Public Floor & Education Volunteers
While The Field Museum is home to renowned exhibits and research projects, our most valuable finds are not artifacts. They're people like you - the individuals of all ages and backgrounds who volunteer to enlighten more than 1 million visitors each year. The Field Museum is committed to creating an environment in which people of diverse backgrounds are welcomed and valued. It is the Museum's objective to recruit a team of volunteers that reflects the broad constituency the Museum strives to serve.
The Machine Inside: Biomechanics
March 12, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Under the familiar surface of nature, every living thing is a machine. From the long-extinct T. rex to the world’s fastest cheetah, all species are built to survive, move, and discover. The Machine Inside: Biomechanics explores the marvels of natural engineering. Docents will help visitors explore the fascinating science of biomechanics through hands-on interactives, animations, real specimens, and models.
Docent training will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2014.
Applicants with a background in biology are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants should also enjoy teaching, and have engaging communication skills with visitors of all ages, from all over the world. Weekday docents volunteer regularly one day a week, weekend docents volunteer two half days a month.
Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair
October 25, 2013-September 7, 2014
Beginning October 25, visitors will get a never-before-seen glimpse into the event of the century in the exhibition, Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair. Luring millions to Chicago in 1893, the Columbian Exposition was a glittering showcase of architecture, culture and people from around the world. Not only the birthplace of chewing gum and the Ferris wheel, the World's Fair also marked the triumphant debut of our very own Field Museum. Now, 120 years later, the Museum is opening its hidden collections to display incredible treasures and artifacts that will bring to life one of the most spectacular events in the Windy City's history.
Weekday docents volunteer regularly one day a week, weekend docents volunteer two half days a month.
The Crown Family PlayLab starts with a child's innate curiosity, adds real artifacts and specimens, and encourages young explorers to discover the wonders of nature and learn about diverse cultures. Volunteers will help children and families in the PlayLab discover the wonders of nature, connect to other cultures, and learn to think like a scientist. Assignments include greeting and checking-in visitors at the reception desk; supervising and interacting with children; and answering questions and assisting visitors. Ideal applicants have a strong interest in natural science, world cultures, and various art mediums as well as early childhood education. Standing, kneeling, and crouching will be required so energetic candidates are preferred.
Volunteers are asked to commit to shift once a week on Monday, Thursday or Friday or two weekend days per month. Available shifts are 9:30am-2:30pm or 11:30am-4:00pm.
Abbott Hall of Conservation Restoring Earth is a permanent exhibition that showcases the conservation efforts of Field Museum scientists. Docents will engage Field Museum visitors in exploring choices they can make for a healthier future.
Applicants with a background in environmental studies are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants should also enjoy teaching, and have engaging communication skills with visitors of all ages, from all over the world. Weekday docents volunteer regularly one day a week, weekend docents volunteer two half days a month.
Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice DNA Discovery Center
Docents are needed to help bring the exciting science of DNA to the public. The DNA Discovery Center will introduce visitors to the ground-breaking genetic research being done at The Field Museum's Pritzker Laboratory, a lab dedicated to genetic analysis throughout the tree of life and the preservation of the world's biodiversity. From a specially designed viewing area, visitors will see Field Museum staff and evolutionary biologists from all over the world use state-of-the-art equipment to study genetic diversity. The exhibit space will feature a video theater to introduce fundamentals of DNA. Interactive kiosks will enable visitors to simulate experiments that have been conducted in the lab, and see how scientists use DNA to answer scientific questions. There will also be specimens to help describe the variety of living things that are studied in the Pritzker Lab.
Docents will not be volunteering inside the lab, but will be using the interactive elements of the exhibit area in front of the lab to explain DNA to the visitors, and to point out to what is being done within the lab.Applicants should have a strong background in science. They should also enjoy teaching and have engaging communication skills with visitors of all ages. Weekday docents volunteer regularly one day a week; weekend docents volunteer two half days a month.
Evolving Planet is a new, dynamic permanent exhibition that opened in March, 2006. Museum visitors have the opportunity to journey through 4 billion years of life on earth to discover how evolution works and the science that reveals it. Evolving Planet includes a spectacular dinosaur section. Applicants should have some background in science and a strong interest in dinosaurs and evolutionary biology. Applicants should also enjoy teaching, and have engaging communication skills with visitors of all ages. Weekday docents volunteer regularly one day a week; weekend docents volunteer two half days a month.
Guest Relations/Customer Service Volunteers
The Department of Guest Relations needs volunteers to greet and assist visitors to the Field Museum week days and weekends. This is a great opportunity for friendly, out-going, courteous and helpful individuals to interact with guests from all over the world. Volunteers will work at the information desk and serve as hall greeters. Volunteers serve as the point-person for visitors' questions. Outgoing and fun people who like to interact with others will do well in this position. Positions are available both weekday afternoons and weekends.
Show off our famous T-Rex! Sue is the largest, most complete tyrannosaurs rex ever found. We are looking to add a few new docents at Sue. Sue docents introduce Sue to our visitors, answer questions, and provide info. This is a great opportunity for outgoing dinosaur lovers. Weekday and weekend docents are needed.
For 13,000 years before Europeans landed in the "New World," the western hemisphere was home to hundreds of distinct cultures. Only recently have we begun to appreciate the diversity and ingenuity of these peoples, from the extraordinary craftsmanship of Ice-Age mammoth hunters, to the early experimenters who first produced the foods we eat today, to the awe-inspiring Aztec and Inca empires. With more than 2,200 artifacts, amazing reconstructions, and dozens of videos and interactive displays, this ground-breaking exhibition takes visitors on an epic journey through the ancient societies that helped shape our lives today.
Applicants should have a strong background in Anthropology or History, with an interest in Native American cultures. Applicants should also enjoy teaching, and have engaging communication skills with visitors of all ages, from all over the world. Weekday docents volunteer regularly one day a week, weekend docents volunteer two half days a month.
Overnights and Dozin' with the Dinos Program
Dozin' with the Dinos is a family program that invites kids ages 6 to 12 and their parents to sleep over at the museum. The evening includes structured activities such as drop-by workshops as well as open exploration of the museum by flashlight! Volunteers working this program begin the evening by greeting overnight guests and helping them find the best place to lay out their sleeping bags. Volunteers then assist with a hands-on workshop focused on an area of The Field Museum's collections, for instance, dissecting owl pellets or showing how to use ancient tools.
Volunteer shifts are 5:30pm to 9:00pm on the Fridays that are scheduled with Dozin' with the Dinos overnights. Volunteers must be able to commit to 6 dates a year. Volunteers should enjoy working with children and families in a fast-paced environment. Lifting heavy boxes may be required. Volunteers must be 21 years of age or older. (Exception: Teens who have participated in the Teens@TheField may be invited to join the overnight program.) Active recruitment is during the summer and early fall of each year. Trainings are held in the fall/winter and volunteers generally begin in January of the following year. Click here for information about Dozin' with the Dinos Program.
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