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!
March Volunteer Opportunities
Visiting Naturalist in the Schools
Most School Days in March
In March, we’ll be doing an experiment about the science of flight! Volunteers are needed to help students investigate how birds’ wing shape affects their ability to fly. To see the March VNS volunteer schedule, click here.
Please note: we are in particular need this month of volunteers for our Field VNS classes at Chief Charlo and Hawthorne Elementary Schools.
To sign up for a class, get the lesson plans, or for more information, please contact Stephanie at 406.327.0405
Coming up for VNS:
We will be taking all 67 of our VNS classes on full-day field trips to local natural areas from late April through early June, and we need lots of volunteers to make this happen! VNS field trips are a great way to get involved and get outdoors. We will hold a training for field trip volunteers on April 19th at the Fort Missoula Native Plant Garden. To RSVP or for questions, contact Stephanie at 406.327.0405
Saturday Kids’ Activity Assistance: Rockhounding
Saturday, March 11th, 1:45-3:30pm
We need 2-4 volunteers to help with this month’s Saturday Kids’ Activity. Arrive at MNHC around 1:45 to help with set-up and check-in, and you’ll be done by 3:30 at the latest. Provide assistance to members of the Hellgate Gem and Mineral Society with stations featuring rocks, fossils, and rockhounding tips. Please contact Christine at 406.327.0405 if interested or for more information!
Evening Program Assistance
- Wednesday, March 15th, 6:45-9:00pm: Naturalist Trivia Night
- Wednesday, March 29th, 6:45-9:00pm:Lecture Series: “Navigating a Changing World” with Kallie Moore
We need a volunteer or two who can come a little early (about fifteen minutes before) to help set up, greet folks, collect donations, and man/woman the front doors during the program to let in latecomers. Contact Christine at 406.327.0405 to sign up.
Lead and Assist with Nature Hikes
Discovery Day Hike for Families at Lee Metcalf
Saturday, March 18th, 9:00am-2:00pm
Assist participants with bird ID, mammal sign, and general enjoyment along trails. Meet at MNHC at 9:00 am to carpool, or around 9:45 at Lee Metcalf. For more information or to sign up, contact Christine Morris.
Lead a Discovery Day hike on your favorite trail! Meet participants at the trailhead and show them a new spot to enjoy nature. Include some information on the birds, plants, and landscape. Contact Christine Morris at 406.327.0405 about setting up your hike. These are free to the public, have a capped attendance, and are lots of fun.
Help with Spring Break Activities
March 21, 22, 23 and 24, 9:45-11:00am
MNHC will be offering activities for elementary school students Tuesday-Friday during the week of MCPS spring break. On Tuesday, we’ll learn about outstanding owls; we’ll get to know backyard birds on Wednesday; on Thursday, we’ll be explorers and record our expedition; and on Friday we’ll have fun with fabulous fossils! Volunteers are welcome to help us with any or all of the days. To sign up or for questions, contact me at email@example.com.
miniNaturalist Pre-K Program
Help preschool kids with games, art projects, and science exploration. Contact Christine for more information and to sign up to help.
Coming up in April:
Go Birding with Clark Fork School Teachers
Saturday, April 8, 11:00-1:30pm
Are you a birder? On Saturday, April 8, MNHC will be taking teachers from the Clark Fork School to Council Grove to bird from 11:00am-1:30 pm. We would like to split the large group into smaller groups, each led by a bird-savvy guide. Contact Christine Morris for more information.
Volunteer transportation coordinator wanted!
We could use a volunteer or two to help with regular maintenance and upkeep of our three small buses. If you are handy and want a flexible volunteer role, this might be the position for you! If you have questions or want to sign up, please contact Stephanie at 406.327.0405.
Help with small construction projects
There are a number of small construction projects around MNHC that we could use a handy volunteer to help with. If you are interested in helping with projects like building floating shelves and boxes for our touch tables, or in being on our “on-call” list of handy-person volunteers for when things come up, please contact Stephanie at 406.327.0405
Help Keep our Sidewalks Safe & Snow-Free
All winter, whenever there is a big snowfall
After the snow falls, we could use some assistance shoveling our sidewalk and front area to make sure they are safe for visitors to MNHC. If interested in helping out, just stop by the morning after a big snow and ask for the shovel! We will gladly (and thankfully) put you to work. You also can feel free to call the front desk at 327.0405 to check if we need assistance on a particular day, or call anytime for more information.
Stay tuned for spring 2017 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!
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.
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.
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.
Help the Montana Natural History Center with answering phones, greeting visitors, assisting with sales and memberships, and registration for MNHC’s exciting programs.
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.
March 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Jack is a new volunteer with the Visiting Naturalist in the Schools program this year, and we are so glad to have him as part of the team! Jack has been a frequent and consistent volunteer for the last several months, and we are lucky to have him. He brings a kind and compassionate spirit into the classroom and is especially helpful when working with students in small groups. He is always willing to share his own background knowledge and make sure the kids are as engaged as possible with the lesson.
Thank you, Jack!
Click HERE to read about other great volunteers and how they’ve gotten involved with MNHC.