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Volunteering at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Transcript of Volunteering at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum
We here at LVNHM are excited for you to volunteer with us. Before you start, we want you to know a bit more about us.
Don't worry! That is a lot of information but you can find most of it in your Volunteer Manual and on our website.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask the Volunteer Coordinator, a staff member, or fellow volunteer.
What We Stand For
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum’s mission is to inspire, through educational exhibits and programs, a better understanding of the natural world, the sciences, and ourselves.
In February 1989, a small group of concerned citizens requested that the Las Vegas City Council assist in finding a home for a pre-existing collection of wildlife and prehistoric exhibits. The City of Las Vegas purchased a building, located in the center of a proposed cultural corridor, to house the Museum. This building is leased for one dollar a year; the Museum is responsible for renovations, exhibit construction, and operations.
The Volunteer Department
Our Mission: The Volunteer program at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum will engage community members in meaningful experiences that further the Museum’s mission as well as provide access to lifelong learning.
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum operates with the following basic core values:
• Through its exhibits, collections, and programs, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum will serve as a quality educational resource for the community.
• The Las Vegas Natural History Museum will preserve and curate its collections for future generations.
• The interests, values and sensibilities of families will serve as the core for Museum programming.
• In order to provide support for equality in education, the Museum will always strive to maintain a policy of free admission to local economically disadvantaged and special needs school groups (as determined by the Clark County School District).
Your Role as a Volunteer
A volunteer agrees to:
Consider volunteering a serious commitment
Represent the Museum in an appropriate and responsible manner at all times.
Refrain from using vulgar or inappropriate language while volunteering
Be aware of and abide by the policies and procedures of the Museum.
Be prompt and reliable in reporting for his/her volunteer shift and follow through on all commitments.
THE VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
The Volunteer Coordinator will provide guidance and support for all volunteers in order to help create a meaningful Museum experience through the following:
• Train volunteers on all aspects of general Museum operations,
• Serve as a liaison between Museum departments and assist Staff in identifying productive and creative volunteer roles to help meet the needs of the Museum and volunteers,
• Maintain records of volunteer hours and properly recognize their efforts,
• Maintain a master volunteer schedule,
• Serve as support for volunteers by ensuring their needs are being met as well as the needs of the Museum, its visitors and its collections.
THE VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR DESK AND BULLETIN BOARD
The Volunteer Coordinator desk is the central hub for volunteer information at the Museum. Here you will find the “Volunteer Binder” where volunteers log their hours, a place to store belongings, and name tags.
Behind the desk is the volunteer bulletin board. Special event sign ups, important notices, and assignments will be posted here. With consent of the Volunteer Coordinator, volunteers can also post pertinent information or flyers.
1. Write your time in inside of the “Volunteer Binder”
2. Find your name tag and check the board for only special notices or notes
3. If you were not previously assigned a task, ask the Volunteer Coordinator. If s/he is not in, please see the Communication and Development Officer
4. At the end of the day, log your time and erase your name from the white board
Please always sign up for shifts using Volgistics. We appreciate signing up at least a day in advance so that we have time to create a schedule.
In the case of a sickness, family emergencies, or other unexpected occurrences, volunteers should call the Museum as soon as possible. Frequently missing scheduled shifts without notifying the Volunteer Coordinator may result in the termination of volunteer duties.
Volunteers are not allowed to bring guests without prior approval while volunteering.
Living and Non-Living Collection Donations:
If a visitor wants to donate something please direct them to the front desk where we can contact the Collections Curator. Please do not tell anyone that we will accept their donation prior to reviewing it (often the "fossil" is just a rock!).
Volunteers are allowed to have their phone on them, however do not use it while out on the floor. Readers, music players, and gaming devices are not permitted.
Conflict of Interest:
Volunteers should not accept gifts, favors, discounts, loans, or other dispensations or things of value that might be offered to them from other parties while volunteering.
No Access Areas:
Volunteers are not permitted in the Collections and Live Animal office and work areas without a staff member. Live animals and collection items are not to be handled by any volunteer except at the discretion of the Executive Director and with special training.
The International Wildlife Gallery
This gallery showcases the amazing adaptations of mammal families. Dozens of mounted animals open visitors' eyes to the variety of ways mammals have adapted physically and in behavior for survival. Families on display include bears, antelope, big cats, wild dogs, deer, and more.
The Marine Life Gallery
The Engelstad Family Prehistoric Life Gallery
Visitors are submerged in the special effects of this ocean experience. Live sharks and stingrays occupy a 3,000-gallon tank while other colorful and fascinating creatures from the deep occupy additional jewel tanks. Life size recreations of various species of sharks and fish hang from the ceilings and walls.
Children of all ages are struck with a sense of awe as they approach the 35-foot long
that lowers its head and roars at them! A
and a ferocious raptor give a further glimpse into the past. Also represented is the
, a gigantic marine reptile that swam in the waters of Nevada during the time of the dinosaurs.
Treasures of Egypt
Visitors explore how archaeologists in the early 20th century unearthed some of Egypt’s most renowned treasures, including the tomb of Tutankhamun. The exhibit includes a trip through the realistic entrance to Tut’s tomb and the opportunity to view artifact recreations of best-known pieces including the Golden Throne, chariots, the Golden Shrine and outer sarcophagus. These replicas are one of only two sets that were authorized by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
Visitors have the unique opportunity to explore an Egyptian mummy by using state-of-the-art technology that allows the user to “scan” a mummy replica in real time and view actual medical imaging taken of a real mummy.
Dinosaur Mummy CSI: Cretaceous Science Investigation
This one of a kind exhibit showcases the science and technology used to unlock the secrets of the world’s most preserved dinosaur in the flesh, the Dinosaur Mummy, Leonardo! The 23-foot-long plant eater from the late Cretaceous period was naturally mummified before it was turned into a fossil. It provides researchers with an extremely rare glimpse of skin texture, muscles, internal organs and the remnants of the dinosaur’s last meal. This exhibit reveals some never before seen images of the dinosaur mummy as we tell the story of the ground-breaking research conducted on this amazing fossil.
E. L. Wiegand Foundation, Wild Nevada Gallery
The Wild Nevada Gallery draws visitors into the scenic but rugged beauty of the Mojave Desert. A large variety of plants and animals are featured in this multi-sensory gallery, engaging visitors with computer animation and interactive exhibits.
Gary and Matthew Primm
African Savanna Gallery
The African Savanna exhibit presents the breathtaking beauty of the Serengeti, featuring a peaceful watering hole scene on one side and predator-prey relationships on the other.
The African Rainforest exhibit features the diverse life found in an African jungle. With the push of a button, visitors can see and learn about the animals hidden in the trees and thick brush, and experience a thunderstorm with rain and lightning.
The "Out of Africa" exhibit features recreations of three extinct African primates: Australopithecus afarensis, Homo habilis and Homo erectus. This exhibit is the only one of its kind in Nevada, offering a unique educational experience to better understand prehistoric primates.
Cox Charities Young Scientist Center
Families connect in the Young Scientist Center as they become paleontologists and dig for fossils or explore the depths of the ocean as a marine biologist inside a submarine. The Museum brings technology to children's fingertips with computers, microscopes, and interactive exhibits.
The Museum's Geology Gallery explores breaking science news, the phenomenon of fluorescent minerals and geological natural resources.
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is home to many animals including Burmese pythons, sharks, sting rays, tarantulas, scorpions, snakes and lizards.
1991: Our doors open to the public
1996: The Museum open's its second floor
2002: The Museum becomes a Smithsonian Affiliate enabling the Museum to bring exhibitions and collections items from the Smithsonian for display in Nevada.
2008: The Luxor donates a large collection that becomes the Museum's Ancient Egypt exhibit
2010: The Engelstad Family Foundation gives a $1,000,000 endowment fund to the Museum
2011: The Museum becomes the lead organization and fiscal agent for the inaugural Las Vegas Science and Technology Festival, a nine-day, city-wide celebration of science in Southern Nevada
2012: The Museum became accredited with the American Alliance of Museums
2014: The Museum becomes a state and federal repository for fossils
Now take the quiz!
Always wear your provided name badge when volunteering.
No jean cut offs
No excessively low cut tops, short shorts or skirts.
No profane or offensive language or graphics on clothes or tattoos.
No open toed shoes.
Present yourself professionally and exercise proper hygiene.
Museum Policies Continued
Volunteers are subject to immediate dismissal for possession of any firearm, knife, explosive or other dangerous object while on Museum property.
Drugs and Alcohol:
The possession, use, or sale of non-prescribed drugs, controlled substances, or alcohol on Museum premises or while conducting Museum business and will result in termination.
Theft, unauthorized borrowing, or misuse of exhibits, collections, or other Museum property will result in termination of volunteer responsibilities.
It is the policy of the Museum that each staff/volunteer member has the right to volunteer in an environment free of sexual harassment and offensive actions or remarks of a racial, ethnic, religious, disability, age-related, or sexual nature. Any employee/volunteer who engages in this prohibited manner of conduct will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal. If you believe you have been the subject of harassment, you should report the act immediately to the Volunteer Coordinator.
Museum Policies Continued
At no time should a volunteer disclose nonpublic or sensitive information to an individual other than on a need to know basis. If you are unsure if something is confidential, speak with the volunteer coordinator before sharing. Breach of confidential information could result in termination of volunteer status.
The Museum does not seek to interfere with the off-duty and personal conduct of any volunteer. However, we do ask that volunteers do not promote or represent the Museum during any type of illegal or immoral activity that could adversely affect the integrity, reputation, or credibility of the Museum.
Contacting the Museum:
Volunteers should feel welcome to call the Museum from 9am-4pm. They can also email the Volunteer Coordinator at
Please refrain from contacting the Museum staff or other volunteers via the Museum's Facebook, Twitter, or other social media websites. The Museum's social media pages should be used only for official Museum business and should not be used for communication or personal editorial.