The penguin team consists of a variety of dedicated volunteers, interns, and staff members who keep a colony of more than 90 penguins happy and healthy.

Ever been curious what a day in the life of a penguin volunteer is like? Wonder no more! Here is a glimpse into some of many skills that volunteers and staff use every day, 365 days a year (except for leap year, that’s 366 days!).

Math Skills

Remember when your math teacher said you’d need to use fractions later in life? Well, if you want to volunteer in the penguin department you will put that knowledge to use! We weigh the food buckets before and after each penguin feeding and total how much they eat per day. We record the weights to the nearest quarter pound, so that’s where the fractions come into play. We also total how much each individual penguin eats per day, which keeps our addition skills up to par. 

chart board
Too bad penguins can’t do fractions themselves!
Quality Control

To make sure our penguins get only the best fish, we sort through and inspect each fish to ensure all are suitable for a penguin. That means the fish must be whole and in good overall condition. Then the fish are rinsed with water, and the person rinsing checks the fish again. Lastly, when the fish are fed to the penguins, the feeder examines the fish before feeding it. Three rounds of quality control ensure that our penguins get the best fish. (Well, technically four rounds of quality control if you count the penguin deciding whether or not they want the fish!)

penguin volunteers sorting fish
Carefully sorting fish
caitlin feeds penguin
"Yes, I suppose I will eat that fish."
Mountain Climbing

While penguins have a reputation for being clumsy on land, traversing their islands even as a human is no easy feat. Members of the penguin team carefully maneuver around the islands, being careful not to fall as to keep the penguins (and ourselves!!) safe. It’s important to keep both feet and even a hand on the island at all times to keep your balance! While mountain climbing is a bit of an exaggeration, if you have that experience, it definitely wouldn’t hurt.

penguin volunteer scrubbing rock
Elbow Grease

With our exhibit having upwards of 90 penguins, there is a lot of cleaning and maintenance. Their islands get scrubbed every day with veterinary disinfectant, and the floor is vacuumed and scrubbed daily. Our cleaning routine requires some elbow grease from all volunteers and staff to scrub away any buildup of algae to keep our exhibit nice and clean. We also have to make sure our showers, kitchen, and locker room are clean every day.

Joke Telling

Our whiteboard has many extra tasks, and as you can see one of them is telling Aquarium-based jokes. It is a difficult task to care for more than 90 penguins and while we work very hard to keep them happy and healthy, we also work hard to make sure that our volunteers and staff are happy and healthy! Extra points for corny, pun-worthy, and/or nerdy jokes. 

daily task board

Think you have what it takes? We are currently accepting volunteer and internship applications for the penguin exhibit! If the above tasks sound like a fun challenge to you, we encourage you to learn more and apply online.