Volunteer at Hyde Observatory

Thanks for your interest in becoming a volunteer at Hyde Memorial Observatory!

Our crew of unpaid volunteers share an interest in Astronomy and they enjoy passing on that interest to the public.

A few things you need to know:

  • Volunteers start as telescope operators on the observing deck, which involves keeping one of the three telescopes focused on the sky objects we are showing and explaining them to our visitors. Experienced volunteers can become Deck Leaders who determine what objects to train the telescopes on, and answer the really difficult questions. (They are the ones who will help you get started.)

  • You don’t need to be an expert in astronomy or telescopes – or even to have had experience with either to be a volunteer. It’s true that some of our volunteers are amateur astronomers with their own telescopes, but that’s not everybody. Key point: We’ll teach you what you need to know.

  • You must be at least 16 years old to volunteer, and have your own transportation. (We cannot transport volunteers, and if you must depend upon someone else to get you to and from the observatory, that would be a problem if, for example, we close early due to weather.)

  • You should be available to work generally about one Saturday night every 6 or 7 weeks. Our Volunteer Coordinator will adjust the schedule in cases where you aren’t available in a regular rotation. And we can accommodate volunteers who want to work more – or less – often.

  • The observatory is owned by the city of Lincoln, and is a part of Lincoln’s Parks & Recreation Department. So, we follow their operating rules and requirements. That includes:

  • Volunteers must fill out a formal application. Click Here to go to the Application Form

  • After we accept your application, we can get you on the road to becoming a Hyde Volunteer.

Thanks for your interest! We look forward to working with you.