CLOSURE NOTICE: VIS is temporarily closed until further notice due to scheduled construction.

A staffed information booth will be available daily 8am-3pm and portable toilets will be on site.

To become a volunteer you need to fill out a short application.

If you would like to fill out the volunteer application online, click HERE .  

If you require a paper application there is one available for download: MKVIS Volunteer Application Form.


If you have any questions or would like more information on the volunteer program, please contact the Visitor Information Station at (808) 961-2180.


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Volunteer Program

One of the best ways to become knowledgeable about astronomy and about Maunakea is to volunteer at the Visitor Information Station.  People from all walks of life come to volunteer at the VIS, including astronomers working on the mountain, students at the local university, and the general public.  Knowledge of astronomy and Maunakea is not required to become a volunteer.  Everything that you need to know will be taught throughout the course of volunteering.  A car is not required if you live in the Hilo area, as there is free transportation from the Hilo office.  Also, we provide you with a free meal.  Scheduling is very flexible, no minimum hours or set days are required.  Let us know when you're free and we'll find times that work for you.

If you would like to fill out the volunteer application online, click HERE .

NOTE:  You must be at least 12 years of age to volunteer at the Visitor Information Station; however, volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied and supervised while volunteering with a parent or legal guardian at all times.


Job Descriptions

  • Stargazing: This program has been suspended beginning Sunday, December 9th, 2018. During the stargazing program, volunteers set up and assist the public with VIS telescopes, point out bright stars and constellations, tell stories of Hawaiian and Greek/Roman mythology, inform the public of the hazards of high altitude, and update the public about current events on Maunakea.  Public Star Gazing takes place on Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday and Saturday evenings.. The actual work is from 6:00 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., which includes transportation from Hilo and meal time. You must arrive at 177 Makaala St in Hilo a few minutes before 4 p.m. in order to be driven up to the Visitor Information Station, and you can expect to be back in Hilo around 11:00 p.m. This opporunity 
  • Daytime volunteers: Volunteers come during the daytime and help with visitor service and maintenance such as cleaning, painting and trash pickup.  365 days per year, with space for 2 volunteers per day.  The actual work is from 11:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., so including transportation from Hilo and meal time, you leave Hilo at 10:15 a.m. and return around 5:30 p.m.
  • VIS First Light Bookstore: Most volunteers help in the VIS First Light Book Store (FLBS) during their duties.  FLBS duties include helping with pricing and stocking of the FLBS, regular checking and cleaning of the restrooms, and keeping the hot beverage table clean.
  • Culture volunteers: Teach the general public about Hawaiian culture and Maunakea's place in it.  Volunteers also speak about Hawaiian star names, mo'olelo, and different Hawaiian sites on Maunakea.  They may also help with our Culture Night program.

In this video, our volunteers tell you all about the great opportunities we have on Maunakea.

If you would like to fill out the volunteer application online, click HERE .  After we recieve your application our volunteer coordinator will contact you concerning your interest in volunteering.


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MKVIS Temporarily Closed.
Information Booth Hours: 8am to 3pm, Daily.
Phone: (808) 934-4550

Current road conditions - call (808)935-6268