Volcano Volunteers

“I love learning new things about the mountain and sharing with visitors about how Mount St. Helens changes sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly.”

- Volcano Volunteer Jim Hill

The Mount St. Helens Institute’s Volcano Volunteers are some of the National Volcanic Monument’s greatest resources. We’re proud of and grateful for our volunteers who, since 2005, have logged thousands of hours with visitors from around the world. Our Volcano Volunteers greatly enhance visitors’ experiences at the volcano as they share this unique environment with them by recommending hikes & viewpoints, explaining the natural history of the mountain, discussing the best places to view wildlife, and more.

If you’d like to join this wonderful group of outdoors-oriented folks, consider becoming a Volcano Volunteer. You’ll be rewarded with new knowledge, stronger communication skills, and a chance to spend more time in one of the Pacific Northwest’s most interesting environments: a volcano!

Visitor Center Locations Currently in Need of Volcano Volunteers:

  • Johnston Ridge Observatory

  • Ape Cave

  • Cascade Peaks Visitor Portal

  • Pine Creek Information Station

Required Qualifications

  • Willingness to learn and share knowledge with a diverse audience.
  • Documented, current basic first aid & CPR training.
  • Interest in science and natural history.
  • Ability to communicate well with others and skill in providing excellent customer service.
  • At least 18 years old, or be supervised by parent or guardian during volunteer service if under 18.

Time Commitment

Although some Volcano Volunteer sites are open year round, for most sites, we ask  that Volcano Volunteers commit to a minimum of 2 shifts each month between June and September.

Recruitment Information:

    The time period where we begin to recruit Volcano Volunteers is dependent upon the visitor center sites on the mountain. Please see below to learn when recruitment for volunteers begins and ends for each of the following sites:

  • Ape Cave: recruitment begins in February, ends in July
  • Cascade Peaks: recruitment begins in February, ends in June
  • Johnston Ridge Observatory: recruitment begins in February, ends in July
  • Pine Creek Information Station: recruitment begins in February, ends in July
  • The Science & Learning Center: recruitment begins in September, ends in January
  • Mount St. Helens Volcanic National Monument Headquarters: recruitment begins in September, ends in January

Submit a Volunteer Application


Do you have further questions about being a Volcano Volunteer? Please email Allison Watson, the Volunteer Programs Director for the Mount St. Helens Institute.