How to Become a Volunteer at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Volunteers have always helped the CNSC to function smoothly and efficiently. We welcome volunteers for our summer programming (May through September), for our fall programming also known as Bear Season (October through November), and for our winter programming also known as Aurora Season (January through March). Volunteers are needed during these programming sessions for 4 - 6 weeks (6 weeks preferred, 4 week minimum). Minimum age is 19, and fluency in English is a requirement.  Depending on our programming needs, there may be other opportunities available at other times of the year. 

In exchange for working 36 hours per week, the CNSC provides meals and accommodations. The volunteer commitment ranges from 4-6 weeks on average. We regret that we are not able to offer compensation for travel to and from the Churchill area. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in the educational courses and related activities, whenever scheduling permits.


The CNSC is interested in volunteers that are willing to do a variety of duties. Typically our volunteers help out in the kitchen doing general cleaning and dishwashing duties, and at times, some small prep jobs under the guidance of the kitchen staff.

Other non-kitchen duties will include but are not limited to general office duties, (photocopying, stuffing envelopes, putting together packages for our program participants), gift shop assistance (folding, taking inventory, putting out new stock, merchandising products and keeping the shop tidy) and light housekeeping during busy arrival and departure days. 

Welcome Centre - Churchill Northern Studies Centre - Subarctic Research - Churchill Manitoba

Interactive Map

Learn more about the Centre by using our interactive map.


The accommodations are dormitory-style bedrooms with bunk beds that are usually shared with other volunteers and sometimes guests. Check out time is always 9 am.  Washrooms and showers are shared. Accommodations, meals and use of the laundry facilities are provided free of charge for volunteers. Meals are taken with other staff, researchers, students and program participants in the collegial atmosphere of our cafeteria. We can accommodate vegetarians, but we suggest that they bring some protein supplements.  Other amenities include free WiFi, a rec room, AV room, fitness room and dome viewing room where you can look out over the landscape or the night skies through a 360° warm ‘bubble’ on the second floor.

Your Responsibilities:

  • We expect the volunteers to work a minimum of 6 hours per day, six days a week, with one day off per week.
  • Each volunteer receives a schedule and is responsible for arriving to their shift on time.
  • Each volunteer is expected to treat co-workers, staff, researchers and clients with respect and courtesy.
  • Schedule changes are permitted providing that the shift is covered and you are required to let the office staffs know if you are sick and unable to cover your shift.
  • There is a $25.00 membership fee that is payable upon arrival and you will receive a "Birdfish" newsletter for the following year. If you are already a member, we will waive this fee.

Our Responsibilities:

  • A clear written description of the position and duties.
  • An orientation session and on-going training.
  • Support from a designated volunteer or staff person.
  • Respectful treatment towards our volunteers.
  • Appropriate and timely recognition.
  • Listen to suggestions, seek feedback.
You are welcome to contact our Assistant Director:




Churchill Northern Studies Centre
P.O. Box 610,
Churchill, Manitoba,
R0B 0E0, Canada

Good to Know

Our staff and volunteer staff work very hard at the CNSC and the majority of our volunteers are extremely happy with the opportunity. However, if a conflict arises, such as a volunteer is unwilling or unable to fulfill their commitment to work the designated 6 hours per day, or if a volunteer is unable to work courteously and respectfully with staff and other volunteers, as a last resort the volunteer may be asked to leave. The CNSC will not assume any costs associated with transportation.

If you are interested in working in this dynamic environment, please send:
  1. A letter of interest, a resume and three references (with email contacts) by fax, e-mail or postal service attention Volunteer Coordinator.
  2. Please include the time frame for which you would be able to work. We prefer a minimum of three weeks most of the year and three to six weeks during polar bear season.
  3. Indicate to us that you have read the documents How to Volunteer and Frequently Asked Questions.
  4. Indicate to us that you have investigated transportation to and from Churchill and that you are aware of the costs associated with northern travel.
  5. We would like to know how you came to hear about volunteer opportunities at the CNSC.


You can "Donate Now" to the CNSC through Canada Helps. Just click the "Donate Now" button below to see how we can benefit from your generosity.

Latest News / See All News

Annual General Meeting

See our AGM Poster for details!

From 7-9 PM on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at the Pioneer Gallery at the Complex

Please join us in celebrating the achievements of the past year, and looking forward to the future at our annual general meeting.