Kitt Peak Visitor Center Docent Program
If you are service-minded, interested in astronomy, enjoy meeting people, and would relish the opportunity to work at one of the most scenic spots in Southern Arizona, then consider joining our Docent Program.
Please note: Docents are unpaid volunteers. This is not an application for employment.
Docents lead three public daytime tours of our major research telescopes and interact with guests in the Visitor Center to ensure an engaging and educational visit.
Docents host school groups at Kitt Peak, conduct or assist with special events and programs, develop astronomy-related demonstrations, assist with exhibit designs, and operate telescopes for public solar viewing.
Upon completion of training, docents must commit to at least three six-hour shifts per month on Kitt Peak for the following two years. Each shift is from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (if taking an observatory shuttle, docents will depart observatory headquarters on Cherry Avenue at 8:30 am and return by 5:20 pm).
Docents may schedule their own shifts but must also be flexible and willing to support outreach efforts and cover for other docents as needed.
Docents are expected to adhere to observatory policies and procedures at all times.
- Monthly docent meetings featuring speakers from the scientific community.
- Free transportation to and from Kitt Peak in observatory vehicles.
- Free lunch in the mountain cafeteria while on duty.
- A discount on all items in the gift shop, except Tohono O’odham crafts.
- Free admission to our Nightly Observing Program for you and a guest once a year.
- The opportunity to become involved in other Visitor Center projects.
After successfully completing the training course, docents must be willing to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for Kitt Peak astronomy with visitors.
Docents must be able to interact with diverse members of the general public in a positive and professional manner at all times, serving as the public face of Kitt Peak National Observatory.
Docents must be able to work with each other and observatory staff in a positive and professional manner.
Docents must be able to walk at least 1/2 mile at a 7,000-foot elevation and spend long stretches of time on their feet during their shifts.