Becoming a Volunteer

Volunteers are vital to the success of the Yale Peabody Museum's many resources and programs.   We simply can’t do all that we do without our volunteers.


If you have skills, background or interests to share, the Museum welcomes you! It’s a great way to reach out to our community, meet friends, learn something new, develop skills, and help with scientific research. Become a Peabody Volunteer and find out why over 200 individuals offer their time and talents to this institution year-round!


Acceptance into the volunteer program is contingent upon successful application and interview. Please understand that the Museum always has more applications for positions than we are able to fill.


Benefits to Volunteers

  • Free admission to the Museum
  • Subscription to the Explorer membership newsletter
  • Attend programs and lectures sponsored by the Museum
  • 10% discount at the Museum Store


Here are some of the ways volunteers help out:

  • Events: Have fun helping children and adults at festivals and other events held in the museum throughout the year.

  • Docents: Docents usually begin withan in-depth training that focuses on our most requested exhibit — The Dinosaurs of the Great Hall.  This includes teaching techniques to help you lead informal education programs for school classes. Once docents have completed the initial training, they can also be trained and begin teaching about other exhibits in the museum. Docent trainings are scheduled whenever need for docents arises, whether for a special exhibition, or the permanent collections.  Go to Docent page to learn more.
  • Highlight Tour Guides: Lead a 45 minute weekend or Thursday afternoon tour of the museum from "Dinosaurs to Egypt". Someone interested in becoming a Highlights Tour guide must complete a largely self-guided training, and when ready, will test with a member of the Peabody education staff.  Go to Highlights Tours to learn more.
  • Discovery Room Guides: Guide our youngest visitors in this hands-on paradise for learning, where every day kids experience the natural world first-hand in an intimate setting. Go to Discovery Room to learn more.
  • Peabody on the Road: Bring the museum to community public programs with a traveling 'kit' containing more than 20 hands-on specimens and objects.  There are several different kinds of kits, including Natural History, Anthropology, and Rocks and Minerals. Training is on-going, and is a combination of self-study, and shadowing an experienced kit leader.   Go to the Peabody on the Road page to learn more.
  • Collections: Training by departments is individual and ongoing and will be specific to the tasks you are assigned. Go to Collections to learn more.

 Volunteer Handbook

For our most current guide to volunteering, you can refer to the volunteer handbook.  Click here for the Volunteer Handbook



Download and print an application to become a Yale Peabody Museum volunteer [PDF 168 KB] Scan your completed form and attach as a .pdf to an email sent to peabody.volunteers@yale.edu  Alternatively, you can send your completed form by regular mail to the address below.


Parental Consent Form

Parents of volunteers under 18 must complete a Consent to Treatment form [PDF 105 KB]


Adobe Acrobat Reader

You may type your information onto these PDF forms with the latest version of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader®


Contact Information

Contact us with any questions, or completed applications:


Email:  peabody.volunteers@yale.edu

Mailing address:
Volunteer Office
Peabody Museum of Natural History
Yale University
P.O. Box 208118
New Haven, CT 06520-8118

Telephone: (203) 432-3731


Update Your Volunteer Profile Here

If you have a change of address, email or phone, have changed volunteer assignment, are taking a leave of absence, or are no longer volunteering, please let the volunteer office know, with this form that can be mailed in or completed, scanned, and emailed as a .pdf.


Click here to update your volunteer profile