Moody Gardens relies on volunteers to support our staff and mission of providing an educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation and research. Whether in education, horticulture, assisting keepers and aquarists or other departments, volunteers make an impact every day to help provide a rich and enjoyable experience for all our visitors.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer at Moody Gardens!
ARE YOU UNDER 18?
Explore our SAVY Program
ARE YOU OVER 18?
Submit a General Volunteer Application
Submit a Dive Volunteer Application
*We accept new applications in the months of January and September.
Our Adult Volunteer Program is for all individuals aged 18 years and older. Applicants should be able to pass a background check, commit to a minimum of 8 hours per month for at least one full year and comfortably interact with guests as a representative of Moody Gardens. Additional volunteer positions become available with the accrual of 40 hours of volunteer service. Accrued hours do not guarantee acceptance into any position. Advanced volunteer positions, such as volunteering behind the scenes alongside our Rainforest keepers and Aquarists, are demanding, competitive and require an internal application process.
We do not accept individuals seeking court-appointed service hours and at this time, we cannot accept international applicants.
Interested in the Moody Gardens Volunteer Diver Program? Below are the requirements to be completed before helping our staff maintain exhibits and work with animals underwater. Before submitting your application, be sure to review these and ensure you are able to satisfy these requirements. Applicants must be able to fulfill each requirement in succession to progress through on-boarding and begin participation in regular volunteer diver shifts. Applicants unable to satisfy an individual requirement are still able to participate in the general volunteer program and will be encouraged to reapply to the volunteer diver program in the next application period. These will be covered in greater detail during the interview for successful applicants. The application portal for this onboarding period will close on Friday, October 10th.
- Open Water certification
- 10 logged dives outside training
- Online Application & In-person Interview
- Swim & Dive Assessment - 4 hour commitment
- AAUS Diver Medical Assessment - scheduled & paid for by Moody Gardens
- DAN First Aid for Dive Professionals Course - 8 hour commitment
- Volunteer Orientation - 3 hour commitment
Our volunteers are a diverse group of individuals that comprise a variety of professions, backgrounds, and ages. Each has a distinct passion to share our mission with our guests. In exchange for volunteers sharing their passion with us the Volunteer Program offers professional development opportunities, social events, member benefits, recognition of service, and opportunities to learn about and get an up close look at how Moody Gardens operates.
As a public, non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation and research, most of our volunteers initially focus on guest experience for a minimum of 40 hours and then based off of availability may apply to work behind the scenes alongside our staff keepers and aquarists. The exception to this is for those interested in the Volunteer Dive Program.
We also encourage skill specific applicants. If you have a passion for sharing a specific skill (e.g. marketing, events, arts, electrical, etc) please submit an application and contact us directly detailing your interest.
The Society for the Advancement of Volunteer Youth, SAVY, provides students 14 to 17 years of age with the opportunity to volunteer within their community while gaining experience in a variety of career fields. Through the SAVY program, participants have an experience that only Moody Gardens can offer.
Applicants must submit a completed Moody Gardens SAVY Volunteer application with at least two letters of recommendation from non-relatives and a copy of their most recent report card. Once the application is received in full, the applicant will be contacted to attend a required SAVY Open House and schedule a personal interview with Volunteer Services.
Special Event volunteer applications are accepted year-round.
The following lists our special events that take place annually:
Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 409-683-4108 for current Special Event volunteer opportunities.
Volunteering boosts employee morale and promotes team building. Corporate and group volunteers assist with ground work, Festival of Lights and other special events/projects. The volunteer office can arrange a corporate volunteer day for your company, organization or student group.
Moody Gardens depends on volunteers for assistance in many areas of the property. Our Corporate and Group Volunteer Program offers groups of volunteers the opportunity to participate in the hands-on work of keeping our property looking great. Volunteers may assist staff with a variety of different types of designated projects designed to be enjoyable and fulfilling; giving you and your employees or group a sense of ownership in Moody Gardens.
Corporations play a special role by bringing groups of employee volunteers together, often for specific projects on either an ongoing, seasonal, or one-time basis. These projects not only provide an invaluable service to Moody Gardens® , but also afford an outstanding opportunity for employees to spend quality time together outside the workplace. If your company would like to become more involved at Moody Gardens® , we can modify a program of activities that is just right for you and your employees. There are a number of possibilities, but the sample programs which follow offer some ideas to get you going. Volunteering boosts employee morale and promotes team building. Corporate volunteers assist with property upkeep, Festival of Lights and other events. Volunteer Services and can arrange a corporate volunteer day for your company or an ongoing corporate volunteer project.
Hold a Corporate Volunteer Day
Bring staff together for a one-time beautification day complete with special thanks on all ticketing marquees. Enjoy a fun day of teamwork and camaraderie in an island setting.
Link Your Corporate Donations to Your Community Service
If you are interested in making a corporate donation to Moody Gardens® , you may want to consider linking your funds to your employee’s volunteer service donating a specific amount for every hour volunteered.
Join the Moody Gardens® Crew!
You can encourage your employees - both current and retired - to join the year round Moody Gardens® Volunteer Program. These volunteers undergo training and commit to serve a specific number of hours each month in a variety of capacities, according to their interests and abilities. The program welcomes volunteers18 and older to join this dedicated group. We would be happy to provide you with more information to distribute to your employees. For more information, please email email@example.com or call 409-683-4108.
What type of projects are available at Moody Gardens® ?
We have a variety of projects available throughout the year:
Please Note: Due to animal husbandry guidelines and safety issues, there is no animal contact or inside-exhibit work with the animals at Moody Gardens®
Our group/organization would like to donate money as part of our project. What opportunities does this create?
We welcome your support! Projects with an accompanying donation are created based on greatest need. Please make sure to let us know in advance if you are interested in this kind of project.
When are projects scheduled?
Groups may volunteer year round, weather permitting. Moody Gardens® greatest need for volunteers is between September and May.
How far in advance should we schedule our project?
The sooner the better! We confirm projects in the order requests are received. All projects should be scheduled at least one month in advance. Please complete and return a Group Volunteer Application.
Am I guaranteed a project if I e-mail Moody Gardens® ?
Moody Gardens® cannot guarantee volunteer placement. Moody Gardens® will, however, make every effort to match volunteer applicants to volunteer opportunities based on the needs of Moody Gardens® and the interests and abilities of the volunteer. Giving us a range of dates months in advance will help us schedule a project for your group.
How long will the project last?
Most projects are designed to last for four to eight hours and may be shorter depending on the size of the group and how quickly work is completed. We typically schedule projects from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to work during cooler hours. Special event hours will depend on timing of the event.
After our project is complete, may we visit the attractions?
Yes! You are welcome to visit to one of the following attractions: Aquarium, Rainforest, or Palm Beach after your project is complete or receive tickets to come back at a later date. Only those who complete the project are given free admittance. Anyone meeting you after the project must pay regular admission.
My group is volunteering at the Moody Gardens® . May we bring family members along?
Projects are designed for the age range of the group. Some projects are not suitable for volunteers under the age of 18 and age restrictions may apply. The minimum age for group and corporate volunteers is 16, we cannot make exceptions to this. For liability reasons, if children under the age of 16 accompany the group, an adult must stay with them and the child may not participate in the project. The adult and child/children will be required to pay regular admission.
What happens if it is raining on the day of my volunteer project?
Most volunteer projects are designed for all weather. If you would prefer not to work in the rain or cold, and the weather looks as though it will be such please let us know by 2 p.m. the day prior to your project. We will contact you by 2 p.m. the day prior as well if your project cannot be completed in the forecasted weather. Rescheduling will be based on future availability and is not guaranteed.
Is food provided?
We encourage you to bring beverage containers that can be refilled by water fountain. If you would like to have a meal on property, we have concessions and restaurants available. Let us know in advance what your needs are so we can be most helpful.
Do we need to bring anything with us?
Just your willingness and exuberance! We will provide needed supplies.
What should we wear?
Wear comfortable clothing for the weather and closed-toe shoes. Please make sure that any writing or artwork on your clothing is appropriate. Hats and sunglasses are recommended in the warmer months, as well as insect repellant and sunscreen. Any special requirements based on volunteer duty will be communicated.
Is there any paperwork we need to fill out?
We require a signed liability waiver on file for every volunteer. For children under the age of 18, we will need to have a parent or guardian sign the second page of the form. These forms will be provided when the project is scheduled and must be submitted either prior to or upon arrival the day of the project. You will not be allowed to volunteer without a signed release.
Where should we go the day of our project?
A Volunteer Services staff member will contact you with all the project specifics. For most projects, the Volunteer Coordinator will meet your group at a predetermined location.
What if we need proof that the project was completed?
Please bring any paperwork you need completed when you come for your project. Give paperwork to the Volunteer Coordinator who will meet your group. We will complete the paperwork and return it to you at the end of your project. If you need us to mail anything, please provide us with the name and contact information.
Still have questions? Please contact Volunteer Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 409-683-4108.
Project types may include, but aren't limited to:
An opportunity to become a part of conservation and education in your community the chance to meet people and enjoy camaraderie with your group.
Recognition - A Special Thanks to your organization in the Volunteer Newsletter, Moody Gardens website and Moody Gardens Facebook page and a visit to one of the following attractions: Aquarium, Rainforest, or Palm Beach.
Thank you for your interest in the Internship Program at Moody Gardens. Education is the foundation of our mission and we are proud to support it with our internship program. Through hands-on experiences and mentors, this program offers an outstanding opportunity to learn and grow in your selected field.
Moody Gardens offers a variety of paid internship opportunities, from animal care to front desk to revenue management. The program aligns with college semesters and offerings are based on staff and guest availability. Therefore, not all departments will offer an internship opportunity each semester. Available internships are posted on the website.
All applicants must apply online. Please include a cover letter that explains your interest and what you hope to gain from the internship. Resumes and letters of recommendation can also be uploaded but are not required. You are welcome to apply for more than one internship each semester.
Due to the large quantity of applications received, only applicants who are most qualified will be contacted for an interview.
Click here to apply
Please note: These are paid internships. Housing is not provided. We try to offer a discounted rate at a local hotel for those who need housing. All internships are on-site, with no remote work.
If you have questions about the program or need assistance with applying, please contact Human Resources at email@example.com.
Looking for an unpaid internship? Contact Volunteer Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall Internship – September 8, 2023 – December 15, 2023
Spring Internship - January 19, 2024 – May 3, 2024
Applications Close – November 1, 2023
Summer Internship – May 20, 2024 – August 2, 2024
Applications Close – March 1, 2024
Internships can be completed for college credit but it is not required. Interns are expected to be available to work throughout the entire internship and to complete 300 hours. If there are specific requirements from the college, the intern must let staff know. We will do our best to accommodate these requirements.
Internship applicants must be at least 18 years old. Preferred candidates are enrolled in or have recently completed undergraduate studies in a field related to their area of interest.
Additional information about the intern’s duties and requirements can be found on the application site.
Hope Therapy at Moody Gardens was inspired by the son of Foundation Trustee Robert L. Moody, who sustained a head injury in an automobile accident and who subsequently discovered the healing benefits of therapy utilizing animals and nature. Opening in January 1986, Hope Therapy became the cornerstone of Moody Gardens, an internationally recognized program that offered rehabilitative horseback-riding (Hippotherapy) to mentally and to physically disabled individuals.
Today's Hope Therapy offers Horticultural Therapy, through which individuals with disabilities can improve sensory awareness and motor abilities, regain confidence, and learn new skills to prepare for employment opportunities. The massive greenhouse and Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens are tended in part by these special clients.
Vocational Training, or Supported Employment also is an important part of the program. This provides the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to develop the necessary skills to gain and maintain a job. Moody Gardens employs many of these individuals on a full and part-time basis. We will work with job coaches, as needed.
For individuals with special needs looking for employment, please contact our Human Resources Department at 409-683-4275.
Volunteers Needed: please email our Volunteer Coordinator or call 409-683-4108 to find out about volunteer opportunities.
This event welcomes individuals with special needs to participate in aquatic sports, such as water skiing, sailing and kayaking, with special equipment and instructors. All activities, weather permitting, will be offered free of charge to the individual with special needs and immediate family members (limit of 4 guests) on a first come, first serve basis.
Pre-registration is required. Due to limited time, family members of participants will not be allowed to partake in water skiing offered through the event but can enjoy Palm Beach. Additional guests can participate by purchasing a regular admission to Palm Beach. The event schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions.
Date: September 30, 2023
Admission: Free for individuals with special needs and immediate family members
Contact email@example.com or call 409-683-4108 for more information or to volunteer.
RSVP is REQUIRED
This hands-on arts festival offers a non-competitive forum for children and youth with disabilities to celebrate and share creativity through participatory experiences, performances, and more. We also have educational art stations provided by local artists and art organizations. Spots are limited to the first 500 students, they must attend with a school/class. Pre-registration is required.
Date: September 21, 2023
Time: 10AM - 1PM
Admission: Free for children with special needs. Must attend with a school/class/group
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP or call 409-683-4108 for more information or to volunteer.
Annually celebrated by thousands, this free event provides food, fun and entertainment for people with special needs as well as their immediate families. The event is staffed by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering or attending, please contact email@example.com.
*Please Note: Group home attendees must wear an ID with name and organization
When: 2024 Date TBD
Where: Moody Gardens Convention Center - Expos A & B
RSVP: Online registration will be available for this event by visiting moodymardigras2020.eventbrite.com or call us at 409-683-4281.
The Mardi Gras Ball for Special People operates almost entirely on Volunteer help with an array of different tasks and fun activiites to choose from. If you, or a friend or family member, are looking for an exciting and fulfilling opportunity to volunteer your time, this is the event for you! Feel free to sign up through eventbrite.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact email@example.com or call 409-683-4108 for more information or to volunteer.
Growing Together at Moody Gardens is an educational program offered to individuals with early-stage Alzheimer's and one family member or caregiver. Moody Gardens provides a hands-on, interactive learning expereince using arts and crafts, exotic animal experiences, tours through sections of our exhbits and attractions, Moody Gardens staff presentations and much more!
By particiapating in Growing Together at Moody Gardens, caregivers and family members can use these programs as a fun and exciting topic to reflect back on and discuss in their spare time.
Mardi Gras is one of the most celebrated festivals in the South! Keep the spirit of Mardi Gras alive by delving into the rich history of this tradition, along with the meaning behind the colors, costumes, King’s cake, Krewes and much more! Create your own Mardi Gras mask in this fun and exciting program to take home to your family and friends.
(PLEASE LIMIT 1 GUEST/CAREGIVER PER ATTENDEE)
Where: Macadamia Room located beside our Garden Restaurant inside of the Visitor’s Center (view Property Map)
Parking: Central Parking Lot (refer to Moody Gardens Property Map)
10:00AM - 10:15AM: Check In for the program inside of the Macadamia Room Located in the Visitors Center.
10:15AM - 11:00AM: Enjoy a presentation about the History and Traditions of Mardi Gras while enjoying festive treats!
11:00AM - 12:00PM: Make your own Mardi Gras Mask to wear and take home!
Registration is required to attend all Growing Together Programs. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 409-683-4121 to register or if you would like more information.
Through the Moody Gardens Conservation Fund we are able to support a large number of local and global field conservation efforts. These range from efforts to protect our local sea turtles to saving African penguins across the globe. Each year we contribute funds, time and expertise to help protect and preserve animals and habitats. Our conservation fund is generated from our Penguin Encounters, Seal and Penguin Experience, penguin art and our newly developed Giant Otter Experience. In 2014/2015 Moody Gardens contributed over $90,000 worth of conservation support.
Working with different organizations, Moody Gardens® has provided assistance whenever possible aiding in the recovery and release of sea turtles, fish and other marine animals as they return to the wild. In the Aquarium Pyramid®, guests will find rescued seals and more.
As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Moody Gardens® wants to help ensure the continued survival of selected wildlife species. One of the ways Moody Gardens® and other institutions help is by participating in Species Survival Plans or SSPs. This is a cooperative effort made by zoos and aquariums around the country to help maintain healthy captive populations of endangered species. Currently, Moody Gardens® is involved in a variety of SSP programs, including the Pink Pigeon, Ocelot, Scarlet Ibis, Fairy Bluebird, and Two-Toed Sloth.
Moody Gardens is an active partner of Seafood Watch, lending conservation efforts by engaging in and promoting the Seafood Watch program through recommendations of sustainable seafood and healthy ocean choices in the local community.
An international effort is underway to increase awareness and combat a disease that is rapidly killing the Florida Reef Tract, the third largest coral reef system in the world. Our Coral Rescue Lab at the Aquarium Pyramid will be used to protect coral as it focuses on species being impacted by this disease.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), selected Moody Gardens to participate in this vital project to help save corals native to the Florida Reef Tract as one of 60 institutions from 21 states and Canada.
Moody Gardens® donated more than $7,500 to the Belize Botanic Gardens to launch two rainforest conservation projects. The organization’s mission of conservation and education aims to serve the Belizean community and provide a scientific resource for botanical and horticultural institutions worldwide.
For decades, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums have been leaders in species survival, and are already working to restore more than 30 species to healthy wild populations, including the American bison, the California condor and a variety of aquatic species. Through SAFE, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums will convene scientists and stakeholders globally to identify the factors threatening species, develop Conservation Action Plans, collect new resources and engage the public.
As an AZA accredited facility, Moody Gardens works in conjunction with other accredited zoos and aquariums to achieve conservation goals. Moody Gardens has been a long term financial supporter of the Lake Victoria Species Survival Plan (LVSSP) program. More importantly, Moody Gardens is a primary breeding facility working to propagate many species of these endangered fishes endemic to Lake Victoria in Africa. The AZA LVSSP works to ensure that there are sustainable captive populations while working on in-situ conservation, education and habitat assessment/restoration.
Moody Gardens supports several penguin conservation projects around the world. Contributions to SANCCOB (South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds), St. Louis Zoo Humbolt penguin project, ACOREMA in South America, Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust T, Global Penguin Society and others help researchers and educators protect penguin populations. Moody Gardens also sent staff to Punta San Juan in Peru to work with local biologists to census the Humbolt penguin population and monitoring the guano harvest to insure negligible impacts on those populations.
Scientific divers have participated in invasive mussel surveys with researchers from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and have assisted with fish population and habitat surveys for NOAA field office in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
Moody Gardens has also assisted Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) with long-term monitoring programs known as “Rigs to Reefs” and “Ships to Reefs” over the past few years. As an American Academy of Underwater Science (AAUS) Organizational Member, we are able to support and partner with a multitude of academic, governmental and non-governmental research entities through diving reciprocity developed via on-site programs.