Your help is needed!


We are a small museum. Volunteers are essential to us continuing to be a great community resource and fulfill our mission to inspire discovery, wonder, and stewardship of our natural world.

To become a volunteer at the Museum or Monarch Sanctuary, please complete a Volunteer Application.

There are many different volunteer positions available, with varying levels of commitment. If you do not see a position that suits you, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, to discuss alternative volunteer positions. 

  • Museum Docents

  • Welcome guests and support school field trips while sharing your knowledge and love of the natural animals, flora, and geology that make California's Central Coast unique.

  • Museum Store
    Come work in our cozy gift shop. Talk with a wide variety of the public while generating financial support for the Museum.

  • Monarch Docents
    Spend your time at the lovely Monarch Sanctuary in Pacific Grove talking with visitors from around the world about our special winter home for monarch butterflies.

  • Gardeners
    Our Native Plants Garden needs your care. Come help maintain it’s beauty as you learn about the native flora of the Central Coast.

  • Science Saturday & Event Volunteers
    Become a volunteer for our community Science Saturdays, lectures, exhibition openings, and/or fundraising events.
  • Black Oystercatcher Monitor Volunteers
    Observe black oystercatchers at specified sites along the recreation trail in Pacific Grove or in Pebble Beach.

Meet our Volunteer of the Month

Pat Nietfeld

Pat Nietfeld

Volunteer Pat Nietfeld, our February Volunteer of the Month, has volunteered for the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History since she moved to California in 2015. Besides her work at the Monarch Sanctuary, she also volunteers her time as a Black Oystercatcher monitor and as a SeaWatch docent. Pat said she enjoys teaching visitors to the state about California’s amazing natural history.
“Another favorite part is the opportunity volunteering gives for me to spend meaningful time out of doors,” she said. “Volunteering provides a great opportunity to learn about our wonderful California environment. The Museum provides excellent volunteer training and resources for additional self-learning.  Sharing your knowledge with others is incredibly rewarding.”
Pat is no stranger to museums. With a Ph.D. in anthropology, she’s worked as the curator for the Archaeological Research Collections at the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe and as the Collections Manager at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. She retired from the latter position in 2013.