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
Help us keep the doors open for our evening programs. Watch the front desk, accept donations, and direct attendees to the event. This is a great opportunity to spend some time in your journal drawing from the specimens, perusing our library, reading, and enjoying some peaceful time once the initial rush has subsided. This month, we could use help with three separate evening programs:Naturalist Trivia NightWednesday, April 11th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m
Explore the Upper Missouri BreaksFriday, April 13th, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Volcanoes & Climate Change with Ian LangeWednesday, April 18th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.For more information and to sign up, contact Christine at email@example.com.
Visiting Naturalist in the Schools
Field Trip Training
Thursday, April 19th, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m
Spring field trip season is almost here! We have 70 classes to take on full-day field trips this year– which means we need all the help we can get! Join us for a brief training on the structure of our field trips, including an overview of the lessons, locations, and some helpful tips for teaching kids outside. We’ll provide snacks, too!Even if you can’t make it to the training, we’d love to have you join in our field trip season. You can spend some time shadowing to get a feel for it, and then jump in as a lead teacher if you like. Field trips begin this year on April 24th, and we could definitely use some extra help during that first week!
Even if you have not volunteered with VNS before, you can still sign up to help! To RSVP to the training or sign up for a field trip, please contact Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visiting Naturalist in the Schools
Most school days in April
In April, we continue our unit on birds. This month we’ll focus on bird beaks with our ever-popular experiment, Fill the Bill.
In this lesson, students will experiment with different types of tools (pliers, tweezers, and chopsticks) that mimic the functions of a variety of bird bills. Which tool will be best for eating insects? What about for cracking seeds? We’ll also bring an assortment of bill specimens for students to observe, journal about, and discover the function of.
Even if you have not volunteered with VNS before, you can still sign up to help! To sign up for a class or for more information about the lesson, please contact Drew at dlefebvre@
Saturday Kids’ Activity: Beaver Lodge Boogie
April 13th, 2:00 – 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 email@example.com.
miniNaturalist PreK Program
Thursdays, 10:00 – 11:00 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! April’s theme is Spring Birds.
For more information, contact Christine at firstname.lastname@example.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!
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.
April 2018 Volunteer of the Month:
As the spring semester draws to a close, we are getting ready to say goodbye to our hardworking, long-term intern, Stephanie Fisher. As part of her MS in Environmental Studies, Stephanie has been working hard here at MNHC to develop a curriculum for teaching climate change to high school students.
Recently, MNHC teaching staff attended the Montana Environmental Education Association’s annual conference, where we had the pleasure of watching Stephanie present her project to an audience of educators. Not only did she deliver a flawless presentation, but she turned out an amazing finished product: Stephanie recorded video conversations with several local climate experts, then integrated them with pre-existing online resources. The videos are attention-grabbing and geared toward high school students, and the whole curriculum is aligned to the latest science standards.
We’re so lucky that Stephanie chose to work with MNHC while pursuing her degree, and that her final project was such a hit.
Thank you, Stephanie!!
Click HERE to read about other great volunteers and how they’ve gotten involved with MNHC.