We recognize that volunteers make a meaningful impact on the GEO mission! Volunteers often find joy in the quiet work of the herbarium. At GEO, our volunteers are encouraged to pursue their interests, contribute their skills and take advantage of the opportunities to learn about plants and natural history collections. We aim to offer each volunteer a productive and rewarding experience. Prior to beginning work in the herbarium, all volunteers receive training in the proper handling of specimens and common techniques used in our weekly workflow. Some activities that volunteers can assist us with include: sorting specimens, mounting specimens onto archival paper, imaging specimens with our digital image station, affixing labels and barcodes, and much more. Volunteers do not need to be “trained” botanists. Anyone with a love for plants and natural history collections is encouraged to apply!

We have several types of volunteer opportunities available. All volunteers are asked to dedicate a minimum of 8+ hours per week (divided into 3 hour blocks minimum) in the herbarium sometime during our open hours (9am-5pm, M-F) . This ensures that the time taken dedicated to volunteer training is recuperated. Volunteers will always have the Collections Manager on hand in the herbarium to supervise activities and assist with any questions. All interested volunteers should complete the application form.

Emory Student Opportunities

Student volunteers can greatly benefit from this first hand research experience. Besides applying for a volunteer slot, students are also encouraged to explore other research immersion opportunities at Emory that can be pursued at the herbarium: research credit in biology (BIOL 399/499), SIRE program, SURE program, and the IMSD program. Applications to the SIRE, SURE and IMSD program are competitive and students should contact Dr. Quave after being accepted into the program. Note that students who have already completed volunteer time in the herbarium will have first preference for research credit and research program opportunities with Dr. Quave.

Opportunities for the Community

In addition to student volunteers, we also welcome applicants from the community at large. Whether you enjoy working with plants as a hobby or are retired from a profession in the sciences, the Emory Herbarium has something special to offer! Please contact Dr. Tharanga Samarakoon by email or phone (404-727-4865) if you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities.