The Tropical Butterfly House is a beautiful living exhibit where Pacific Science Center guests can learn about butterfly diversity, life cycle, and ecology. It opened in 1997, and has been visited by millions of people, yet no two experiences are quite the same; each day brings slight shifts in temperature, light, butterfly population, and plant growth. There are over 100 species of plants within the Tropical Butterfly House. Many of these plants provide nectar and habitat for the butterflies. Some of the plants are ethnobotanical, including coffee, cacao, vanilla, papaya, and others.
Though the plants on exhibit in Tropical Butterfly House may appear effortlessly natural, they are the result of the hard work and enthusiasm of a team of Butterfly House Horticulture Volunteers. These volunteers care for the plants, keep the exhibit looking beautiful and tidy, and share their knowledge about the exhibit’s butterflies and plants with guests. By caring for the exhibit’s planted spaces, volunteers ensure that the butterflies are well-fed, and that Pacific Science Center’s guests have the most enjoyable, educational experience possible.
Reports To: Horticulturist
Position Start Date: Summer, July 2015
Schedule: Minimum 2 four-hour shifts per month. Shifts are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday 8:30 am – 12:00 pm. One shift weekly is preferred.
• Care for plants in the Tropical Butterfly House by watering, deadheading, pruning, and removing dead plant material
• Help keep the exhibit space clean and well-maintained
• Learn about butterflies and tropical plants, and be willing to share this knowledge with guests
• Occasionally assist with butterfly husbandry, including butterfly pinning and butterfly releases
• Other duties as assigned
Abilities and Personal Characteristics
• Excited about horticulture, plant biology, ethnobotany, entomology and related topics (a background in these subjects is not required, instruction will be provided)
• Comfortable working in warm, humid conditions with plants and soil; comfortable being around animals found in the exhibit, including flying insects, soil invertebrates, and common greenhouse plant pests
• Interested in sharing information about plants and butterflies with Pacific Science Center guests (a background in public speaking or teaching is not required, training will be provided)
• Must be able to follow instructions from a supervisor and work independently once a task has been assigned
• Motivated to work quickly and efficiently to get tasks done within a set timeframe
• A smiling team player who works well with other volunteers and staff
• Is service-oriented and has a pleasant disposition towards diverse museum guests
• 18+ years old
• Pass a criminal background check
• Provide three references (one or more being a professional reference)
• Comfortable working in public areas
• Equally able to work in teams and independently
• Willing and able to do physical work in tropical environment
• Interested in learning new things and sharing knowledge with others
• Willing to attend portions of the Science Interpretation training program to learn customer service and informal teaching techniques
• Experience with gardening techniques and equipment a plus, but not required
PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER
We are an independent, not-for-profit educational institution that inspires lifelong interest in science, math and technology by engaging diverse communities through interactive and innovative exhibits and programs in every county of Washington state and beyond.
Pacific Science Center is an equal-opportunity employer.
We value diversity and it is expressed in all aspects, from the people and communities we serve
to our organizational culture and our employees.