Volunteer Information

volunteer_square_picVolunteering at the Museum is an opportunity to share, learn, serve, meet people, teach, and experience the stimulating environment of Mississippi's natural resources. Volunteer commitment in time and talents has been a notable contribution to the Museum's mission of preserving natural Mississippi. 





Volunteer Downloads:

Adult Volunteer Application
College Volunteer Application
Teen Program Info
Youth Volunteer Application
Participation Consent Form
Fall 2012 Newsletter

All kinds of people volunteer at the Museum-teens, college students, professionals, and retirees. A wide variety of volunteer positions are available. Training is provided and the number of hours you commit is flexible. 

To start the process of becoming a volunteer, give us a call at  601-576-6000 or  email for an information packet on the  volunteer program. 

Volunteer Stories
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Museum Volunteers Take Part in Events Across the State
Teen and adult volunteers do field work and explore historic sites

Congratulations to Museum teen volunteer Malika Shettar, who has been awarded Youth Conservationist of the Year by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation. Malika will receive her award in February at the MWF Conservation Achievement Awards ceremony. A senior at St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Malika is passionate about conservation and effectively inspires and educates others.

Currently an intern with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through its Youth Ambassador program, she involves herself deeply with conservation work locally, nationally, and internationally. Malika's academic record in science is stellar, as is her involvement in extracurricular research and activism. In her four years of service as a Museum volunteer, Malika has faithfully worked to educate our visitors and to increase her own understanding of natural science. Thank you, Malika, and congratulations!

Active teen volunteers with 20 or more hours of service by November 2011 joined Museum paleontologist George Phillips for a full day in the field collecting and observing fossils, aided by members of the North MS Gem Mineral Society. We explored the "Demopolis Chalk," as it is known to geologists, at an old lime quarry in Clay County. Fish, shark, sea turtle and mosasaur remains are often found in this chalk, which was deposited during the Cretaceous period, about 75 million years ago. Teen volunteers Brenna Hart, Catoria Mozee, Beth Farrar, Kenyader Dixon, Ashley Williams, Brooke Nash, Brennan Harvey, Jonathan Smith, and Dakota Wilson, along with adult paleontology volunteer Joy Rushing and teen volunteer parents Misty Wilson and Lady Margaret Harvey, all worked alongside George, further exploring the site.

Adult volunteers took a heritage-themed tour of Natchez, Mississippi, visiting Natural Heritage Program-registered site Laurel Hill Plantation, the Grand Village of the Natchez, and Historic Jefferson College. We especially enjoyed touring Jefferson College with its director, Robyn Persons, who is also a Museum volunteer! Spring 2012 field trips are in the works for our dedicated volunteers, who love to explore and learn.

Want to share some "Animal Secrets"? Our temporary exhibit highlights the importance of habitat; come find a home in our volunteer community as we guide our visitors in discovering more about natural science. To get started, contact Ann Peden at 601-576-6000 or

As we look forward to a fun summer at MMNS, we welcome applications for our teen volunteer program in particular! Teens who are accepted as volunteers may be considered for summer camp counselor positions and can assist with summertime public events. For more information, click here or contact Ann at 601-576-6000.

As we look forward to a fun summer at MMNS, we welcome applications for our teen volunteer program in particular! Teens who are accepted as volunteers may be considered for summer camp counselor positions and can assist with summertime public events. For more information, contact Ann at 601-354-7303.

Museum Volunteers Reach 3,000 Hour Milestone
Insects...fossils...birds...these and other wonders of nature have been shared with so many, all across our state and in the Jackson area, by MS Museum of Natural Science volunteers John Davis and Joy Rushing. 

John and Joy have each given over 3000 hours of service to date at the Museum alone, contributing to our scientific collections, assisting in our research library, participting in on-going research work, and excelling in public education. As former classroom teachers, John and Joy are able to generate a lasting inspiration in others that delights staff and visitors alike.

And they are not just helping Mississippians discover and protect the wonders of our state through their Museum work. John has worked extensively with the Jackson Audubon Society in recent history, promoting backyard bird awareness and conservation, and Joy has served in countless leadership roles for the MS Gem and Mineral Society and the Clinton Nature Center.

For getting us to "go outside and play", for building our body of knowledge in natural science, for inspiring so many through the years, John and Joy deserve a big thank you! 

Peter Kuchirka reaches 1,000-hour milestone
Congratulations to Peter Kuchirka for reaching the 1,000-hour milestone of volunteer service. Peter began volunteering at the Museum in March of 2005. A former volunteer with the Vertebrate Paleontology Section at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Peter was trained in the molding and casting of fossil bones. Volunteering with MMNS Paleontology, he has created replicas of our most valuable and rare fossils, from sea urchins to rhinoceros leg bones. Peter has also cleaned, repaired, and reconstructed many fossil specimens that were otherwise unusable. Peter's name will be added to the donor recognition board in the Museum lobby with our  appreciation and sincere thanks!



"Moore" Than a Volunteer
Longtime Museum volunteer Lou F. Moore has recently joined the group of distinguished volunteers who have given more than 1,000 hours of volunteer time. Lou, a semi-retired nurse practitioner and instructor, has dedicated her time and talents to education, the gift shop, temporary exhibits, clerical jobs, working in the herbarium, cleaning animals, special events, recruiting new volunteers, promoting the Museum, and many, many other tasks. Lou's compassion, kindness, and friendliness make her special to everyone here at the Museum. Lou's name will be added to the donor recognition board in the Museum lobby. Our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to you, Lou!



Diving into Volunteer Action
On Sunday afternoons, visitors enjoy watching our volunteer divers in action. After entering the Museum volunteer program, these certified divers learned to feed fish in the large Salt Water and Pearl River tanks. The divers also educate, entertain, and interact with visitors during live presentations.

Behind-the-scenes, these volunteers prepare the fish feedings, a task that includes cutting fish, peeling shrimp, and cleaning and blending worms. Volunteers also spend long hours keeping the tanks sparkling clean, especially the terrarium. In the summer, when algae grows so quickly that the glass needs to be scrubbed at least twice each week, divers put on their masks and wetsuits and spend an hour in the chilly water, scrubbing the glass from the inside. From the slimy task of preparing feedings to the hard work of cleaning tanks, this is some very serious volunteerism! 

Carolee Kuchirka has logged hundreds of volunteer hours cleaning the tanks, diving and feeding the fish, and diving for special events. We salute Carolee, Bryce Lemmons, Rob Blaine, Carla Flaherty, Randy Jones, Mike Lucius, and Amanda Lucius for sharing their time and talents with the Museum and our many visitors!



A "Joyful" Milestone
Museum volunteer Joy Rushing has given more than 1,000 hours of her time as a volunteer - a significant and "joyful" milestone. Joy, a retired teacher, has dedicated a large portion of her time to the Paleontology area. In recognition of her hard work, dedication, and valuable contribution to the Museum and its mission, Joy's name will be added as a distinguished volunteer on the donor recognition board in the Museum lobby. Congratulations and thanks, Joy!



Field Trip: Flight of Fancy
The Museum's North American Butterfly Association (NABA) chapter was named for the late Bryant Mather, a founding member of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Foundation and an active board participant for twenty-four years. Mather was keenly interested in insects, specifically moths. Eight species of insects are named matheri in his honor - including five moths, two butterflies, and a fishfly he discovered.