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NEED HELP!!!

Joined
Jan 6, 2003
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476
Jean said:
Not Necessarily, our senior aquarist has no formal qualifications but she is from a fishing family, where the whole family is very concerned about fish health/conservation etc and she does a FANTASTIC job!!

We take on volunteers as do many aquariums (some call it an internship!) 'tis a really good way to get experience!

J

So...just out of pure curiosity, do you think I would ever be able to one day...join my local aquarium to help feed the octopus they have there or any other sea creature animal? Either that, or just be a part of mantanence or taking care of it? Im sooo anxious to have an experience with the octopus they have there besides watching it in its tank all day. Even though I don't have professional marine biology education...only from school and basically knowledge on cephalopods of what iv already learned throughout years, I would love to help them there.
 

Jean

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Hi Armstrong,

You would need to contact your local aquarium amd find out what their policy is on volunteering. We prefer that they're over 16 (although we have taken younger if they're extra enthusiastic...even one of 11 although we asked that her Mum came too.....for health and safety reasons) we also ask for a mimimum committment of one day a week for at least a month (can be for a shorter period if you do more days eg grad students often do every day for 1 or 2 weeks) It has to do with the amount of time we need to take to train people.

So I'd give them a call and find out. Aquariums like volunteers especially those who don't mind cleaning tanks!!!!!

J
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
Messages
476
Jean said:
Hi Armstrong,

You would need to contact your local aquarium amd find out what their policy is on volunteering. We prefer that they're over 16 (although we have taken younger if they're extra enthusiastic...even one of 11 although we asked that her Mum came too.....for health and safety reasons) we also ask for a mimimum committment of one day a week for at least a month (can be for a shorter period if you do more days eg grad students often do every day for 1 or 2 weeks) It has to do with the amount of time we need to take to train people.

So I'd give them a call and find out. Aquariums like volunteers especially those who don't mind cleaning tanks!!!!!

J

Ya, actually I just searched there website and they do offer volunteers. Sadly, im not over 18 yet and you have to be over 18 in order to do the type of volunteer work that I want...which is caring and feeding for the invertabrates including the octopus they have there. I dont know. I'll either wait, or get lucky and be accepted for the amount of enthusiasm I have.
 

Jean

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Hmmmmmmm....... wax enthusiastic, tell them you'll do anything (even if it's NOT exactly what you want to do!) You may find yourself doing a bit of floorwashing, glass polishing etc but if you can get a foot in the door and show that you're a hard worker no matter what you're asked to do then maybe they will let you work earlier!

J
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
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Jean said:
Hmmmmmmm....... wax enthusiastic, tell them you'll do anything (even if it's NOT exactly what you want to do!)
J

Hi Armstrong,

Jean is 110% right on! Not only will a willingness to do anything help to get your foot in the door, you may find that a job other than the one you have set your sights on to be surprisingly valuable.

Another thing to consider is volunteering at a small facility rather than a large one. Here in Washington state we have the Seattle aquarium, which has a rather long waiting list for volunteering, and a number of small facilities that are usually starved for volunteers. Further, the workload at a small facility tends to be less compartmentalized than you might find at a large aquarium.

I'm a docent (actually, they've started to call us "Volunteer Naturalists") at the Fiero Marine Life Center in Port Angeles, WA. Fiero is one of the small, volunteer starved, facilities. I'm something of an extrovert so my preference is to work with the public but I've also helped clean tanks, tend the grounds, collect specimens, feed the displays, and sweep the floor. BTW: If you're mainly interested in learning about the octopus or any other animal there is (IMHO) no more humbling or exhilarating way to do so than to spend several hours a week answering the public's questions - you'll be surprised by how much you do know and stunned at how much you don't. Every week I come home from my 'shift' and dive into the reference books and the web looking for information on a question that I couldn't answer for someone.

A large aquarium will probably supply more formal training than a small one but, if the Seattle Aquarium is any example there is less opportunity for much informal mentoring to fill in the gaps left by the formal stuff.

I suspect that, in a large facility, the care of specific individual animals (Octos, seals, sea otters, etc.) is a pretty high seniority job for a volunteer so take Jean's advice and get your foot in the door with the willingness to do anything - besides, just about any job they have is going to be fun!

Voluntarily yours,

TPG
 

Jean

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Hi TPG,

You are soooo right, for all we're an old facility attached to university we are a small volunteer starved one!! And you're right we expect our volunteers and staff to be able to pretty much handle anything!! This includes cleaning toilets (at weekend when there is no cleaner on duty) emptying rubbish bins (in the building and carpark!) :yuck: emergency plumbing, husbandry, front of house (although volunteers are not usually on the till!) and preparing resources for education programmes. We had a volunteer just last week who got assigned the task of sorting NZ's octopus species (all 42!) into locations where they can be found and comparative rarity. He also helped in a shark dissection class, because the young students were unable to cut through the pelvic and pectoral girdles and I could only get round so many!

We try very hard not to give volunteers only the icky jobs (although one arrived and informed us she didn't want to get wet or dirty :shock: so we took perverse pleasure in asssigning her to clean out the mudflat tank, with all the lovely anoxic mud :twisted:) We do try to get them on collectig trips etc if there is space on the boat etc etc.

So Armstrong, if you're prepared to do anything you'll be an asset!!

J
 
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Jan 6, 2003
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476
ThanX for the all your useful information. When I get the chance, Im hoping to just be go back there soon and ask them if I could fo anything they would like...as long as its volunteer-related to get myself in there. It's actually a small aquarium. Only 2 floors. The second floor is very small with the first floor being the largest. Compared to the Seattle aquarium, my local one is very, very small, lol.

However, they do have 1 octopus there. Im hoping in the future...they get another one when this one eventually dies. In the past, my aquarium has failed to keep octopuses extensively. However, this is the very first time they have actually have a large and healthy octopus...the best iv seen so far and its caught my attention immediately. I did talk about being a spokes-person of some sort...such as asnwering questions and giving useful information about the octopus for any visiters or the public around the tank. I always talked about doing that job and even if I could do something like that...I love it. I remember asking the security guards near the octopuses tanks...who feeds her and who manages her tank and such and he had no clue. But he was only standing there to make sure everyone was leaving, lol. There aren't anymore spokes people in my aquarium. The only spokes-person is the people who tell you about the Sharks. Of course its the sharks though...there the most attractive scenes in any aquarium and they are by far...one of the most interesting to people to watch and see anywere. People love sharks and sharks have the most maintence in the place I go to.

I dont know though. I can email them about it or see them in person. Mabye seeing them in person would be better...sometimes image means a lot, lol...no matter how shallow it may sounds. Presentation in relation to your appearance might mean a lot so next time I go, ill ask. They offer some cool programs though like swimming with the sharks of course...experiencing the hippo's in person, feeding the sharks and fish in the main tank...and im like "what about a program with the octopus?" lol. I hope they have something like that one day. Cuz im just crazy about this particular octopus that they have now. Im eager to get an open spot...I dont want this one dying off soon cuz it already looks grown and healthy and aged. If it's a giant pacific octopus, it still has a ways to go...if it's a Common octopus (Vulgaris)...it may be dying sooner or later. I hope not.


Incase you guys are interested...here's the link to my local aquarium. Its about a half hour away from me located in New Jersey:

ADVENTURE AQUARIUM:
http://www.adventureaquarium.com/

THE OCTOPUS:
http://www.adventureaquarium.com/index.cfm?sectionID=10,66,0,0
http://www.adventureaquarium.com/index.cfm?sectionID=3,23,0,0

(check out my topic in Octopus Den to see more images)
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
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Neat, I like your aquarium. The octopus visibile in the photo's look a lot bigger than the one we have at my aquarium.

As I stated before, although it says that this octopus is a GPO, it might not be. It's not a big octopus really and doesn't look like it could be a GPO. It looks more like an O. Vulgaris. Pictures add 10 pounds to anything, lol. It made the octopus look 6 feet across, but its very small and it could be held in my hands easily. The aquarium probably makes it seem like a GPO to attract non-educated visiters with excitement in seeing a giant...octopus, lol. It's not as big as the photo's and niether is the tank. I still love it though and wish it had more attractions. Everything is sharks at my aquarium. The factual-index cards shown on the sides of the octopuses tank held some wrong information. I wish I could correct those.
 

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