Burke Museum Home


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.


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 an application, click here. For more information, please contact Cassandra Sandkam at csandkam@uw.edu or 206-616-4415.


Spider Collection Assistant

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. Some biology background is a plus but the only real requirement is for a careful and precise worker with some interest in the subject who is willing to work in the basement! Participation in field trips is possible if the person is interested, but not required.
Also: If anyone out there is experienced in mounting butterflies, we could use you, too!

Contact: For an application, click here. Contact Rod Crawford by e-mail for more information or to apply: tiso@u.washington.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. We may bring on additional volunteers in Fall 2014.

Job Description: The Burke Museum maintains a collection of over 40,000 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.

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