Volunteers

If you love birds and nature and want to be around others who share your interests, consider joining our Visitor Center volunteer team!

From our Visitor Center overlooking Sapsucker Woods Pond, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers opportunities for visitors to connect with the Lab and learn about its mission to interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity. Nature enthusiasts, school and youth groups, families, and college students come to the Lab to explore the trails, watch birds, view our art collection, use the Adelson Library, and learn from exhibits, tours, guided walks, seminars, and other programs.

We have a long tradition of volunteers assisting with the programs and operations of the Cornell Lab’s Visitor Center. The Cornell Lab is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that is accessible to all. We are looking for volunteers who share that passion and help us reflect the wide range of people and communities we serve. 

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Leading youth education programs including our spring Kids Discover the Trail program
  • Leading indoor guided tours
  • Leading outdoor programs including nature outings
  • Assisting with community outreach efforts 
  • Assisting in Adelson Library

Our Expectations

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Attend a virtual information session 
  • Complete our volunteer application
  • Volunteers that work with youth may require a background check, plus short online trainings required by Cornell University Risk Management
  • Complete the training for a specific volunteer appointment
    • We hold 2 training sessions a year. Our September training is for all volunteer positions. Our April training is for Kids Discover the Trail volunteers. 
  • Commit to at least five hours per month (specific time commitments vary by appointment). Kids Discover the Trail volunteers commit to leading four field trips in a 5-week period each May. 

Benefits

  • Complimentary Cornell Lab of Ornithology membership
  • 10% discount in Wild Birds Unlimited at Sapsucker Woods store
  • Program discounts
  • Training and continuing education opportunities
  • Join a dynamic group that brings birds, biodiversity, and people together in ways that inform and inspire and build community! 

Sign Up

If you are interested in volunteering at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Visitor Center, please fill out this brief form and the Lab’s Visitor Center Volunteer Coordinator will reach out to you.