Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability

Palestine Museum of Natural History

Volunteer

Get Involved!

Volunteers

Become a Volunteer at The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and its Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) work to research, educate about, and conserve our natural world, culture and heritage and use knowledge to promote responsible human interactions with our environment.  We promote respect (for one self, for fellow human beings, and for the environment). We have many volunteer opportunities that will enhance your skills and allow you to be part of a team that is dynamic and energetic and making a difference locally.

Activities at the Museum

There are many activities to volunteer at the Museum. Outdoor activities can include working in the botanical garden related to gardening and maintenance of various permaculture projects. Opportunities to volunteer also exist in these areas: biodiversity research, taxonomy of different animal and plant groups, collection management, maintaining living ecosystems, administrative areas, fundraising, media work, education, publicity, working with children, art, and exhibits related to the mission noted above.

Cultural experience

There are many benefits including learning new skills, meeting new people, learning about the situation in Bethlehem (under Israeli occupation), interactions with people of various faiths, chance to expand knowledge of this part of the fertile crescent (where agriculture first developed), visit fascinating places like the birthplace of Jesus and the oldest continuously inhabited town on earth (Jericho) and many more.You will also delve into deep-rooted  Palestine Culture, rich cuisine, historical monuments (including world heritage sites like Battir), and learning more about regional conflict. You can also explore the exotic Palestinian biodiversity (ecotourism) as well as discovering the contrast in the geological setting. You can explore areas from the lowest point on earth (Dead sea) in the Jordan valley to high mountains with Mediterranean forests.

Accommodation

Modest apartment for volunteers (shared with other volunteers). There are two bedrooms (maximum accommodating six volunteers at a time), with a kitchen and living room and one and a half bathrooms.  Minimum volunteering time to partake of benefits like lodging and accommodation is 3 weeks.

short videos can be watched to see the scope of work etc:
https://youtu.be/BPhFLOsEIM0 (for general description)
https://youtu.be/APxvAZh8qrQ (for volunteers)

Travel

Most people coming to visit get through when they declare at Lod (“Ben Gurion”) Airport that they are tourists coming to visit the holy sites. Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem. If asked where you will be staying mention hostels in Jerusalem. From the airport you can take Sherut (shared service taxis) to Jerusalem. From Jerusalem to Bethlehem, take bus 231 or 234 from Damascus gate. If 231 you get to last stop Bab Zqaq and take taxi to museum (15 shekels). If 234, last stop at wall, cross over through the wall and then simply walk to the museum (see map at palestinenature.org/visit) or again take taxi. Taxi drivers are usually happy to call using their phone to get directions where we are (in Karkafa area of Bethlehem). But again agree to price before you get into the taxi.

Selected Activities that volunteers have engaged in in the past

1) Participate in research project. See our current and past research projects here https://www.palestinenature.org/research/

2) Ecosystem structures: Design of living outdoor and animal/plant exhibits that interactive and not “zoo like” or “garden like”. The main goal is to recreate a habitat that will allow a growth in number of species and an equilibrium in the ecosystem created. Here people interested as well as landscape designers, architects, and others who can contribute are needed.

3) Education/behavioral change: Developing the education system in schools, to increase the curiosity for the children and the way they are thinking about the nature around themselves. Developing and training children about recycling/ up-cycling. And developing SMART science exhibition for students in the museum.

4) Recycling and upcycling and composting projects.

5) Permaculture ncluding aquaponics and aquaculture

6) Fundraising and sustainable income planning: Grant and proposal writing, holding fundraising events, brainstorming about projects for our own sustainability (income generating projects and implementing them etc.

7) Administration: Making partners and relationship between the museum and other organizations and museums around the world and making sure that all tasks relating to running such a project are well done.

8) Architecture of new building: Designing the new Eco-friendly building for the museum along with the Pond and cages for birds and butterflies.

9) Media and IT work: Writing stories about the museum and our work including the volunteers and their research, translate it into many languages and publish it in the western and eastern media including social media. Making documentaries and animation movies for the children. Building and developing database for the collection and the researches at the museum in order to have an online library in the future.

10) Field work: Join us in field trips to study and document natural history in Palestine.

11) Preparation of material for research and exhibit: There are many opportunities here from cataloging to preservation to pinning insects to taxidermy of vertebrates to model building etc.

12) Tour guiding and hospitality: Many visitors are already coming and we expect thousands to visit in 2016 and beyond so volunteer to help host and take care of those.

Note: We hold volunteer meetings and workshops in Bethlehem regularly so email us to inquire about the next meeting or simply email us and come visit anytime (info@palestinenature.org)

Once you decide to volunteer, we ask you to fill out this Volunteer Application Form and email it to info@palestinenature.org