The Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer Program (BVP) provides assistance to Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory staff by placing individuals who wish to contribute their time and expertise to specific areas of study within the Observatory. Volunteers in this program work with staff members on both short-term and long-term projects throughout the Observatory. For additional information, contact Ed Chaisson in the Department of Human Resources at 1-800-439-0183 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A staff member who has a volunteer position available should complete the Volunteer Project Description Form and return it to: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Department of Human Resources, 60 Garden Street, MS-17, Cambridge, MA 02138, Attn: Ed Chaisson. The form will be kept on file in the Department of Human Resources until a volunteer is assigned to the project.
An individual interested in volunteering should complete the Volunteer Program Application Form and the Long-Term Volunteer Acknowledgement and Release Form and return them to: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, MS-17, Cambridge, MA 02138, Attn: Ed Chaisson. The volunteer applicant will be contacted with additional forms necessary for initiating a background investigation.
Please note: Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age in order to participate in the program. Parents of minors must complete and sign the Parent/Guardian Acknowledgement and Release (Appendix C) Form, which should be returned with the Volunteer Program Application Form to: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, MS-17, Cambridge, MA 02138, Attn: Ed Chaisson.
Completed Volunteer Project Description and Volunteer Program Application forms must be received by the SAO Department of Human Resources before an individual may be enrolled in the Volunteer Program. In addition, in accordance with SI Directive 224, all volunteers are subject to a background investigation and must be cleared by SI Office of Protective Services (OPS) before he/she may begin work as a volunteer at SAO.