Volunteering at the Butterfly House & Aquarium is an experience like none other in the area!

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Join the Adventure

Volunteering at the Butterfly House & Aquarium is an experience like none other in the area! Our volunteers come from all walks of life and commit to a schedule according to what best fits their availability. Some volunteer once to several times a week, while others come in a couple times a month.

With over one million guests served since 2002, the Butterfly House & Aquarium’s Volunteers play a vital role the daily operations. A completed application is your first step in joining our team of dedicated Volunteers. We welcome you to join us!

Our Volunteers interact with nearly every guest and serve as a learning resource for those who enter the space. They help individuals connect and engage with ocean life and tropical butterflies. Volunteers gain and acquire many skills including guest interaction, species identification, and environmental education with aquatic life and butterflies.

All Volunteers receive in-depth training in their department to equip them with the knowledge to enhance each guest's visit.


  • Learn and interact with beautiful tropical butterflies and fascinating ocean creatures
  • Socialize with guests from around the world
  • Volunteers receive free, year-round admission*
  • 40% discount in the Gift Shop*

*pending participation requirements

Volunteer Position Availabilities

At this time, the Butterfly House & Aquarium is especially looking for community members to commit to volunteering on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Weekend afternoons. If you have any questions about other week days, volunteering needs, or your availability, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator.

Conservatory Volunteer

Butterfly House & Aquarium Volunteer

Volunteers transport our guests to the rainforest, welcoming them into a unique experience walking among tropical butterflies. Volunteers provide educational information about butterflies, plants, and the rainforest. Volunteers ensure no butterflies leave with the guests according to USDA guidelines.

Volunteers engage all guests with educational information and an experience that goes beyond the aquarium acrylic. Volunteers transport guests into an ocean adventure and are responsible for monitoring the Stingray and Tidal Touch Pools.

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Group Volunteering

Summer, group volunteer projects are available upon inquiry. Volunteers must be over the age of 12, and any group with students under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The Butterfly House & Aquarium can accommodate volunteer groups of 5-50 people. Group projects typically include assistance in our outdoor gardens, trash clean up efforts in Sertoma Park, and various cleaning projects in the facility.

Due to the nature of the needs at the Butterfly House & Aquarium's facility, the Volunteer Program is unable to accommodate group volunteer projects from November to March.

Group leaders should contact the Volunteer Coordinator by emailing volunteer@sdaquarium.org or calling (605)-334-9466 ext.14 for more information.

Jackie Husbandry

Husbandry Volunteering

Husbandry Volunteers assist Aquarists and Biologists with animal care, food preparation, general habitat maintenance, and other tasks determined by department. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, directly, if you are interested in being a husbandry volunteer. *Applicants must be 18 years old to participate as a Husbandry Volunteer.

Learn More

Avery Internship


Internships are available for individuals seeking experience for credit in marine biology, ecology, lepidoptera, education, and/or horticulture. Interns may receive college credits for their internship. Internships are on a volunteer basis. If interested, please email a resume and cover letter to the email below. Applications accepted year-round. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a college or university.

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Court-Appointed Community Service

The Butterfly House & Aquarium is able to provide volunteering tasks to help individuals fulfill court-appointed volunteer hours based on tasks that are available at the facility at that given time.

Volunteers must fill out a Volunteer Application and go through a brief interview process with the Volunteer Coordinator. Individuals looking for court-appointed service hours must be over 16 years old to volunteer at the Butterfly House & Aquarium facility.


Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to volunteer in the Butterfly House & Aquarium. Those under 18 years of age must have a parent complete and sign a consent form prior to their first assignment. Background screening may be required for some positions. Those seeking an internship must be currently enrolled in a college or university.

Husbandry Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

Court-Appointed Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

What the Volunteers Have to Say...

"The volunteer internship at the Butterfly House & Aquarium has taught me to take responsibility in leadership and has opened me up to opportunities in this field. I have learned a lot here, about myself, and how to push myself forward."

Aaliyah Johnson

"One of my interests is wildlife conservation and awareness by being a voice and steward for the earth. Volunteering here provides a unique opportunity to combine these passions."

Justin Garry

"It is a fun and exciting place to be! You meet so many people, and the staff and volunteers are great people who truly care about this crazy world we live in."

Jackie Hanson


Let's Get in Touch

Have a question? Contact our Volunteer Coordinator:

Call 605-334-9466 ext. 14 or email volunteer@sdaquarium.org