The Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium can thrive thanks to our amazing volunteers. Volunteers come from all walks of life and with a range of experiences. From UM students, to retirees, to working parents; with a background in wildlife biology or a great curiosity and desire to learn about insects and their relatives. Volunteers help with a variety of activities. Whether you’re interested in education or animal care (or anything in-between!), there is a role for you!

Types of Volunteer Opportunities

Educational Programs are a large part of what we do. Whether it’s field trips, Bugs Around Town appearances, special events, or any other of the many programs we offer to the community, we need a good team of volunteers to help teach and manage our students and programs. As an Education Volunteer you’ll get to play with kids and bugs, learn something new every time you visit, make new human and bug friends, and more. No entomology experience required, come excited and passionate and we’ll fill in whatever you need to know!

If you have a good attention to detail and a background in biology, veterinary science or animal care, and are interested to learn about how we keep our animals fed, happy and healthy, we want to hear from you! Animal Care volunteers help Brenna, our lead Animal Keeper, feed, water and clean.

Scheduling Profile: Flexible, please let us know your availability.

We’re always looking for help on a range of projects. Are you tech savvy with a lot of social media experience? Can you appreciate the importance of stuffing envelopes or folding new brochures? Do you have woodworking skills and spare time? There are a range of projects for those interested in things other than animal care or education. Please let us know if you have a special skill you want to put to work for us or just have a general wish to help in whatever capacity is needed.

Training

There is no need to have your PhD in entomology or education to volunteer, just a passion for what we do and a willingness to learn. You will get a few stages of training before we set you loose to lead any program or event independently. You will get full training on every aspect of the role(s) you are interested in.

Resources

If you're already signed up as a volunteer, visit our Volunteer Resources Page to access lesson plans, teaching guides and more. This page is password protected. Please reach out to Carolyn if you can't remember the password!

Signing Up

If any of these opportunities pique your interest, please take a moment to fill out our Volunteer Application below. This will help us better understand how you would like to volunteer your time and how we can effectively utilize your skills and interests.

Volunteer Application

  • Please tell us if this is your cell, home, or work phone.
  • Please list any experience or expertise (e.g., education, work, or volunteer history) that you would like to share with us.
  • References Please provide the email contact information and affiliation of two non-relative references.

Volunteer Spotlight

Jenny Taber

Retired Oncology Nurse

Jenny, a New Zealand native, is a retired nurse who moved to Missoula in 1978. After retiring from a 50 year nursing career Jenny now enjoys adventuring with her girlfriends, skiing and biking, playing with her two young grandkids and volunteering with us!

Favorite Bug Ambassador: Blue Beetles

Favorite Moment: After going to Chief Charlo’s Science Night last week, Jenny returned and excitedly told us about a little girl who was so nervous to hold our Blue Beetles. She gradually worked her way up from touching its back to holding the beetle. Jenny said that the look of pride on her face was just priceless!