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

We have a lot going on this month! Help out with any of our upcoming evening programs, listed below:
Wednesday, October 11th, 6:15 – 7:15 p.m.
Sip & Sketch
Front desk help. Greet and check in participants.
Wednesday, October 18th, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Climate Change Lecture Series with Jedediah Brodie
Help with drink serving, check-in, and cleanup. Bonus: you will get to watch the lecture for free!
(Note: Cleanup includes slightly strenuous stacking and pushing of chairs.) 
Wednesday, October 25th, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Naturalist Trivia Night
Front desk help. Receive donations and watch the front desk during the program. 

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

Visiting Naturalist in the Schools Field Trips

Every school day in October

In the month of October, we take all 69 classes of our 4th- and 5th-grade Visiting Naturalist students outside on a full-day field trip, and we depend on our amazing team of volunteers to make this happen! 
This is a great way to have fun with kids and enjoy the outdoors. We rotate each class through three learning stations: Nature Walk, Professor Hike, and Adaptation Olympics. Even if you haven’t volunteered before, we’d still love to have you! New volunteers will receive training materials and spend time shadowing our staff naturalists and experienced volunteers, then may lead stations themselves once they feel comfortable. 

Check out the field trip schedule here, and to learn more and sign up, contact Drew at dlefebvre@montananaturalist.org.


Saturday Discovery Day: Pattee Canyon Nature Walk

Saturday, October 7th, 9:00  – 11:30 a.m.

Learn how to lead your own hikes and walks by helping out on this Saturday Discovery Day. We are looking for volunteers who would like to share their interest and knowledge while helping explore outside. Choose to hike far, walk slow, be along a trail in town, or out in the woods. You choose the hike, duration, and how much information you would like to convey–from a little to a lot. Volunteers have led hikes in the North Hills, Mt. Jumbo, and the Bitterroot.
For more information and to volunteer, contact Christine at cmorris@montananaturalist.org.


Lincoln Community River Park Grand Opening

Saturday, October 14th, 10:00 a.m.  – 3:00 p.m.

It’s the grand opening of the Lincoln Community River Park, the first public river access in Lincoln! To celebrate, Five Valleys Land Trust is throwing a grand opening party. We’re looking for a volunteer or two to help us run some kids’ activities. Come celebrate with the Lincoln community and help officially open the newest public river access on the iconic Blackfoot River. 
To learn more or to volunteer, contact Christine at cmorris@montananaturalist.org.


Saturday Kids’ Activity: Slimy!

October 28th, 1:45 – 3:30 p.m.

The theme of this month’s Saturday Kids’ Activity is Slimy! We could use a volunteer to assist kids and families with science and sensory projects, then help with cleanup. 

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! September’s theme is Forest Friends.

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


Homeschool Program

3rd Friday of the month, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Our new homeschool program meets on the third Friday of every month for one hour at MNHC. The rotating, multi-year curriculum encourages students to become naturalists through writing, science, and art. We could use a volunteer or two to help during the lessons. It’s a great way to connect with kids of a range of ages, and learn a lot about nature education, too!

For more information, contact Bailey at bzook@montananaturalist.org.


Garden Help


Help weed our garden on the east side of the building. It could use a bit of weeding TLC. If you’re interested, we’ll give you the combo to the tool shed and you can weed whenever you like using MNHC’s tools.

This is a great opportunity to get in some hours with kids in tow. They can play on the features in the garden while you work.
2 for 1 volunteer hours toward Master Naturalist recertification!
Please contact Christine at cmorris@montananaturalist.org if you are interested. 


Hands-On Projects


Interested in putting your creative side to use this fall? We are looking for a couple of carpentry volunteers to assist us with a coat room project in October or November.
We also need a little bit of painting done in our Kids’ Discovery Room. The stools in there are a little dull. Wouldn’t it be much more fun if they were painted like toadstools? We’ll supply the brushes and paint.
Please contact Christine at cmorris@montananaturalist.org if you are interested



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.
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.