Volunteer

Share Your Time and Talents with Us

Support environmental education by volunteering at Bow Habitat Station. Working directly with visitors or behind the scenes, volunteers play an integral role in supporting programs and outreach events that enhance visitor experiences and learning opportunities.

Why volunteer at BHS?

Inspire others

Play an important role in education by encouraging visitors to participate in environmental conservation and stewardship action.

Connect with your community

Bow Habitat Station volunteers engage over 100,000 visitors a year, giving you great opportunities to make a significant and lasting impact on your community by generously giving your time.

Learn new skills

Get set up for success through formal training and on-the-job experiences in unique, immersive, and engaging environments.

Get recognized

Bow Habitat Station’s formal recognition program acknowledges the value of your contributions and dedication through hourly milestones and volunteer events.

Volunteer opportunities

Bow Habitat Station offers a variety of volunteer positions and opportunities:

Roles & Responsibilities

Encourage visitors of all ages to get hands-on as they explore the Discovery Centre and Aquariums, or while they practice casting a line into the Trout Pond. This role requires direct engagement with Bow Habitat Station staff, volunteers and visitors.

Bow Habitat Station offers three unique ambassador volunteer opportunities:

1. Discovery Centre Ambassador

Deliver environmental information and educational activities related to the display content in the Discovery Centre and Aquariums.

Tasks may include:

  • Greeting visitors in the Discovery Centre and providing directional information
  • Sharing historical information about the centre
  • Highlighting key exhibit elements
  • Delivering fun facts and current scientific knowledge related to display content
  • Highlight key species and provide identification tips/tricks
  • Sharing knowledge of Alberta's sportfish and aquatic ecosystems
  • Delivering educational activities at a Discovery Cart (i.e. scavenger hunts, bio facts)

2. Trout Pond Ambassador

Deliver responsible angling messaging and educational activities relevant and related to the Trout Pond. Experience angling in Alberta or knowledge of Alberta’s fishes is considered an asset, but not required.

Tasks may include:

  • Greeting visitors at the Trout Pond
  • Providing information about Bow Habitat Station, the Fish Hatchery and Alberta’s Provincial Stocking Program
  • Sharing knowledge of Alberta's sportfish, aquatic ecosystems and current sportfishing regulations
  • Highlighting key species and providing identification tips/tricks
  • Encouraging visitors to practice angling with their own equipment
  • Demonstrating responsible angling best practices, including how to read the regulations, side-arm casting, landing techniques and release techniques
  • Delivering enhancement activities (i.e. bean bag toss, casting practice)

Qualifications for Ambassador Volunteers

  • Must complete a clear police information check and vulnerable sector check prior to first shift
  • Willingness to provide positive and constructive feedback related to shifts and tasks
  • An engaging and welcoming personality
  • Enjoy working with the public and talking with a variety of age groups
  • Enjoy working with younger age groups (Ages 3-12)
  • Ability to help maintain a respectful learning atmosphere

Typical Shift Availability

  • Discovery Centre Ambassador and Aquarium Ambassador shifts are typically offered year-round on Tuesdays through Saturdays between 10:00am and 4:00p
  • Trout Pond Ambassador shifts are seasonally offered between May 1 and September 30, typically between 10:00am and 4:00pm

Minimum Shift Requirements

Ambassador volunteers are required to fulfill a minimum shift requirement of nine hours per calendar year.

Training

  • Must attend a prospective volunteer orientation prior to the first shift (approx. 1 hr)
  • Must complete occupational health and safety training prior to first shift (approx. 2 hrs)
  • One mandatory training session is required for Trout Pond Ambassador volunteers focused on reading and understanding Alberta’s fishing regulations, engaging with visitors, and special policies and procedures for tasks at the Trout Pond. (approx. 2 hrs)
  • Optional volunteer training sessions available throughout the year to further develop knowledge of Alberta’s ecosystems, local biodiversity, public communication, group management and delivery strategies

Roles & Responsibilities

Support Bow Habitat Station’s programs and operations from behind-the-scenes. Help to prepare program materials and supplies for education and outreach program delivery and to maintain front-line visitor services. This role requires communication and collaboration with Bow Habitat Station staff and volunteers, but not direct engagement with visitors.

Bow Habitat Station offers three unique behind-the-scenes support opportunities:

1. Resource Preparation Support

Support preparation of materials and supplies for front-line visitor services, education programs and outreach events.

Tasks may include:

  • Craft prep (cutting, tracing, stapling, gluing)
  • Button assembly
  • Labelling
  • Organizational tasks
  • Assembling program booklets (folding, stapling)

2. Equipment Maintenance Support

Maintain and repair fishing and/or snowshoe equipment to ensure all equipment is in proper working order for use in education programs and as rental gear.

3. Cleaning and Disinfecting Support

Support preparation of materials and supplies for front-line visitor services, education programs and outreach events.

Tasks may include:

  • Washing program materials and supplies with soap and water
  • Using disinfectants to sanitize materials and supplies*

*Personal Protective Equipment will be provided, as needed.

Qualifications

  • Must complete a clear police information check and vulnerable sector check prior to first shift
  • Enthusiasm for a little creativity and a tidy workspace
  • Ability to withstand repetitive actions
  • Ability to cut along the dotted line
  • Willingness to get a little dirty and/or sweaty through manual labour activities
  • Willingness to provide positive and constructive feedback related to shifts and tasks

Typical Shift Availability

Behind-the-scenes support shifts are typically offered year-round on Mondays - Saturdays between 10:00am -4:00pm.

Minimum Shift Requirements

Behind-the-scenes support volunteers are required to fulfill a minimum shift requirement of nine hours per calendar year.

Training

  • Must attend a Prospective Volunteer Orientation at Bow Habitat Station prior to first shift (approx. 1 hr)
  • Must complete Occupational Health and Safety Training at Bow Habitat Station prior to first shift (approx. 2 hrs)
  • Optional volunteer training sessions available throughout the year to further develop knowledge of Alberta’s ecosystems, communication, engagement, and teaching skills

Roles & Responsibilities

Support the delivery of environment education and outreach programs to school, group and public visitors at Bow Habitat Station or represent Bow Habitat Station at community outreach events and deliver outreach education activities.

Volunteers will be provided with detailed activity scripts in advance for all environmental education and outreach programs outlining speaking points, defining key terms, step-by-step activity set up/clean up. This role requires direct engagement with Bow Habitat Station staff, volunteers and visitors.

Bow Habitat Station a variety of opportunities to support environmental education and outreach programs:

1. Environmental Education Program Support

Support the delivery of program specific activities to school, group and public visitors. Using an activity script, assist in preparing for programs and leading groups of 10 to 30 people through various activities focused on Alberta’s environment and aquatic species and ecosystems.

Tasks may include:

  • Supporting the delivery of program activities
  • Encouraging participation in program activities
  • Maintaining a tidy and respectful learning environment
  • Helping to facilitate transitions of groups moving between activities
  • Supporting set up/clean up of program activities

2. Outreach Education Program Support

Using an activity script, deliver hands-on and immersive investigation station activities to public visitors at on-site Bow Habitat Station events and at off-site outreach events.

Tasks may include:

  • Participating in event day Occupational Health and Safety orientations
  • Delivery of hands-on investigation station activities
  • Handing out any educational prompts associated with event or investigation station activity messaging
  • Traveling to off-site community outreach event
  • Completing field level hazard assessment of community outreach event locations
  • Encouraging public participation in event activities
  • Supporting event set up/clean up

Current program opportunities:

  • What’s up With Public Programming: Monthly event at Bow Habitat Station focused on nature and wildlife themes
  • Discovery Cart: Enhancement activities for visitors to the Discovery Centre
  • Off-site Community Outreach Events: Supporting delivery of activities and promotion of Bow Habitat Station environmental education and outreach programs
  • Fish Feeding Station: Engage and educate guest on the Alberta stocking program as they feed the rainbow trout inside the hatchery

Qualifications for all Education Support Volunteers

  • Must complete a clear police information check and vulnerable sector check prior to first shift
  • Willingness to provide positive and constructive feedback related to shifts and tasks
  • An engaging and welcoming personality
  • Enjoy working with the public and talking with a variety of age groups
  • Enjoy working with younger age groups (Ages 6-12)
  • Experience in teaching or working with youth groups is considered an asset, but not required

Typical Shift Availability

Education Support Volunteer shifts are typically offered year-round on Tuesdays through Saturdays and on the occasional evening. The number of shifts available each month will depend on the time of year, anticipated visitor volume and program bookings.

Minimum Shift Requirements

Education Program Support Volunteers are required to fulfill a minimum shift requirement of 15 hours per calendar year.

Training

  • Must shadow a program prior to taking on any program support duties (approx.. 1 hr)
  • Must attend a Prospective Volunteer Orientation at Bow Habitat Station prior to first shift (approx. 1 hr)
  • Must complete Occupational Health and Safety Training at Bow Habitat Station prior to first shift. (approx. 2 hrs)
  • Environmental Education Program Support Volunteers require program specific training (approx. 1 hr) focused on specific learning activities, curriculum ties and learning objectives for each grade/age group. Tips and strategies for engaging with various age groups, and methods for maintaining a respectful learning atmosphere will also be provided
  • Optional volunteer training sessions available throughout the year to further develop knowledge of Alberta’s ecosystems, communication, engagement, and teaching skills

Roles & Responsibilities

Support the delivery of hands-on and immersive activities at on-site special events.

Volunteers will be provided with detailed activity scripts in advance for all environmental education and outreach programs outlining speaking points, defining key terms, step-by-step activity set up/clean up and providing details of literacy outcomes. This role requires direct engagement with Bow Habitat Station staff, volunteers and visitors.

This role requires direct engagement with Bow Habitat Station staff, volunteers and visitors.

Current opportunities for One-day Special Event Support Volunteers:

FISHtival Event – Saturday of the February Family Long Weekend

Kick off the Family Day long weekend at FISHtival! Immerse yourself in the world of fish and discover what’s beneath the ice in Alberta’s waters. Join us at Bow Habitat Station for interactive indoor and outdoor activities and games that explore all things fish! Discover Alberta’s fish and learn about responsible angling at Investigation Stations hosted by Bow Habitat Station and partnering organizations. This event offers indoor and outdoor volunteer opportunities.

From the rainbow trout to burrowing owls and whooping cranes, Alberta’s landscape is filled with rich flora and fauna. Developed in partnership with the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, Alberta Biodiversity Festival highlights the biodiversity in our province and the actions we can take to protect our diverse ecosystems. Bow Habitat Station will kick-off the Alberta Biodiversity Festival with a splash of interactive, hands-on games and activities, fish feeding and much more. Featuring special event exhibitors from the community and our event partners at the Calgary Zoo. This event offers indoor and outdoor volunteer opportunities.

Tasks may include:

  • Delivery of hands-on activities
  • Encouraging visitors of all ages to participate in investigation station activities and to engage with Discovery Centre galleries
  • Supporting event set up and tear down, including transporting resources around the centre

Qualifications for event support volunteers:

  • An engaging and welcoming personality
  • Enjoy working with the public and talking with a variety of age groups
  • Ability to help maintain a respectful learning atmosphere
  • Experience in teaching or working with youth groups is considered an asset, but not required

Typical Shift Availability

One-day Event Support volunteer shifts are typically offered Saturdays, between 9:00am and 4:30pm. The number of shifts available each month will depend on the time of year and anticipated visitor volume.

Minimum Shift Requirements

One-day Special Event Support volunteers are not required to fulfill a minimum number of hours per calendar year.

Training

  • Must attend event day Occupational Health and Safety Orientation at Bow Habitat Station. (approx. 15 mins)
  • Must complete One-Off Volunteer Sign Up and associated documentation on event day prior to volunteer shift

Signing Up for Shifts

If you are interested in One-day Special Event Support Volunteer shifts, please contact Bow Habitat Station’s Volunteer Coordinator by email at bhs.volunteer@gov.ab.ca

Becoming a volunteer

Step 1: Review volunteer terms and conditions

  • Applicants must complete the process to acquire a Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Applicants are required to attend an orientation session as well as mandatory training sessions relevant to their volunteer position(s)
  • Youth volunteers ages 17 and under require a parent/guardian present during all volunteer shifts

Please review detailed terms and conditions prior to registering for an info session:

Volunteers support Bow Habitat Station (BHS) in achieving its mission to foster an awareness and appreciation of Alberta’s aquatic environments and natural resources. BHS strives to:

  • To provide environmental education programs that are immersive, using hands-on experiences current, relevant and industry-supported education strategies (such as multi-disciplinary learning and place-based applications) to school, group and public visitors of all ages and abilities
  • To maintain low cost, easy to access and client focused front-line opportunities
  • To deliver programs that engage Albertans from across the province.

Volunteers support Bow Habitat Station (BHS) in achieving its mission to foster an awareness and appreciation of Alberta’s air, land, water and biodiversity. Additionally, BHS strives to achieve this mission through providing immersive experiences, interactive displays, hands-on programs and outreach initiatives with partner organizations. Ultimately, the team of staff and volunteers at BHS provide Albertans with direct access to environmental education opportunities that increase environmental literacy, encourage systems thinking, and inspire stewardship action at a personal and community level. Volunteering is a great way to gain new experiences, share your knowledge and meet others who share your passion for the environment

All volunteer positions have a minimum training requirements and a minimum number of required shifts - be sure to review the requirements of each position before completing your application.

*Please note: We do not offer volunteer opportunities in the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery.

General Terms for Bow Habitat Station Volunteer Program

  • All volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years old
  • All prospective volunteers must attend Prospective Volunteer Orientation at Bow Habitat Station prior to first shift. Sessions will be offered twice annually, in the spring and fall
  • All prospective volunteers will be pre-screened by the Volunteer Coordinator through review of application documents and communications with provided references
  • All volunteers must complete a clear police information check and vulnerable sector check prior to their first shift. Volunteers will be notified regarding this process following pre-screening by the Volunteer Coordinator. Any associated fees are the responsibility of the individual and will not be reimbursed by Bow Habitat Station
  • All volunteers are required to complete Occupational Health and Safety Training at Bow Habitat Station prior to their first shift (approx. 2 hrs)
  • Additional position or task specific training opportunities will be offered on monthly basis. Some positions will require additional training prior to the first shift
  • Volunteers are welcome to sign up for multiple volunteer positions on their application
  • Each volunteer position has minimum shift commitments per calendar year. Volunteers are responsible for ensuring that they meet these requirements or notify the Volunteer Coordinator in advance, if they are no longer able to do so. Volunteers will only be expected to fulfill the minimum shift requirements of the position with the higher number of required hours per calendar year if they do assume multiple volunteer positions
  • Volunteers are required to wear clear volunteer identification at all times during a shift, including but not limited to a volunteer t-shift and name tag issued by BHS
  • Volunteers must organize their own travel to and from volunteer shifts, unless otherwise indicated by the Volunteer Coordinator
  • Volunteers will not be reimbursed for personal costs associated with volunteer shifts, such as travel, refreshments, etc.
  • If at any time a prospective or active volunteer wishes to change or terminate their commitment to Bow Habitat Station’s volunteer program, they can contact the Volunteer Coordinator at bhs.volunteer@gov.ab.ca

Step 2: Attend a volunteer information session

Bow Habitat Station holds two volunteer information sessions annually. Attendance at one of these hour-long sessions is mandatory for all prospective volunteers.

Volunteer applications will be provided following attendance at one of these sessions.

Next information session

Date: Tuesday, June 11

Time: 6 PM - 7 PM MST

Step 3: Complete an application

Once your application is reviewed and accepted, a BHS volunteer coordinator will connect with you about next steps and arrange volunteering opportunities suited to your schedule and interests.

For more information on volunteering contact us at:

Email: bhs.volunteer@gov.ab.ca


Updated: Mar 15, 2024