South Sound Naturalist

South Sound Naturalist (tide pool interpretation at the Hands On Children’s Museum (HOCM). Next training session TBA.  See flyer below for more information from a previous training.  More information contact

HOCM has a beautiful Watershed Exhibit. The exhibit space features a Tide to Trees area. Volunteer South Sound Naturalists will enhance the educational opportunities of this area through the use of specially designed kits with marine objects to ignite kid’s curiosity about our unique environment and provide linkage for families to the outdoor resources of our community.  We are pleased to partner with HOCM to bring marine and estuary life to HOCM!

The 3 hour training will cover topics such as how to work with young children, getting the know HOCM, specific marine, estuary, watershed curriculum components, and linkage to community outdoor opportunities, such as our South Sound Estuarium, 309 State Ave. Olympia.

Volunteer for times that work for you.

Training will be held quarterly. For more information contact

Volunteer Job Description: South Sound Naturalist

Job Supervisor: Lynn Schneider (Coordinator- South Sound Estuary Association), and Hands on Children’s Museum staff

Responsibility Statement:

South Sound Naturalists facilitate specifically designed kits with marine objects to ignite kid’s curiosity about our unique environment and provide linkage for families to the outdoor resources of our community.

Essential Functions:1)    Interact with Museum visitors at the tide table and in the forest room.

  • Facilitate tide table and in the forest room
  • Report any unsafe exhibits and repairs needed to Supervisor
  • Share your knowledge in an educational, age appropriate manner

2)    Assist in opening, closing, and upkeep of materials within designated galleries

  • Follow all daily opening and closing procedures
  • Maintain appropriate level of cleanliness
  • Be a team player

3)    Be friendly, engaging, and fun while representing the Museum and South Sound Estuary Association in a positive and professional manner

  • Create a welcoming atmosphere for each visitor by being friendly, informed, and enthusiastic
  • Understand customer service expectations, training materials, SSEA’s mission focus, and Museum policies

4)    Facilitate visitors learning about South Sound Estuary Association

  • Inform visitors of opportunities to connect with nature outside of the museum
  • Facilitate connections to other SSEA and community partners programming


  • Complete one 3 hour training session offered quarterly for new volunteers
  • Attend additional training sessions for new curriculum as scheduled.


  • Good communication skills
  • Patient, friendly, and flexible
  • Reliable and committed
  • Ability and desire to interact with children and adults
  • Sense of humor and a willingness to have fun
  • Interest in the natural world

Physical Working Conditions:

  • Light physical effort required for carrying and handling objects  and kits (less than 15 pounds)
  • Must have the ability to stand and/or sit for up to 3 hours

Shift Times:

  • 1st Friday night of every month, 5:00- 8:00 PM (dinner provided)
  • Saturdays: 11:00 am – 2:00pm and 2:00 – 5:00pm
  • Sundays: 2:00-5:00pm
  • Weekday shifts are available, but weekends are strongly encouraged because of large amount of Museum visitors during weekends

Want to volunteer! Questions? Call: Lynn Schneider, 360 280-4069 or email her at