Volunteer at the Museum

Support our Mission by Being a Volunteer

Volunteer at DMNS! 
Volunteers create a lasting impact on the success of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The tireless commitment of all of our volunteers helps make the Museum one of the most highly regarded natural history institutions in the country. Be a part of our volunteer community and help us inspire our community’s passion for nature & science.

There are many ways to get involved. We are accepting volunteers for Docent, Facilitator, and some behind-the-scenes positions. Please note, that most behind-the-scenes positions are only available during normal business hours, Monday to Friday. Please read the descriptions below to learn more about each position and complete the appropriate application.

Getting Started as a Docent 

  • Complete the appropriate online Docent Volunteer Application below
  • Register and attend an onsite interview
  • Attend an onsite New Volunteer Orientation and Tour
  • Complete any additional training required

Getting Started as a Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer

  • Complete the appropriate online Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer Application below
  • Complete the Position of Interest Form
  • Interview with Staff Supervisor
  • Attend an onsite New Volunteer Orientation and Tour
  • Complete any additional training required

If you have applied to volunteer or intern before or are a former volunteer or intern looking to re-apply, please contact us at [email protected] to have your account reset. 

Volunteer Positions

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Volunteers in the Docent position will be able to sign up for a variety of assignments throughout the Museum to enhance the guest experience by providing overall support and information. These assignments include gallery ticket scanning and greeting assignments, Information Desk and wayfinding assignments as well as some special event and adult program support assignments. Docents are trained and knowledgeable about overall Museum happenings and the specifics required for the assignment. Docents will be supported and directly supervised by Volunteer Engagement Department staff unless otherwise specified. Shifts are available seven days a week and Friday evenings. Volunteers must volunteer for 12 shifts per year to remain on active status. Volunteers start with the Docent position and after six shifts they are eligible to participate in a facilitation review to possibly qualify as a facilitator. 

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Volunteers in the Facilitator position will be able to sign up for assignments that focus on facilitating content-based discovery and exploration interactions with Museum guests. These assignments include all Exploration Station assignments (aka carts) and any assignment that requires content-based training like the Navigator assignment. Facilitators are first and foremost, fantastic Docents, displaying an overall understanding of Museum-wide happenings and exemplary customer service. All Facilitators are required to be trained and able to facilitate Museum-wide high-priority Facilitation assignments.
To be eligible for a Facilitator position, volunteers are required to complete six docent shifts to participate in a Facilitator Review Shift. During this shift, volunteers who are interested in facilitating will come to the Museum prepared to facilitate the Exploration Station of their choosing. Team Members will observe facilitation interactions and provide input on whether a volunteer is ready to start registering for Facilitation assignments upon completion of content-specific training. 

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Adult Docent Volunteer Application

Applicants 18 years of age or older should complete the Adult Volunteer Application.  

Teen Docent Volunteer Application

Applicants who are 14 to 17 years of age should complete the Teen Volunteer Application.

As a teen volunteer at one of Denver's most prestigious cultural institutions, you'll have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact while indulging your curiosity and love for learning. Whether you're an aspiring scientist, a history buff, need volunteer hours to graduate, or simply someone who enjoys engaging with the community, there's a place for you here.

Ready to Get Involved?

Join us in igniting curiosity and inspiring discovery! To start, please complete the Teen Volunteer Application

We can't wait to welcome you to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science volunteer team!

Teen Volunteering Requirements

  • Submit a completed application
  • Attend a group interview and be accepted into the program
  • Attend a New Teen Orientation
  • Meet a yearly requirement of 12 shifts in a calendar year
  • Effectively communicate (cancellations, lateness, etc.)


  • Interviews will be conducted in April and May
  • New Teen Orientations are scheduled in April and May

Volunteer Shifts are available seven days a week and Friday evenings

Shift times are

  • 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 12:30 – 5 p.m.
  • Friday Evening: 4:30 – 9 p.m.

Volunteer Perks

  • Free admission to the Museum
  • Free access to Infinity Theater, Planetarium Shows, and Temporary Exhibits
  • 50% Discount on food at the TRex Café, Deli, and Coffee Lab
  • 10% Discount in the Museum Shop
  • Gain new skills and communicate with people from around the world
  • Gain community service hours that you can use for graduation if your school requires them


Contact [email protected].


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Family Group Docent Volunteer Application

The Family Application must be completed by the adult who will be volunteering with the youth applicant. The youth's account will be created upon being accepted to the volunteer program. Anyone 13 years of age or younger must volunteer alongside a parent or guardian.

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Zoology Vertebrate Preparator Volunteer

Get your (gloved) hands dirty in a state-of-the-art lab dissecting and preparing animals for collections! Zoology vertebrate preparator volunteers assist with prepping mammal study skins, skeletons, and tissues in preparation for specimens to be added to our mammalogy and ornithology collections. This is a unique opportunity to have hands-on experience with many specimens from the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains regions. Daily tasks include skinning carcasses and taking tissue samples, collecting parasites, prepping study skins, and accurately filling out datasheets.

Volunteers will work on a project during their volunteer time with a minimum time commitment of 6 months. More detailed requirements are in the project descriptions below.

Zoology Vertebrate Preparation and Dissection Projects

Basic Mammal Dissection
Volunteers will work on various sizes of rabbits, squirrels, or raccoons. Volunteers will learn how to preserve skulls, tissues, and/or whole bodies in ethanol. This is best for volunteers who have little or no experience in dissecting animals and are new to scientific dissection procedures. This position requires volunteers to have a strong stomach, good attention to detail, and organized. Volunteers must be available for a minimum time commitment of one 4-hour shift per week for 6 months. Shifts are available on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Preference is given to those who can volunteer for longer shifts.

Small Bird Dissection
Volunteers will work on bird skeletonizing and/or whole bodies in ethanol. This may also include dry wing preparation. This project is best for someone with high manual dexterity, strong attention to detail, and, ideally has a basic understanding of avian skeletal anatomy. Volunteers must be available for a minimum time commitment of one 4-hour shift per week for 6 months. Shifts are available on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Preference is given to those who can volunteer for longer shifts.

Flesh-Eating Beetles (Dermestid)
Volunteers will work on washing, boxing, and rearranging skeletons in our flesh-eating beetle (dermestid) colonies. This project is best for volunteers who are not afraid of insects, can handle strong smells, and have great attention to detail. This is the most flexible volunteering position in the lab. Volunteers must be available for a minimum time commitment of one 4-hour shift per week for 6 months. Shifts are available Fridays for a 4-hour block of time, with flexibility on the dates and times of this volunteer position.


  • A minimum commitment of one shift per week for 6 months
  • Mammal and Bird Projects: Shifts are available Thursday or Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Dermestid Project: Shifts are available Friday for one 4-hour shift each week

Minimum Qualifications

  • Have solid attention to detail and a proactive willingness to acquire new skills
  • Exhibit manual dexterity skills that lend themselves to intricate tasks
  • Thrive in a collaborative team setting
  • Demonstrate adeptness in following instructions while also excelling in independent tasks
  • Consistency is key; commit to maintaining a regular weekly schedule

Helpful Skills

  • Education or background in biology, mammalogy, or ornithology is helpful
  • Prior experience in handling specimens is helpful

The Zoology Preparator will provide on-the-job training. Additionally, volunteers are required to take the Zoology Preparation Lab Safety Training on their first working day in the lab. All personal protective equipment is provided.

Age Requirement
Available to individual applicants 18 or older

Physical Working Conditions

  • Must have the ability to sit or stand for long periods of time
  • Ability to safely lift and handle specimens
  • Manual dexterity – must have the ability to hold and operate hand tools and pneumatic tools without assistance
  • Moderate physical activity is required by handling objects up to 20 lbs occasionally and/or up to 10 lbs frequently
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Inclusivity Statement

Science helps us understand that diversity in our natural world creates strength and nurtures life. We strive to be a diverse and collaborative team – a team of people from different backgrounds, identities and experiences who are open to being inspired, challenged and changed by one another. At all levels of our organization, in every policy, action and decision, we seek to create a workplace that lives our Museum values and foster opportunity and mutual respect. We realize that we are on a continual journey toward building community, understanding, and belonging. These aspirations are critical to bringing our mission to life.

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