ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain


ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
1 College St.
Burlington, VT USA 05401

Email: volunteer@echovermont.org  -  Phone: 1.802.864.1848 x149


External view of ECHO from the front looking toward Lake Champlain

Thanks for your interest in volunteering with ECHO!

Take a look at our opportunities below to learn more

Concerning COVID: ECHO requires all of our volunteers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

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Opportunities

Engineer It Facilitator

For ages 16 years and older

Encourage museum guests to get hands-on and explore science by doing in our Engineer It gallery!
 
 
Engineer It Facilitators guide learners through hands-on activities by asking questions, having meaningful conversations, and encouraging guests to think like scientists. As a Facilitator, you will lead museum guests through engaging activities in a variety of science fields, with a focus on problem solving and the Engineering Design Process. 
 
What will I do as an Engineer It Facilitator?
  • Facilitate hands-on science and engineering activities for a diverse audience with guests of all ages
  • Empower guests to solve problems and think like scientists
  • Encourage guests to share ideas and work together
  • Work collaboratively with other volunteers and staff
  • Help maintain the Engineer It Space
  • Keep learning and adapting to changes at ECHO and in scientific understanding
  • Assist with festivals and special events as needed
 
Time Commitment:
  • Minimum of 4 months of volunteer service
  • Minimum of one 2.5 hour (or longer) shift per week
 
What do I need to be successful in this position?
  • Willingness to initiate friendly conversations with guests of all ages and backgrounds
  • Enthusiasm for learning about a variety of science fields
  • Interest in facilitating hands-on activities and helping guests problem solve  
  • Interest in personal growth and improvement as an educator; willingness to receive training and feedback
  • Enthusiasm for working as part of a team of ECHO volunteers and staff educators 
 
What will I learn?
 
How to facilitate hands-on science activities
  • How to teach guests of all ages and knowledge levels
  • What kinds of questions to ask to support learning and understanding
  • How to help guests problem-solve and work out their own creative solutions
  • How to empower guests to see themselves as scientists
 
Science Concepts
  • What STEM is
  • Big-picture scientific concepts from a variety of fields (e.g. physics, chemistry, lake science, engineering, etc.)
  • Engineering Design Process and the scientific method
  • Creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication skills
 
How to provide a great guest experience
  • How to welcome and engage guests of all ages and backgrounds
  • How to help guests with customer service needs
 
What opportunities are there to grow and take on more responsibilities?
  • Creating STEM activities – working with staff to develop hands-on activities and engineering design challenges
  • Do research to help update ECHO’s educational content 
  • Train new volunteers in activities and inquiry-based learning strategies
 
What benefits will I receive as an ECHO volunteer?
  • 20% discount at ECHO’s Gift Shop
  • Free admission to ECHO for the volunteer
  • Free coffee & tea in volunteer lounge
  • Annual appreciation events
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Volunteer social gatherings
  • ECHO day passes, distributed quarterly
  • ECHO branded gear & gifts 
  • ECHO memberships
  • Letters of recommendation/reference

Animal Care Volunteer

For ages 16 years and older

Click here to fill out an application!

Learn about and assist in the delivery of professional animal care typically provided in zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
 
Help care for native reptiles and fish, as well as native and exotic amphibians. Receive hands on training with professional animal care staff. Learn about animal behavior, proper diets, veterinary care, and habitat design and maintenance. Have fun and support environmental stewardship. 
 
Time Commitment: 
  • A full semester or summer commitment (usually 3-4 months).
  • Minimum of one 4 hour shift per week.
 
What do I need to be successful in this position?
Applicants should be able to work independently, be active, enthusiastic, detail-oriented, reliable, and willing to get wet and/or dirty! Occasional heavy lifting (up to 60 pounds) may be required.
 
What benefits will I receive as an ECHO volunteer?
  • 20% discount at ECHO’s Gift Shop
  • Free admission to ECHO for the volunteer
  • Free coffee & tea in volunteer lounge
  • Annual appreciation events
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Volunteer social gatherings
  • ECHO day passes, distributed quarterly
  • ECHO branded gear & gifts 
  • ECHO memberships
  • Letters of recommendation/reference

Gallery Docent

Volunteers must be ages 16 and up.

Encourage guests to dive deeper into ECHO’s exhibits!

Click here to fill out an application!

Gallery Docents use objects and artifacts to educate, tell stories, and open guests’ eyes to the joy and wonder of nature. They are experts on ECHO’s gallery spaces and the natural history of Vermont, with a focus on the Champlain Valley. Gallery docents educate not only by sharing facts, but by engaging guests in meaningful conversations. 

What will I do as a Gallery Docent?

  • Initiate conversations about ECHO’s numerous exhibit galleries with guests on the museum floor

  • Tell stories that will connect artifacts/props with gallery narratives to entertain, educate, and create an immersive guest experience

  • Engage guests by asking meaningful questions

  • Work independently to facilitate activities that complement gallery exhibits

  • Continue learning and adapting as science, news, and ECHO’s galleries change 

  • Assist with festivals and special events as needed

Time Commitment:

  • Minimum of 4 months of volunteer service

  • Minimum of one 2.5 hour shift per week

What do I need to be successful in this position?

  • Willingness to initiate friendly conversations with a diverse audience of guests ages 0 - 100

  • Excitement to continually learn and grow through your journey as an educator

  • Interest in learning in-depth knowledge about ECHO galleries and the history and ecology of the Lake Champlain Basin

  • Interest in working as part of a team with other volunteers and staff educators

 

What will I learn?

Biology, Ecology, History, and More

  • ECHO’s gallery spaces and animal ambassadors (Please note this position does not include animal handling)

  • Facts about the biology of species that live in and around Lake Champlain

  • The geologic history of Lake Champlain

  • Issues impacting Lake Champlain


How to Provide a Great Guest Experience

  • How to teach and engage guests of all ages and backgrounds

  • What it means to be an interpreter (and a good one!)

What opportunities are there to grow and take on more responsibilities?

  • Gallery talks - work with educators to develop short talks about a concept or species

  • Do research to help update ECHO’s educational content 

What benefits will I receive as an ECHO volunteer and Gallery Docent?

  • 20% discount at ECHO’s Gift Shop

  • Free admission to ECHO for the volunteer

  • Free coffee & tea in volunteer lounge

  • Annual appreciation events

  • Professional development opportunities

  • Volunteer social gatherings

  • ECHO day passes, distributed quarterly

  • ECHO branded gear & gifts 

  • ECHO memberships

  • Letters of recommendation/reference

  • A volunteer experience fitted to your unique skill sets and goals

Lake Champlain Resource Room Volunteer

For ages 18 years and older

Share your appreciation and knowledge of Lake Champlain and its watershed!

 

Click here to fill out an application

 

Help visitors explore and protect the Lake Champlain Basin’s water quality, fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, recreation, and cultural resources. Operated by the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP), the Resource Room welcomes visitors with hands-on activities, exhibits, and educational materials.

What will I do as a Resource Room Volunteer?

  • Greet and interact with visitors of all ages, assist with activities, and answer questions

  • Share information about Lake Champlain Basin natural and cultural resources

  • Communicate Lake Champlain issues and management to the public

  • Cultivate watershed stewardship with examples of individual and community action

  • Engage visitors and encourage scientific inquiry by asking questions

  • This position can be adapted to your interests and may include research, organizing materials, and creating activities and exhibits. 

Time Commitment

  • Minimum 3 months of volunteer service

  • One 3 or 4 hour shift per week, minimum 2 shifts per month

What do I need to be successful in this position?

  • Volunteers must enjoy working with all ages, be excited about learning and have an interest in Lake Champlain issues and stewardship. 

  • Interest in discovering a tranquil corner of ECHO that features live animals, activities, microscopes, computer stations, and a lake and watershed library

  • Enthusiasm for Lake and watershed stewardship with a focus on citizen action, community events, and volunteer opportunities

  • Interest in facilitating hands-on activities

 

What will I learn?

  • How to engage and communicate with all ages and backgrounds

  • Skills in non-formal education and interpretation

  • Lake Champlain Basin natural and cultural history, issues, and management

  • Knowledge of place-based resources such as maps and charts, field guides, and information on recreational and historic sites

  • How to share Lake and watershed stories, science, and data with the public including students, teachers, and researchers

What benefits will I receive as a Resource Room Volunteer?

  • 20% discount at ECHO’s Gift Shop

  • Free admission to ECHO for the volunteer

  • Free coffee & tea in volunteer lounge

  • Annual appreciation events

  • Professional development opportunities

  • Volunteer social gatherings

  • ECHO day passes, distributed quarterly

  • ECHO branded gear & gifts 

  • ECHO memberships

  • Letters of recommendation/reference

  • A volunteer experience fitted to your unique skill sets and goals

ECHO Mission Statement

ECHO inspires and engages families in the joy of scientific discover, wonder of nature, and care of Lake Champlain.