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Docent Program Information:
No matter the season or weather, there’s a tropical paradise full of beautiful butterflies, fascinating bugs, and guests of all ages who’ll benefit from your expertise and passion as you share the wonders of the invertebrate world and encourage our guests to experience the joy of learning. As a docent, you’ll have access to continuing education with our Entomologists. You’ll develop public speaking and inquiry skills and learn how to engage people of all backgrounds through training with our Learning and Engagement team. You’ll find yourself more than equipped to enhance our daily guest experience and special events through showcasing live insects for touching, helping identify butterflies, and providing opportunities for guests to be curious and explore entomology topics like moths vs butterflies and how bugs eat.

Number of Docents Accepted: 20


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Welcome our guests and clarify rules
  • Assist guests in interpreting the animal behaviors and natural history they’ll observe in the conservatory and other exhibits
  • Offer opportunities for curiosity, exploration, and play through interactive and hands-on learning throughout the Butterfly Biosphere using themed kits and live animals
  • Handle select live insects for guests to interact with
  • Become familiar with and enforce USDA containment guidelines
  • Assist with program content design and development



  • Must be 18yrs of age and older.
  • Have good people skills and be willing to work alongside our trained staff and with guests of all ages.
  • Preferable to possess a love of entomology or have applicable science knowledge and/or experience, but neither is required.
  • Must be able to maintain the high energy level of the position.
  • Must be willing to handle (hold) a variety of invertebrate animals; training will be provided. 


We need our Docents to:

  • Complete all initial docent training sessions held over 6 weeks beginning June 17th through August 5th, 2023. Sessions will take place every Saturday during that six-week period from 10-1PM at the Biosphere. Docents will also complete Thanksgiving Point volunteer registration.
  • Submit $100 program fee which covers uniform, nametag, training and materials, and continuing education. Payment of $100 is a one-time fee, with annual renewals at $50 for subsequent years.
  • Be available to work a minimum of 1 shift a week, and attend an additional monthly training regarding species reviews, new exhibits, new kits, or other changes in the Biosphere.
  • Be willing learners, comfortable with developing inquiry-based facilitation skills and with handling select live insects.
  • Participate in ongoing evaluation of the docent program for positive improvements.
  • Offer and accept feedback or suggestions to encourage professional standards and performance.
  • Be available for special events shifts.
  • Maintain professional appearance by wearing Butterfly Docent Shirt, nametag, and appropriate clothing as outlined in the Volunteer Handbook (received at the mandatory volunteer orientation).


Length of Appointment:

A Butterfly Biosphere docent commits to at least 1 year. After completing the first year as a docent-in-training, returning docents may act as mentors to new docents in subsequent years.



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Contact Information

Current Thanksgiving Point Volunteer*

Application Questions

Please respond with no more than 500 words per question.
By signing below, I affirm that the information presented in this application is true to the best of my knowledge and with my signature I acknowledge that I have read through and understand the docent program requirements, schedule, and commitments.

Application Timeline:

Docent Program Applications Available Docent Program Applications Due to Volunteer Office Docent Program Interviews


Docents Notified of Acceptance


Docent Program Begins – Training and Classes

March 29th


May 31st



May 29th-June 9th


June 12th


May 17th


Docent Training Schedule:

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
June 17th July 1st July 8th July 15th July 29th August 5th