing maintenance and upkeep of our collection of field guides, children’s nature books, a wide variety of nature writing, and environmental educational resources. Our library is also a cozy, quiet place to spend an hour or two curled up reading!

Exhibits Construction & Maintenance
Give us a hand with maintaining both the exhibits at our Center and our traveling displays. Handy with tools? If so, we need your carpentry skills.

We accept volunteers of all ages and abilities. No matter what your interests, we have an opportunity that will fit you! If you’d like to volunteer, please begin by filling out our volunteer application form.


Volunteer Application Form
Please indicate whether this is your cell, home, or work number.
Education, employment, hobbies, previous volunteer work, etc.
Drop a file here or click to upload Choose File
Maximum upload size: 52.43MB
Check out the "Ways to Volunteer" tab for more information about these opportunities.
Please list name & title, email address, and phone number.

October 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Alyssa Cornell

Alyssa grew up in Livingston, MT, but came to us by way of Arizona State University, where she is working toward an M.A. in Public History. To fulfill her degree, she is spending her fall semester as our intern, and we are so lucky to have her!
Alyssa has worked tirelessly since she first began her internship. As we prepared for big projects such as our annual auction and a new season of VNS, Alyssa was always there to cheerfully complete the behind-the-scenes work to make it all come together. Alyssa also took on the project of setting up our Naturalist Classroom, which had been repurposed for summer camp and was in need of some sprucing up. She printed labels, arranged specimens, and helped the space look more inviting than ever. Most recently, Alyssa has joined our field staff to help us lead our fall season of VNS field trips, and she has transitioned seamlessly into an outdoor instructor. We’re so glad she chose MNHC for her internship! 

Thank you,  Alyssa!

Click HERE to read about other great volunteers and how they’ve gotten involved with MNHC.