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

Apply Today

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.

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.

Please note: the Butterfly House & Aquarium is not able to provide volunteering tasks to help individuals fulfill court-appointed volunteer hours. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator with any questions.


  • 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 Weekday afternoons and Weekends. If you have any questions about other week days, volunteering needs, or your availability, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator.

Conservatory Volunteer

Guest Experience Volunteer

Volunteers transport our guests to the rainforest, welcoming them into a unique experience walking among tropical butterflies and plants. 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 Tidal Touch Pool and aquarium gallery.

IMG 9291 1

Group Volunteering

Group volunteer projects are available upon inquiry. Groups assist with needs outdoor, including the following: trash cleanup in Sertoma Park, garden care for the Butterfly House & Aquarium gardens, outdoor storage organization and upkeep, etc.

Due to the nature of the needs at the Butterfly House & Aquarium's facility, the Volunteer Program is only able to accommodate group projects during the months of April through October.

Group Guidelines:

1. Age requirement: 12 years old. Groups with volunteers under 18 are expected to have adult supervision. (1 adult : 10 youth required).

2. Volunteer groups must have a minimum of 5 people and no more than 30.

3. Groups should plan to serve 1-3 hours.

4. Projects can be scheduled for any of the following days in the allotted time range: T/W/R/F/Sa. 8:00am-3:30pm. Projects must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance of project date.

5. In the event of any weather that prevents outdoor service, groups should work to reschedule or may choose to cancel. There are no projects inside the facility for groups.

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 Volunteer

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 academic credit. The Butterfly House & Aquarium has four internships including: Marketing, Conservatory, Aquarium, and Volunteer Program. Applicable majors include: marine biology, ecology, zoology, education, horticulture, marketing, graphic design, communications, business management, non-profit administration, or any other related field(s). Internships are on a volunteer basis. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a college or university. Summer 2023 internship applications have closed.


Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to volunteer in the Butterfly House & Aquarium, unsupervised. 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.

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

Jeremy and Andrea Hissing cockroach Audrey Libby

Volunteers In Action!


Let's Get in Touch

Have a question? Contact our Volunteer Coordinator:

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