April 2023 Global Volunteer Appreciation Month

We are incredibly grateful for the 366+ volunteers and interns that served with us this past year. Our work to protect the blue planet does not happen without our community of passionate, hardworking, and caring volunteers and interns. The dedication from this community is inspiring.

By New England Aquarium on Friday, April 28, 2023

See caption below

“Strong com­mu­ni­ties are born out of indi­vid­u­als being their best selves.” 

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson



In Our Volunteer Community, We…


“Talking with visitors and seeing people’s interest in developing an understanding of the importance of oceans and freshwater to all of us. I am inspired to keep learning by these conversations.”

“Being able to interact with guests and answer their questions. It’s very rewarding to play a role in getting kids excited about wildlife and protecting the planet.”

“The people I work with every week are amazing and meeting the new group every turtle season is exciting.”


Pay It Forward

What inspires you to keep serving?

“Contributing a small bit to the overall worldwide mission of NEAq has shown me that we all have an impact on the environment and we must do our part to give our children and grandchildren a better world.” – Mike Whyte, 1990s – Rescue & Rehabilitation 

“When my kids were little, I was always highly invested in helping them and the community by volunteering: coaching, Girl Scouts, helping with the school. Now that my kids are grown, I am able to donate my time on what is very important to me. I love being a part of this wonderful place and helping people form a relationship with the world around us and the living things in it. I love it most when I can help someone care about protecting the Blue Planet. My position gives me a sense of a higher purpose. Serving something greater than just my own self.” – Terri Weber, June 2021 – Conservation Learning

“I am just glad I was able to contribute not only to the continued welfare of the many wonderful and curious critters present in the aquarium, but to also support the ongoing work of both the staff and the broader mission of conservation. It’s always fun to care for and observe life.” – Victor Quadros, 2019 – West Wing 

“Taking care of and providing for the seals and sea lions every week. I know my position makes it easy for our trainers which lets them take better care of our animals.” – Isabella Welch, 2023 – Marine Mammals  

“Getting to watch animals make progress with trainers and knowing that I’m a small part of that.” – Hannah Brogan, 2022 – Marine Mammals



Move with Mission-centric Purpose

“My position with NEAq has made a positive impact on my life as I was able to further explore different careers in marine biology and learn about the different possibilities I have with a degree in marine biology. In addition to that, I was also able to network with people who may be able to help me in my career. I was also able to learn many skills that will be beneficial to my career.” – Cassandra Cerasia, 2022 – Rescue & Rehabilitation 

“We have a lot of college students come through our program and helping them learn and figure out what they want to do with their future is one of the cooler things we do.” – Sarah Capozzoli, 2002 – Rescue & Rehabilitation 

“Since joining NEAq, I have discovered passions I didn’t even know I had. I knew I loved sea turtles but I didn’t know I would enjoy the medical side of caring for them or solving mysteries during necropsy. I have been able to carry these skills into my personal life as well.” – Sara deMelo, 2014 – Rescue & Rehabilitation 

“It has added so much purpose and passion to my life. I may lose one of my days off but I feel like I gain a world of inspiration that will make me an amazing veterinarian one day.” – Isaac Bowman IV, 2021 – Rescue & Rehabilitation 

And, Of Course, Love the Animals

The dedication never goes unnoticed.
We love our volunteers and interns!

Our volunteers are a 5/5 starsSee below for more testimonials from volunteer and intern supervisors!


“I love being able to build relationships with people, so having volunteers helps that. I love being able to socialize with them and get to know who they are as people. It helps the department staff areas like the touch tank and carts which are a necessity. For NEAq, it helps to build a stronger sense of community.” – Winnie B. (Conservation Learning) 

“Volunteers and interns provide a new perspective on our exhibits and daily responsibilities. They come from all sorts of different backgrounds and experiences, so their input is greatly appreciated. They help support our staff so that we can work more efficiently while enjoying the company of our volunteers and interns!” – Summer G. (Fishes)

“Interns help us accomplish our research project objectives, whether by collecting data in the field or crunching numbers in a spreadsheet.” – Emily J. (Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life)

“Volunteers and interns allow us to build and connect with communities. They enrich our perspectives and bring the NEAq mission and programming to life. In conservation terms, they’re an integral part of our ecosystem. We’re a very fortunate organization to have so many excellent humans working with us!” – Katie O. (Conservation Learning) 

“Working alongside volunteers is one of the best parts of my job. Our volunteers help the lab to process ~298 tests per day. With volunteers, the lab can process samples quicker and more efficiently for aquarists. Volunteers bring a positive, fresh energy to the workplace every day. Their enthusiasm for the Aquarium’s mission and everything going on at the Aquarium is infectious and keeps us inspired. Thank you to our volunteers! We appreciate you so much!” – Sammy C. (Environmental Quality) 

“Volunteers and interns are an integral part of our work at the aquarium, especially down in Quincy. Since we don’t work with the public, we won’t always have the opportunity to share our excitement and experience with the animals we care for here. It is a treat to be able to share all of it with our wonderful volunteers and interns. Their hard work, motivation, and dedication brings so much joy to our day. We couldn’t be here without them. Thank you to all of you!” – Rachel M. (Quincy Fishes)

“Our volunteers and interns make it possible for our team to care for the many animals that make their way through the Quincy Animal Care Center. Their support with daily, weekly, and monthly tasks make it possible for our staff to move forward on projects that improve the welfare and life support systems of our animals. This large amount of work would not be able to be done without the hard work of all our volunteers and interns!” – Kristen U. (Quincy Fishes)

“Working alongside volunteers remind me why I want to be an aquarist. Their passion, enthusiasm, and drive is a staple of Fishes culture.” – Jordan B. (Fishes)

“A lot of the day to day work at the aquarium couldn’t be done without the help of our amazing volunteers and interns. I love teaching people new things and being able to share the love of working with our animals.” – Nina N. (Animal Health)


Let’s Take Action for the Ocean Together

Membership, volunteering, advocating, or attending events are just a few of the ways you can join us in protecting the blue planet.