Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Volunteer Opportunities

Visitor Center Docent

The Chesapeake Biological Laboratory Visitor Center provides guests with the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research being pioneered by CBL’s team of faculty and student scientists on Solomons Island. CBL’s dedicated Visitor Center docents serve a vital role in explaining our research to the general public and helping guests understand the importance of the work we do. We would love to have you join the team!

View the Visitor Center docent flyer.


Volunteer docents independently run the CBL Visitors Center. They are responsible for:

  • Opening and closing the center;
  • Educating guests about CBL and its associated research, education and outreach efforts;
  • Interpreting exhibits for guests;
  • Providing general information about Solomons to guests;
  • Playing a welcome video for guests;
  • Managing and recording sales of Visitor Center merchandise;
  • Maintaining an adequate supply of handout materials on display; and
  • Staffing exhibits at community events.


In addition to the satisfaction and pride we hope you feel for volunteering with us, you will have the opportunity to:

  • LEARN about scientific innovations from renown researchers
  • EDUCATE others by sharing the knowledge you have gained
  • SERVE your community and feel a sense of achievement for your contribution
  • RECEIVE invitations to special events, including an annual Appreciation Luncheon
  • MEET new friends who share your passion for science and the environment
  • DISCOVER new interests and hobbies
  • EARN a CBL volunteer polo shirt & permanent name tag by volunteering 24 hours


To be a successful volunteer docent, you must be:

  • Interested in the Chesapeake Bay, scientific research, or public education;
  • Willing to work alone or in small groups; and
  • Outgoing and polite.
  • Individuals between 16 and 18 years old may only volunteer on weekdays when the Outreach Coordinator is on site.
  • All volunteers must commit to working a minimum of two four-hour shifts per month during the Visitor Center’s open season. Hours of operation vary seasonally.


Volunteers must attend a minimum of three Science for Citizens seminars, through which they will gain exposure to the range of research projects being conducted by CBL faculty and become more familiar with Chesapeake Bay ecology. Science for Citizens seminars may be viewed online for volunteers recruited during the summer months between seminar series. All new volunteers must attend a Training Session with the Outreach Coordinator and participate in one campus tour.  Prior to working shifts alone, new volunteers will “shadow” a veteran volunteer during one 4-hour shift.  Returning volunteers participate in an abbreviated Visitor Center Refresher Course at the start of each year.

Contact us

For more information or to receive an application, email the Outreach Coordinator.

Campus Tour Guides

Sixty-minute tours of the CBL campus are offered at 2:00 pm every Friday from June through November. We need energetic and engaging tour guides to lead groups of visitors around our bayside campus, discussing featured research and our rich scientific history. For more information email the Outreach Coordinator.

Library Volunteer

The CBL library is a professionally-staffed research library specializing in on-site computerized literature searches, reference assistance, inter-library loan services, and literature profile search capabilities. Volunteer opportunities in the library would include activities such as: checking for missing issues; helping produce a duplicates/exchange list; checking lists of duplicates from other libraries for replacement items; getting materials ready for binding; searching for complete records on WorldCat for some of our old / incomplete records. The library is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Volunteer dates and times are flexible and based on an individual’s availability. For more information, contact the CBL Library at 410-326-7287.