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Volunteer Positions

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 coordinator should reply to you shortly.

Thanks so much for your interest. We’re excited to hear from you!


Technician Assistant

The Technician Assistant (TA) program at the Duke Lemur Center began in 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 animal care tasks, including diet preparation, cleaning of animal areas, development 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.

Requirements to be 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 start date (requested upon acceptance)
Proof of MMR Vaccine
Proof of current health insurance
Age 18 or above

We are not currently accepting applications for the Technician Assistant volunteer position. If you have any questions, please contact Erin Hecht at erin.hecht@duke.edu.


Tour Guide

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

We are not currently accepting applications for the Tour Guide position. If you have any questions, please contact the Education Team at primate@duke.edu.


Garden Volunteer

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

We are not currently accepting new Garden Volunteers. If you have questions regarding the Duke Lemur Center vegetable garden, please contact Charlie Welch at charles.welch@duke.edu.


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 matthew.borths@duke.edu.


Junior Docent

The Duke Lemur Center’s junior docent program is designed to provide teens (ages 14-18) volunteer experience while learning about the natural world, conservation, and the research conducted at the DLC. Junior Docents must be comfortable presenting to the public on various scientific topics and working independently.

We are not currently accepting applications for the Junior Docent position. If you have any questions, please contact the Education Team at primate@duke.edu.


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 March-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

We will not host fall 2020 volunteer groups, due to COVID-19. An update about spring 2021 dates will be posted in January. If you have any questions regarding student service events, please contact Erin Hecht at erin.hecht@duke.edu.

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 will not host fall 2020 volunteer groups, due to COVID-19. An update about spring 2021 dates will be posted in January.