We are ready to add you to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium team or match you with one of the Dubuque County Historical properties. Whether it’s one day a month, one day a week, two to four hours a day, or just for special events, we want you to be part of our mission.

Volunteering has its benefits:

    • Free or reduced museum admissions
    • Gift shop discounts
    • Food and beverage discounts
    • Documentation for your resume
    • Satisfaction in helping others

To volunteer for the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium Download a PDF of the application. The application may be submitted by email to vsutter@rivermuseum.com or printed and delivered by mail or in person.

Here’s how you can help:

Greeters: Help us meet and greet the public who come to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium or Mathias Ham House Historic Site.

Docent/Educator: Interpret exhibits to enhance visitors’ experiences.

Special Events: Help us put on some of our very successful events like the July 4th Ice Cream Social, Taste of Dubuque, and Ice Fest.

Archives: Help sort historic photographs and inventory museum collections.

Mailings: A social, necessary and easy task. Expect to talk, nibble, and socialize while you stuff envelopes.

No experience required! We will provide any necessary training — just bring your smile and a helpful attitude!

Position Title: Animal Nutrition Volunteer
Full-time/Part-time: Part-time; weekends and holidays as agreed to; mornings generally required
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Non-Exempt
Department: Living Collections
Reports To: Lead Aquarist and Aquarists as assigned
Staff Reporting To This Position: Interns and volunteers as assigned
Works Closely With: Living Collections Department

The Living Collections Animal Nutrition Volunteer will allow participants to have a greater knowledge and understanding of the nutritional needs of freshwater fish, saltwater fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, invertebrates, and mammals housed in captive environments at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRM&A).

Key Responsibilities
• Prepare animal food that will be used throughout the day by following established food prep charts.
• Pull food for next day’s use.
• Create shopping list for grocery runs.
• Ensure daily and weekly check sheets are current and maintain written records in accordance with established practice and policy.
• Ensure all husbandry areas are kept clean, organized and hazard free; report maintenance needs; perform minor maintenance tasks.
• Provide superb customer service for all visitors.
• Implement emergency procedures as directed.
• Work safely with and around potentially hazardous chemicals and dangerous animals.
• Extended periods of standing and heavy lifting up to 50 lbs.
• Provide alternate coverage for other Aquarists and other duties as assigned.

Special Requirements
• 
Will typically possess a background related to living organisms and animal nutrition.
• Experience with, understanding of, and aptitude for maintaining animals in captivity is helpful.
• Must possess strength and endurance to perform the physical demands of all Key Responsibilities with or without accommodation.
• A High School Diploma is required.
• Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
• Ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner.
• Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently.
• Must learn quickly and be self-motivated to elevate personal skill set.
• Must possess good decision-making skills to make sound, independent judgments and must possess good problem-solving skills to identify problems and suggest solutions.
• Completion of a minimum of 8 hours a week (hours to and length of time period are flexible and will depend on the individual). Progress will be documented with weekly informational reviews, as well as a final review of knowledge and skills learned.

Application Requirements
• NMRM&A Volunteer Application
• Cover Letter
• Resume

This is a temporary, non-paid, part time position. If interested, please send application requirements to Vicky Sutter, Development/Intern Manager at the following address, or by e-mail at vsutter@rivermuseum.com.

Blacksmith Volunteer

Currently, only available on Thursday’s

The Blacksmith Volunteer will be located in either the Blacksmith Shop or the Boat Shop in the Mississippi River Center. We are looking for volunteers with or without blacksmithing experience interested in doing blacksmith demonstration for our visitors. Equipment and some training provided.

Down in the Delta

Sunday-Saturday: 10:00am-12:00pm and/or 12:00pm-3:00pm
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The Down in the Delta Volunteer (National River Center) assists the Delta Educator with tasks such as instructing visitors to rinse hands, explaining the proper technique to use while interacting with the animals and provides simple interpretation when applicable. Using photos, interpretive media the live Cow nose, Yellow, and Atlantic stingray; this volunteer assists the Delta Educator in interpreting the stingray of the Mississippi Delta and in maintaining a safe environment for our animals and our visitors.

Erosion Table Volunteer

Sunday-Saturday: 10:00am-12:00pm and/or 12:00pm-3:00pm

The Erosion Table Volunteer (Mississippi River Center) will be located beside the erosion table in the Mississippi River Discovery Center. Using photos, interpretive media and the table itself the volunteer working this station will interpret the process of erosion to visitors, engage students in hands on learning and maintain the flood table as visitors explore erosion and the impacts soil has on the Mississippi River and other rivers throughout the world.

Flood Table Volunteer

Sunday-Saturday: 10:00am-12:00pm and/or 12:00pm-3:00pm

The Flood Table Volunteer (Mississippi River Center) will be located beside the flood table and will explain to visitors the history of flooding in the city of Dubuque and the impact seasonal flooding has on the Mississippi River floodplain.  The orange button simulates the 1965 flood in Dubuque that reached almost up to the Dubuque County Courthouse and inundated the Ice Harbor area and much of downtown Dubuque.

The Julien Dubuque Bridge, going to Illinois, was the only bridge open for hundreds of miles up and down the Mississippi River.  On the post near the flood table is a marker where the water level would have reached during the 1965 flood.  The educator/volunteer can also point out another marker outside in the boat yard, on the light post near the boat launch.

Using photos and other interpretive media, the volunteer will orient the visitor to other important landmarks on the flood table.  Landmarks such as the lock and dam, train bridge, green line representing the floodwall built in 1973, Catfish Creek and the Wisconsin Bridge.  Visitors always like personal stories from actual experiences or stories that heard from others who experienced a Dubuque flood.

Greeter

Greeters stand near the Main Entrance and welcome every visitor to the Museum & Aquarium with a smile. They answer questions, briefly explain the campus, give directions and maps, and help our guests to the best of their ability (or find them someone who can). Greeters should be outgoing, friendly, knowledgeable, and excellent at customer service.

As with all volunteers, greeters are representatives of the Museum & Aquarium. They are required to wear a clean uniform with name badge. Using a cell phone, eating, and drinking are not permitted while greeting.

Position Title: Water Quality Volunteer
Full-time/Part-time: Part-time; weekends and holidays as agreed to; mornings generally required 8 hours minimum per week
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Volunteer
Department: Living Collections
Reports To: Lead Aquarist and Aquarists as assigned
Staff Reporting To This Position: None
Works Closely With: Living Collections Department

The Living Collections Department at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRM&A) strive to maintain the best water quality parameters for our aquatic animals. Water quality is the single most important factor to consider when keeping aquatic animals in a captive setting. Stress is a major component in >90% of disease outbreaks. Poor water quality is the biggest potential source of stress for most aquatic animals. A good understanding of the basics of water quality is essential for anyone caring for aquariums and aquatic animals.  The Living Collections Water Quality Internship will allow participants to have a greater knowledge and understanding of the water chemistry needs of freshwater fish, saltwater fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and mammals housed in captive environments at the NMRM&A.

Key Responsibilities
• Conduct water quality testing on the aquatic systems in the aquarium using spectrophotometer, pH meter, refractometer, and other instruments, and ensure results are provided to staff in a timely manner.
• Ensure daily and weekly check sheets are current.
• Maintain written records in accordance with established practice and policy.
• Ensure all husbandry areas are kept clean, organized and hazard free; report maintenance needs; perform minor maintenance tasks.
• Provide superb customer service for all visitors.
• Implement emergency procedures as directed.
• Work safely with and around potentially hazardous chemicals and dangerous animals.
• Extended periods of standing and heavy lifting up to 50 lbs.
• Provide alternate coverage and other duties for Aquarists as assigned.

Special Requirements
• 
Will typically possess a background related to chemistry.
• Experience with, understanding of, and aptitude for maintaining animals in captivity is helpful.
• Must possess strength and endurance to perform the physical demands of all Key Responsibilities with or without accommodation.
• A High School Diploma is required.
• Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
• Ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner.
• Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently.
• Must learn quickly and be self-motivated to elevate personal skill set.
• Must possess good decision-making skills to make sound, independent judgments.
• Must possess good problem-solving skills to identify problems and suggest solutions.
• Completion of a minimum of 8 hours in a week (hours to and length of time period are flexible and will depend on the individual).

Application Requirements
•  NMRM&A Volunteering Application

If there is interest in more than one internship the NMRM&A is open to the combination of internships dependent on specific needs of the individual. This is a temporary, non-paid, part time position. If interested, please send application requirements to Vicky Sutter, Development/Intern Manager at the following address, or by e-mail at vsutter@rivermuseum.com.

RiverWorks Assistant

RiverWorks Assistants help the Educator at the RiverWorks Stream TAble in the National River Center. They help clean up water, hang up smocks, and collect boats.  RiverWorks Assistants should be outgoing, friendly, knowledgeable, and excellent at customer service.

As with all volunteers, Touch Tank Volunteers are representatives of the Museum & Aquarium. They are required to wear a clean uniform with name badge. This area can get wet so proper footwear should be worn for safety. Using a cell phone, eating, and drinking are not permitted while at their post.

Special Events

Volunteers that select to volunteer their time at special events will be updated regularly by email/newsletter of the upcoming volunteer needs. The Museum & Aquarium holds approximately one-two special events per month the will require volunteer help. Volunteer positions include but are not limited to: event set-up and teardown, ticket sales, food/beverage booth, money handling, donation booth, children’s games, & more!  Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator with any questions regarding special events.

Touch Tank Volunteer

Touch Tank Volunteers attend to the Sturgeon Touch Tank in the Mississippi River Center. They explain proper hand-washing to guests and offer help as needed. There will be an Educator on hand to answer in-depth questions. Touch Tank Volunteers should be outgoing, friendly, knowledgeable, and excellent at customer service.

As with all volunteers, Touch Tank Volunteers are representatives of the Museum & Aquarium. They are required to wear a clean uniform with name badge. Using a cell phone, eating, and drinking are not permitted while at their post.

Woodward Riverboat Museum Volunteer

Sunday-Saturday: 10:00am-12:00pm and/or 12:00pm-3:00pm

The Woodward Riverboat Museum Volunteer (Mississippi River Center) will interact with guests throughout the Riverboat Museum explaining to visitors the historical exhibits in relation to the history of Riverboats and the River Industry in and around Dubuque, IA.  Using different forms of interpretive media, this volunteer will work to engage visitors in a more meaningful experience while exploring the Woodward Riverboat Museum and become a valuable point of contact for visitors who may have questions during their visit.

Position Title: Water Quality Volunteer
Full-time/Part-time: Part-time; weekends and holidays as agreed to; mornings generally required 8 hours minimum per week
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Volunteer
Department: Living Collections
Reports To:  Lead Aquarist and Aquarists as assigned
Staff Reporting To This Position: None
Works Closely With: Living Collections Department

The Living Collections Department at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRM&A) strive to maintain the best water quality parameters for our aquatic animals. Water quality is the single most important factor to consider when keeping aquatic animals in a captive setting. Stress is a major component in >90% of disease outbreaks. Poor water quality is the biggest potential source of stress for most aquatic animals. A good understanding of the basics of water quality is essential for anyone caring for aquariums and aquatic animals.  The Living Collections Water Quality Internship will allow participants to have a greater knowledge and understanding of the water chemistry needs of freshwater fish, saltwater fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and mammals housed in captive environments at the NMRM&A.

Key Responsibilities
• Conduct water quality testing on the aquatic systems in the aquarium using spectrophotometer, pH meter, refractometer, and other instruments, and ensure results are provided to staff in a timely manner.
• Ensure daily and weekly check sheets are current.
• Maintain written records in accordance with established practice and policy.
• Ensure all husbandry areas are kept clean, organized and hazard free; report maintenance needs; perform minor maintenance tasks.
• Provide superb customer service for all visitors.
• Implement emergency procedures as directed.
• Work safely with and around potentially hazardous chemicals and dangerous animals.
• Extended periods of standing and heavy lifting up to 50 lbs.
• Provide alternate coverage and other duties for Aquarists as assigned.

Special Requirements
• 
Will typically possess a background related to chemistry.
• Experience with, understanding of, and aptitude for maintaining animals in captivity is helpful.
• Must possess strength and endurance to perform the physical demands of all Key Responsibilities with or without accommodation.
• A High School Diploma is required.
• Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
• Ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner.
• Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently.
• Must learn quickly and be self-motivated to elevate personal skill set.
• Must possess good decision-making skills to make sound, independent judgments.
• Must possess good problem-solving skills to identify problems and suggest solutions.
• Completion of a minimum of 8 hours in a week (hours to and length of time period are flexible and will depend on the individual).

Application Requirements
• NMRM&A Volunteering Application

If there is interest in more than one internship the NMRM&A is open to the combination of internships dependent on specific needs of the individual. This is a temporary, non-paid, part time position. If interested, please send application requirements to Vicky Sutter, Development/Intern Manager at the following address, or by e-mail at vsutter@rivermuseum.com.