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!
Want to work with kids? Lead natural history field trips? Or maybe you’d prefer to write a Field Note or help in the Garden? Here are all the ways you can get involved!
Bring natural history to local 4th-5th grade students 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 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., or help with school field trips 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.
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.
Front Desk Volunteer
Help the Montana Natural History Center with answering phones, greeting visitors, assisting with sales and memberships, and registration for MNHC’s 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 ~10 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.
MNHC has plenty of programs to volunteer with year-round! Check out some of our current recurring programs, and then fill out our Volunteer Application to learn about even more ways to join us.
Pre-K: First Friday of the month, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Elementary: First Friday of the month, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. & 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Middle: First Monday of the month, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Our homeschool program meets during the first week of every month in four separate, age-based sections. The rotating, multi-year curriculum encourages students to become naturalists through writing, science, and art. We could use 1-2 volunteers to help during these lessons. Tasks may include assisting with teaching, passing out and organizing materials, working with kids one-on-one, and more. It’s a great way to connect with kids of a range of ages, and learn a lot about nature education, too!
Visiting Naturalist in the Schools
Most school days, September – May
The Visiting Naturalist program puts professional naturalists in fourth and fifth grade classrooms to teach science and the natural history of western Montana. Naturalists work with students once a month for the entire school year, usually through classroom visits but twice a year (May and October) through full-day, outdoor field trips. Volunteers accompany our staff naturalists on the classroom visits and provide general classroom assistance as needed. In October and May, volunteers learn and then lead field trip stations. This is a great way to get kids connected with nature, and it’s a lot of fun, too!
Assist an MNHC naturalist with a family-centered program with a different theme each month. Help kids with craft and science projects, assist them with delicate specimens, and help with clean-up. This is a fun opportunity to learn a few new facts and interact with young learners.
We are looking for friendly volunteers to staff the front desk during evening programs and events. Greet and interact with visitors, tidy up the Center, work on special projects, or spend some time reading or journaling during down time. MNHC staff members are always in the building, and available to help with any questions that may arise. This is a great way to fit in some volunteer hours in the evenings or after work!
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.