Living Coast - Community volunteers

Our dedicated volunteers and interns are an essential part of our team. Annually, our volunteers donate a combined 28,000 hours of energetic, wildlife-loving effort annually in every area of the organization.

We encourage people ages 16 and older who care about San Diego wildlife and coastal conservation to volunteer.

Become a Volunteer

Our volunteer program brings people ages 16+ with a common interest in nature and conservation together while developing leadership skills, a sense of responsibility, and the opportunity to give back to the San Diego community.

Apply online by following the links below. In the application, we invite you to detail your experience, interests, and other important information. Once the application is received in full, it will be reviewed and we will reach out to you.If you are a minor or still in high school, do not forget to download the Short Answer Application and submit it to the Living Coast in person, by mail, or by email:

2022 Volunteer Application Information

Applications DueOrientation
*If you are under 18, you must have our short answer form and a letter of recommendation submitted before receiving an invitation to orientation

Teens & High School Students


What we expect of you

  • Respect visitors, staff, and other volunteers
  • Commit to a minimum of 3 months of volunteer service
  • All volunteers are encouraged to attend volunteer enrichment events, which allow an opportunity to meet other volunteers and expand knowledge

Ready to start?



  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • View the PDF ‘Becoming A Volunteer’
  • Must submit to a background check (we will provide this paperwork to you at orientation)
  • We are unable to accept volunteers for the purposes of satisfying court-ordered community service

What we expect of you

  • Respect visitors, staff, and other volunteers
  • Commit to a minimum of 3 months of volunteer service
  • All volunteers are encouraged to attend volunteer enrichment events, which allow an opportunity to meet other volunteers and expand knowledge

Ready to start?

  • Complete the volunteer application and then we will contact you with the details for our next volunteer orientation. If interested in an internship, please see the information below.

Living Coast Discovery Center - Volunteers

Partial List of Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Arts & Crafts Leader
  • Docent (leads tour groups)
  • Education (camp & field trip assistance)
  • Overnight Adventure Crew
  • Guest Experience /Roving Interpreters
  • Guest Greeters
  • Maintenance Crew
  • Office/Clerical
  • Exhibit Monitor (Shark & Ray, Shorebird Aviary, & Invertebrate Touch Pool)
Docent/Volunteer with Opossum

Become a Docent

Want to share your enthusiasm for conservation while learning about local animals, plants, and habitats? Living Coast Discovery Center is looking for creative, passionate, and eco-friendly individuals to join our Docent Program. Docents are highly trained volunteers who help educate adults & children about coastal resource conservation, natural history, and more! Docents will have the opportunity to provide guided tours of the nature center to guests and students, get involved in community projects such as habitat restorations and clean-ups, along with participating in other roles including outreaches and hands-on teaching. Docents will learn about the various facets of Living Coast, including its history, the animals cared for at Living Coast, the animals and plants found on the refuge, and more. This is the perfect position for those seeking to expand their knowledge in animal care, public speaking, life and earth sciences, museum curating, and environmental education.

View the full docent description here.

For questions, contact or (619) 409-5905.

2022 Docent Training Schedule – TBD

Community Volunteer Opportunities: 

We host approximately 2 clean ups per month (typically on Saturdays).
If you’d like to volunteer for a clean up, check our Facebook events page for upcoming cleanups or email

Current Volunteers:

Access your VicNet (Volgistics) account from any Internet device by going to the following link:

If you have any volunteer/Volgistics related questions please email,


Interns are unpaid, short-term volunteers who receive specified training to work within one department. All interns must be at least 16 years old. To apply, send a resume and cover letter. To apply, send a resume and cover letter to and fill out the internship application here, specifying which department(s) you are interested in. 

2022 Program Details

SessionTime FrameProgramApplication Deadline
SummerJune 19 – Sept. 10 Animal CareApril 28
SummerJune 19 – Sept. 11SustainabilityMay 20
FallSept. 11 – Nov. 26Animal CareTBD
WinterDec – MarTBDTBD
**Currently only accepting Sustainability, Education, and Animal Care Interns**
*Due to the considerable differences between the end dates for semester and quarter-system schools, allowance is given for individual start dates for the summer session.

Animal Care Internships

Are you thinking of a future in Zoology, Marine Biology, or Animal Care? We’re currently accepting resumes for interns at least 16 years old. Download a pdf of the Animal Care Internship Description here. 

Education Internships

Enjoy working with kids or want to become a teacher? The Education Department may be the place for you! View our 2022 internship description here.

Horticulture Internship

Are you interested in learning what it takes to create and maintain a native garden? Apply for our 12-week  horticulture internship. Intern schedule will be between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on either Thursdays or Sundays. See the full description here.

Sustainability Internship 

We’re currently seeking enthusiastic and motivated individuals interested in gaining experience or a career in environmental sustainability to participate in a part-time, unpaid internship. See the full description here.

Living Coast Discovery Center - Conservation