Volunteering at the Museum
Volunteers are a vital part of accomplishing our mission at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. To register as a volunteer, you will need to submit a completed Volunteer Application, Waiver and Background Check Form. Background checks are an important step in ensuring the safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers and collections.
- For general volunteer requests, we will only accept applications for the open positions listed below.
- For internship requests, we will process these on a case-by-case basis based on available internship positions. Because these positions fill up quickly, we recommend submitting your request 2-4 months in advance of the semester during which you would like to intern.
Current Volunteer Opportunities
Would you like to deepen your knowledge of Hawaiian History, culture, and natural sciences? Do you want to share that knowledge with museum visitors? Join the Bishop Museum’s volunteer ‘Ohana and become a Bishop Museum docent.
Docents provide visitors a deeper understanding of the Bishop Museum’s mission, vision and values by interacting with the public as interpreters. Docents are responsible for facilitating conversations and leading educational activities for Museum visitors.
Docents will interact with a wide range of Museum visitors including school groups, adults and special interest groups.
The following characteristics make a good docent:
- A sincere and genuine interest in people of all ages
- A love for and excitement about learning and teaching
- Attention to detail and accuracy
- A sense of flexibility and cooperation
- An attitude of tolerance and respect for all people’s points of view
All docents must attend training before they can begin conducting tours at the Bishop Museum. In addition to the general volunteer orientation, docents must attend more rigorous training to provide them with information, knowledge, and practice to conduct successful educational experiences for Museum visitors. As a result, the initial training course is rather extensive, consisting of a 9 week course. In this training series, docents learn to craft and present a tour that highlights the Museum’s collections while also exploring the role of the museum in a community. Volunteers are required to complete this series of training to become full-fledged docents and commit to volunteering at the Museum for one year after they complete training.
Our next Docent Training will be held in 2017, dates TBA. Please check back for more information!
If you are interested in becoming a docent at the Bishop Museum, please contact
Interns will be trained on-site (no previous experience necessary) and assigned to one or more of the following tasks: (1) Sorting, identifying, preserving and cataloging insects, spiders, millipedes and other arthropods; (2) Collection curation. This includes the following tasks: validating and updating the taxonomic names, physically organizing the collection, and digitizing the specimens (3) Specimen Transactions. This may include: handling specimens; entering information in a database; running Boolean searches (Google); completing forms; filling away and retrieving forms (4) Imaging of specimens.
Qualifications/ Skills Needed: No previous experience necessary. Other requirements include: ability to work safely, independently and in a team environment; proficiency with PC computer software preferred but not necessary Microsoft Office, Google Drive and other Windows based applications; excellent fine motor skills to handle collections items; good organization skills and an eye for detail.
Training/Orientation Provided: The Entomology Collection Manager will directly supervise training on all necessary tasks. Interns will be trained to handle, sort, identify, preserve, and curate Entomological specimens. Training will also include accurately recording information into various databases, use of PC-based software, maintenance of equipment, basic taxonomy, taxonomic nomenclature, insect collection curatorial standards and imaging techniques. Training period varies depending on tasks and prior experience, but averages 40 hours. If you are volunteering for college credit or similar programs, the training period is included in the count of your service hours.
Days/Times Volunteers Needed: Volunteers can serve between 9:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday (with possible flexibility).
If interested, please contact Jim Boone, Entomology Collection Manager, at email@example.com.
Service Groups & One-time Volunteer Opportunities
To inquire about opportunities for service groups (example – Key Club), please contact the Volunteer Department via email or call us at (808) 848-4171. Please also check our upcoming Special Events and Exhibits at the museum for opportunities you may be interested in volunteering for.
Cheyenne Velez, Volunteer & Human Resources Coordinator
Phone: (808) 848-4171
1525 Bernice Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
The Human Resources and Volunteer Department has office hours Monday through Friday. We are closed over the weekend and during administrative holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. To ensure someone is available to meet with you, please call (808) 848-4171 prior to visiting Volunteer Services.