Volunteers of all ages helping kids build circuits, pretend play, explore animals at ECHO.

Become a part of ECHO’s volunteer family!

Whether you’re looking to learn more about the care of Lake Champlain, connect with your community, pursue your interests in STEM education, teach kids about bear and moose, or build your resume, ECHO has something for everyone!

ECHO is a nonprofit, and we depend on our amazing volunteers to engage with our visitors, assist in caring for animals, support our staff in their important work, and help us communicate our mission to engage families in the wonder of nature, the joy of scientific discovery and the care of Lake Champlain.

What do volunteers do at ECHO?

  • Support animal care staff in the care of our many species of turtles, including neonates (baby turtles)
  • Guide kids in exploring the wonders of moose and bears
  • Connect with the public about important water quality issues in the Lake Champlain Basin
  • Teach kids to program miniature robots in our Maker Space
  • Participate in delivering seasonal activities designed to enrich science learning in our community (past activities have included a solar eclipse viewing party, snowball fling, and more!)

Volunteer Opportunities

For ages 16 years and older

Responsible to: Public Programs Manager

Description: Help the public learn about over 70 species of animals, the fascinating culture and history of the Lake Champlain Basin, and pursue your passion for science learning in all forms in the only aquarium in Vermont! Work with people of all ages as you help interpret our exhibit galleries, discovery spaces, and live animals. Volunteers help bring the exhibits alive for the visitors, engage the public in STEM learning activities, interpret our marine invertebrates in our Champlain Sea Tide Pool, and share our important mission with guests.

Length of Commitment: Three months; 1 four hour shift/week

Qualifications: Volunteers must enjoy working with visitors of all ages, be excited about learning, and have an interest in sharing their enthusiasm for scientific discovery, the wonder of nature, and care of Lake Champlain and beyond. They must also enjoy working with a close team of Volunteers, youth, and Staff, and have an outgoing and cheerful demeanor. Experience in working with children and families a plus.

For ages 18 years and older

Responsible to: Lake Champlain Basin Program Resource Room Staff

Description: The Lake Champlain Resource Room is an important link between the activities and exhibits within ECHO and opportunities throughout the Basin. Operated by the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) in coordination with ECHO, the Resource Room provides a Lake library, childrens’ books and activities, exhibits, and two computer kiosks. Helping the public access stewardship opportunities on the Lake is also an important focus of the room.

Length of Commitment: Three months; at least two shifts/month

Qualifications: Volunteers must enjoy working with visitors of all ages, be excited about learning and have an interest in sharing their enthusiasm with others. An interest in Lake Champlain issues and stewardship is important as well. Opportunities within the Resource Room include helping the public access Lake information, helping children with hands-on activities, filing and cataloging information, and helping the public with basic computer use, such as the using the internet. They must also enjoy working with a close team of Volunteers, youth, and Staff.

Due to Government required COVID-19 operational procedures and limitations that ECHO is committed to following to ensure everyone’s safety we are suspending the Fall Animal Care Volunteer program.

ECHO supports teen Personalized Learning Pathways through mentored learning opportunities, however this program is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Our teen leadership program, E-Team, is a way for teens to directly engage visitors through science-related activities, hands-on crafts, and interpretation of exhibit areas. Each fall, we look for students with an interest in STEM to help staff these exhibits and run activities in various science fields geared towards our young audience. In addition to helping ECHO fulfill its mission, participants will gain valuable science content knowledge, job skills, a stipend of $1000 for the year, social interactions with new peers, and leadership experience.  Click here to learn more.

While at ECHO, interns gain hands-on experience to build relevant job skills, craft a competitive resume, and further their individual and/or career goals. Interns receive training in their area of focus, work closely with a staff mentor and work both independently and collaboratively on projects in support of ECHO’s mission. Click here to learn more about our internship program.



Steps to Volunteer at ECHO:

  1. Volunteer Opportunities: Read volunteer descriptions below and choose one that interests you.
  2. Fill out our online application: Applications are accepted year-round.
  3. Interview: If you are a good match for our volunteer program, you will be contacted for an interview to discuss your volunteer role, background and availability.
  4. Volunteer Orientation: Volunteer orientations are held winter, summer and fall. When you have been selected as a volunteer, the Volunteer Coordinator will connect about your training and orientation times.
  5. Department Training: In addition to the Volunteer Orientation, you will train within the department for your specific role.


Contact Billy Ernest, Education & Volunteer Specialist at (802) 864-1848 x149 or bernest@echovermont.org

ECHO is proud to be an equal opportunity organization. All qualified applicants to volunteer and intern positions will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. ECHO will provide reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation to fully participate in the application process.

If you would like to request an accommodation, please contact David Bardaglio, Director of Finanace & Adminstration, 802-864-1848 x103 or dbardaglio@echovermont.org

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