Volunteers are essential to the daily operations here at the DLC. (Click here to watch a video showing just how essential and wonderful our volunteers are!) We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities that require different time commitments and focus on different interests. Please select one or multiple volunteer opportunities and apply directly online for the positions. Our volunteer coordinators should reply to you shortly.
Thanks so much for your interest. We’re excited to hear from you!
The Technician Assistant (TA) program at the Duke Lemur Center was initiated in October 2008 and is designed to give students and the public an opportunity to volunteer their time and be involved in the husbandry of lemurs. TAs assist full-time Primate Technicians with a variety of tasks, including diet preparation, cleaning of animal areas, development and distribution of enrichment, behavioral observations, and daily upkeep of the facility.
Our TA volunteers are an invaluable resource for the center and include undergraduate, and graduate students, as well as professional and retired members of the community. We often look to our pool of dedicated volunteers when other opportunities or needs arise at the center. Our TAs have been chosen to participate as research assistants, veterinary volunteers, and interns at the center. We also currently have three full-time Technicians that began their careers at the DLC as volunteer TAs!
Requirements to become a Technician Assistant:
Commitment to work one 4-hour shift each week for a minimum of 6 months
Results of TB test that has been administered within a year of starting
Proof of MMR Vaccine
Proof of current health insurance
Age 18 or above
We are not currently accepting applications for the Technician Assistant position. If you have any questions, please contact Erin Hecht at email@example.com.
Where in the world are our former Technician Assistants now? Check it out HERE. If you are a former TA and would like to update us on what you’ve been up to, contact Erin Hecht at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DLC conducts public tours year-round, seven days a week and is in need of volunteers who are willing to lead guided tours of up to fifteen people. Education volunteers must comfortable speaking in front of small, large and mixed aged audiences. Our tour guides educate the public about the DLC’s mission, conservation initiatives, research, and the individual species that are on the tour path for our Lemurs Live tour.
Requirements to become a Tour Guide:
Commitment to work one 2-hour shift each week for a minimum of 6 months
Proof of current health insurance
Ages 18 and above
If you are interested in becoming tour guide, please click here to complete and submit the application.
Are you looking to get your hands dirty and work outside? If so, we need you! The Duke Lemur Center is looking for volunteers to help care for the DLC vegetable garden. The garden and various fruiting plants provide a supplemental organic food source for our resident lemurs. Garden duties include planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, composting, and occasional hard labor of working the soil. No gardening experience necessary, but is always helpful. A 2-4 hour commitment per week is required. As fruits and vegetables are harvested, volunteers are welcome to extend their time at the DLC and watch the lemurs enjoy their homegrown food!
Requirements to become a Garden Volunteer:
Commitment to work a 2-hour shift each week for a minimum of one year
Proof of current health insurance
Ages 18 and above
If you are interested in becoming a Garden Volunteer, please click here to complete and submit the application.
If you have questions regarding the Duke Lemur Center vegetable garden, please contact Charlie Welch at email@example.com.
Division of Fossil Primates Volunteer
The Division of Fossil Primates is one of the most important collections of primate fossils in the country. In addition to lemur, monkey, and ape relatives, we have tens of thousands of fossils of plants and animals that lived alongside these ancient primates. If you are interested in working with fossils and learning how to conserve, catalogue, and store materials in an active research collection, we would love for you to volunteer as part of our team! Projects in the collections include helping to generate 3D digital models of our specimens, creating housing that will protect and stabilize materials, producing data for our research database, and helping to share the collection with visitors to the Division of Fossil Primates. No previous experience is necessary. We will work with you to develop the skills you need. A 2-4 hour commitment per week is required.
If you are interested in becoming a Fossil Lab Volunteer, please click here to complete and submit an application. We are not currently bringing on new Fossil Lab Volunteers, but you can submit an application to be considered for future openings.
If you have any questions about the Fossil Lab, the projects we are working on, or if you are interested in creating an interactive program for your classroom, please contact Curator Dr. Matt Borths at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Duke Lemur Center’s junior docent program is designed to provide teens (ages 13-18) volunteer experience while learning about the natural world, conservation, and the research conducted at the DLC. Junior docents will be responsible for setting up artifact tables and engaging guests with Malagasy cultural items and bio-facts on lemurs and other unique species in Madagascar. They will gain oral communication skills and experience interacting with the public in a professional setting. After 6 months, junior docents ages 17 and above are eligible to train on leading tours, if desired.
Requirements to become a Junior Docent:
Ages 13 and above
Commitment to work two 3-hour shifts per month for a minimum of 6 months
Must submit a letter of recommendation from a non-family source in addition to the online application
If you are interested in becoming a Junior Docent volunteer, please click here to complete and submit an application.
Please email the Education Department at email@example.com with any questions regarding the Junior Docent program.
Group Volunteer Projects
Are you interested in bringing your organization out for a day of service to benefit the lemurs? We would love to host you! We host student organizations, scout troops, and community groups for project days during the fall and spring (September/October and April/May). Projects range from animal enclosure and center maintenance to the construction of enclosure structures. The minimum group size for a service event is 8 people and the maximum is 15 people. Projects are scheduled for a half-day at the center.
Student Volunteer Groups
All Fall 2019 student group service dates have been filled. We will begin accepting Spring 2020 service requests on January 1st and the schedule will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have any questions regarding student service events, please contact Erin Hecht at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corporate Volunteer Groups
Interested in bringing your corporate team to the DLC for some community service and lemur fun? Check out the Corporate Service Package, which combines service and a tour behind the scenes or in one of our forested enclosures! We are not currently taking requests for corporate service days, but will post a service request form in January 2020 as we schedule for Spring 2020. There are a limited number of available projects/dates for corporate volunteer groups and this page will be updated once all Spring 2020 dates have been filled.
Take Lyft to the Duke Lemur Center!
Through the 2018-2019 academic year, Duke is partnering with Lyft to offer free rides back and forth from the Duke Lemur Center at no cost to Duke students and Duke employees. Get started using the Duke-Lyft rides by visiting the Duke Parking & Transportation’s Lyft Rides Program homepage. Here’s how to access a fare-free ride:
– Visit parking.duke.edu/buses/lyft to sign an electronic waiver and release form. At submission, you will receive a discount promo code.
– Enter the code in the “promotions” menu of the Lyft app.
– The ride must begin on West, Central, or East campuses and end at the DLC or vice versa.
– Rides operate 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
– Lyft accounts must be registered with a duke.edu email address.
This program is only available to Duke students and Duke employees. For additional details or if you have any questions, please contact Erin Hecht (email@example.com).