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Volunteer

Volunteers help make the Burke Museum and its programs a success! Volunteer positions at the museum vary from working in research collections to leading school tours to helping with craft activities during public programs. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please directly contact the listed individual for each posting.

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Trivia Night Volunteer - New Position!

Description: Do you love trivia? Want to come up with rounds like:

  • Valentine’s Day: A round about hearts and cardiology
  • Spice Must Flow: A round about culinary herbs and spices
  • Video Game Flora: A picture matching round
  • Pop Culture Plagues & Pandemics: A round about viruses and zombies

Then become a Burke Trivia Night volunteer! We need writers for fun and creative natural history and culture trivia rounds, and a friendly assistant or two to help with Trivia Night on the first Thursday of every month at the College Inn Pub.

Writers can work remotely to contribute ideas and questions for natural history and cultural themed rounds that directly or indirectly relate to the Burke's exhibit, collections and programs. Volunteers will write 6-7 questions per round and at least 3 rounds per month.

Night-of Assistants will help the host with bringing equipment from the Burke, setting up object rounds, monitoring collections, and making the event a smashing success each month.

To Apply: Please fill out this application and select "Trivia Night [Visitor Experience]" and specify in the "About Me" section what you're most interested in. We're looking for multiple people for these spots so sign up today!

Volunteers in the field
Volunteers on a herbarium foray.
Photo by David Giblin

80 Days of Summer Volunteer

Description: Do you love learning about the natural and cultural world around you? Can you just not help but get even more excited to tell people about it? Are you hoping to find a summer-long volunteer position at a museum? If so, then you might be a perfect fit for our 80 Days of Summer program this year. We're pulling out all the stops and having an event each day at the Burke and we need a team of eager, interested, and interesting folks to make this the best summer yet at the Museum. We'll be doing crafts and facilitating activities during each of our themed weeks a few of which are Shark Week, Meteor Week, Awesome Oceans Week and Wonderful Watercraft week. The Burke will become the go-to place for fun in Seattle this summer and we need awesome people to help us make that happen!

We need a crew of 14-18 volunteers to staff this team throughout the summer. This is a great opportunity to gain experience in a museum environment and put your stellar social skills to use. We're looking for outgoing, reliable people to join our team. We will hold an interview and orientation session at the end of May to fill these slots.

Requirements: Commit to one three hour shift (11-1 or 1-4) for each of the eleven weeks (June 20 through the week of September 7).

To Apply: To be informed of the interview and orientation session, fill out this application and select "80 Days of Summer [Visitor Experience].

 

UW Undergrads: 2015-2016 Burke Student Ambassadors (BSA)

US: BSA eradicates boring museum programs through brainstorming, collaborating and sharing ideas resulting in the coolest, most incredible programs the Museum has ever seen. BSA is made up of extroverts, introverts, science geeks, art nerds, theatre buffs, and students from every major who like to work on teams but also thrive going solo.

YOU: Have taken a selfie (or considered it) in front of a dinosaur/painting/sculpture at a museum and posted it on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr. Appreciate LACMA’s (LA County Museum of Art) efforts on Snapchat. Are looking to meet new people while you traverse the wilds of the UW.

Apply: You must be a current UW undergrad (that includes you, class of 2019!) in order to be part of BSA, be able to attend meetings every other week, and contribute to at least one program per school year. To apply fill out this application and select "Burke Student Ambassadors [Administration]”. Give us a little information about why you want to be a Burke Student Ambassador in the "About Me" section.

 

Event Volunteer

The Burke periodically needs enthusiastic Museum fans to help with special events and family days. Past events include Washington State's 125th Birthday and Tusk After Dusk featuring LuLu's tusk! Volunteers at these events will be doing anything from cutting cake, serving drinks, and doing crafts with visitors to monitoring tables with specimens and telling people where the coolest things in the Museum are.

Go above and beyond with your love for the Burke and help out at one of our special events! We value your time and will make the experience worth your while. If this sounds like a good fit for you, please fill out this application and select "Events [Visitor Experience]"

 


All positions below are currently full.

Member: Burke Revealed Team (BuRT)

This position is currently full, but please feel free to contact us with your name and statement of interest to be considered for future openings.

Task: BuRT works on projects in the gallery that are normally done behind the scenes in the depths of the Museum. Each research division at the Burke has ongoing work that requires sorting, identification, and occasional rehousing of collections. Past projects have included sorting krill specimens and counting eggs and transferring our extensive shell collection into upgraded storage materials.

Current project: For the next few months we'll be picking out microscopic protists from sediment collected at the bottom of Bellingham Bay for the Invertebrate Paleontology Foraminifera Project (more info here and here).

You: A social, bubbly, life-long learner and lover of all things natural history. You like to try new things and can't help but tell everyone about it. You have a keen attention to detail and work hard to ensure projects are done to the best of your ability. You ask questions when you don't know the answer and are excited to be part of a team that directly contributes to science.

Training: No prior education or experience required (cool, right?!) Each task will require training that will take a maximum of one hour and will be done by collections staff (also cool).

To Apply: To be part of BuRT, fill out this application and select "Burke Revealed Team (BuRT) [Visitor Experience]"

 

Spider Collection Lab Assistant

This position is currently full, but please feel free to contact us with your name and statement of interest to be considered for future openings.

Description: The main task of this volunteer position is labeling, filling, stoppering, and installing vials of preserved spiders, but it's really varied with all sorts of clerical, packing/unpacking, and miscellaneous tasks. You must be willing to work in a windowless basement room with sub-optimum lighting and a faint smell of mothballs.

Desirable Skills: Some biology background is a plus but the only real requirement is for a careful and precise worker with some interest in the subject.

Minimum Requirements: Applicants should plan on averaging one afternoon's work a week for a year or more. Current students, underage applicants and those wishing a summer-only volunteer job are not accepted for this position.

Contact: Please fill out this application, select "Invertebrate Zoology [Biology]" and give us a little information about you in the "About Me" section.  For more information, please contact Rod Crawford at tiso@u.washington.edu or (206) 543-9853.

 

Spider Collection Field Assistant

This position is currently full, but please feel free to contact us with your name and statement of interest to be considered for future openings.

Description: The field assistant's job is to drive on field trips and help collect and preserve spider specimens. You will be reimbursed for gas or mileage; if you are UW-affiliated, you can use a U-car instead of your own if you wish. Field trips are all-day affairs (we return after dark) and can take place any time except mid-August through September. Precise dates and destinations depend on latest weather forecast, therefore we often only have a couple of days notice of trip details. Find out more about spider collecting trips here: http://crawford.tardigrade.net/journal/

Desirable Skills: Should be familiar with and at home in the outdoors, and not too tender-hearted to kill specimens in the name of science. Reliable persons who won't usually call trips off at the last minute are preferred.

Minimum Requirements: Must be able to drive, have access to a vehicle, and enough free time to be able to take an occasional entire day off for a field trip. No minimum term of service, and students are welcome to apply, but no underage applicants.

Contact: Please fill out this application, select "Invertebrate Zoology [Biology]" and give us a little information about you in the "About Me" section.  For more information, please contact Rod Crawford at tiso@u.washington.edu or (206) 543-9853.

 

Butterfly and Moth Lab Assistant

This position is currently full, but please feel free to contact us with your name and statement of interest to be considered for future openings.

Description: Primary job is relaxing, mounting and labeling dried butterfly and moth specimens that have been stored dried for several to many years. Participate in making beautiful specimens take on useful, displayable form before your very eyes!

Desirable Skills: Must have previous experience mounting Lepidoptera. We do not have expendable specimens on which to train novices in this highly skilled and incredibly fastidious job. Prefer applicants who can show specimens or photos of previous work.

Minimum Requirements: Applicants should plan on averaging one afternoon's work a week for six months or more. Current students, underage applicants and those wishing a summer-only volunteer job are not accepted for this position.

Contact: Please fill out this application, select "Invertebrate Zoology [Biology]" and give us a little information about you in the "About Me" section.  For more information, please contact Rod Crawford at tiso@u.washington.edu or (206) 543-9853.

 

Docent

This position is currently full, but please feel free to contact us with your name and statement of interest to be considered for future openings.

Description: Docents make exhibits come alive for museum visitors of all ages. Duties include introducing tour groups to the exhibits and facilitating visitor learning through a combination of discussion and hands-on activities. This is a great opportunity for people interested in teaching in a non-traditional learning environment, and engaging others in an on-going experience with the rich natural and cultural history of Washington State. 

Desirable Skills: Enjoy working with children of all ages.

Minimum Requirements: Training consists of three training sessions, tour observations, and selected readings. After training, docents must work at least two tour shifts per month during the school year.

Contact: For more information and to apply, please contact burkevol@uw.edu.

 

Genetic Resources Collection Assistant

This position is currently full, but please feel free to contact us with your name and statement of interest to be considered for future openings.

Job Description: The Burke Museum maintains a collection of over 65,000 frozen tissues of wild animals for molecular study. Curatorial assistants help the GRC manager organize and label tissues, and prepare tissues for loans.

Desirable Skills: Volunteers should possess a desire to help contribute to scientific research in biodiversity and evolution, be able to work independently, and have outstanding attention to detail. Prior experience in the biological sciences or with work in a laboratory setting is desirable, but not necessary. Volunteers must be college age or older and be willing to commit at least 3 hours per week for one year. 

Contact: For more information, contact Sharon Birks at sbirks@uw.edu.