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Sea Turtle Emergency Response Volunteer 

*No longer accepting applications for the 2024 season*

Schedule: Attend 1 half day training and commit to a minimum of 3 full day (8:30am-3:30pm) shifts, over the course of the season, starting January 2024 through April 2024. Volunteers will sign up for shifts based on availability.  

Required Commitment & Onboarding:

Due to the unique nature of this position, successful candidates will be asked to complete the following steps:

  • Successfully pass a screening process and interview with Volunteer Programs and Internships 
  • Attend an orientation with Volunteer Programs & Internships. This session will be via video conference.  
  • Successfully complete a single in person, half-day training (9 am–12 pm). Sessions will be offered every other day from August 13th to August 25th  
    • August 13th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th 
    • Successful candidates must only attend ONE of these days
  • Participate in on-going virtual training modules through December 2023 to prepare for the season 
  • Register for and attend 3 shifts during the 2023-2024 Cold Stunning Season between mid-January and mid-April 2024 


  • A significant amount of cleaning is required in order to maintain the hospital environment. Volunteers are responsible for cleaning floors, surfaces, equipment, laundry, etc. 
  • Additional responsibilities include but are not limited to: 
    • preparing animal diets 
    • feeding 
    • restraining animals for treatments and injections 


  • Previous animal handling, medical, emergency response experience is preferred. (Please note these experiences in your volunteer profile). 
  • Must be in good physical condition and be able to lift 50 pounds  
  • Must be able to perform significant cleaning tasks daily 
  • Must be able to work independently and as part of a team 
  • Must be at least 18 years of age

Summary: Our rescuers rehabilitate endangered sea turtles. In the past decade alone, our rescuers have treated and released hundreds of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles as well as many green and loggerhead sea turtles. These numbers are especially significant considering the Kemp’s ridley is the most endangered sea turtle in the world. 

Each fall, staff and volunteer walkers from the Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary comb dozens of miles of beach trying to find stranded sea turtles. The turtles are transported to the rescuers and veterinarians at the New England Aquarium with extreme hypothermia, severe dehydration, pneumonia, and often shell or bone fractures. While 2014 was a record-smashing year when 733 turtles were treated at the Animal Care Center in Quincy, on average we treat about 300 turtles each year. Their treatment can last between two and eight months, sometimes longer. Most of the sea turtles that arrive alive at the Aquarium recover and are released back into the ocean. 

Location: This position is NOT located in Boston. It is at our Animal Care Center located along the Fore River in Quincy. Transportation to this facility is easiest by car but one can also reach the facility by public transportation. Public transportation requires taking the Redline to Quincy Center, transferring to a bus and walking for about five minutes. 

To Apply: Please register an account here then click "Submit an Application" in the menu bar. Already have an account? Please log in and click "Submit an Application

Thank you for your service!

New England Aquarium

1 Central Wharf , Boston, MA 02110 
HandsOn Connect

©2017 New England Aquarium,  an affiliate of the HandsOn Connect, 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110 | 617 - 973 - 5200

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