The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM), at the Santa Barbara Harbor, is looking for people to join its next 11-week docent training program, 9-10:30 a.m. Saturdays, Jan. 14 through March 25.

Docents have the opportunity to meet and talk with people from all over the world, and share their love and knowledge of the harbor and coast with visitors. Participants volunteer for three or more hours a week.

The first class is an introduction to the SBMM docent program and how to interpret exhibits. Community members are invited to attend the first class to decide whether they want to continue and become docents.

Docents study and learn about the native Chumash people, commercial diving and fishing milestones, the museum’s flagship Ranger, the Channel’s military history, and Santa Barbara as the birthplace of the environmental movement.

Volunteer duties include:

  • Help cultivate insightful discussions about the past and future of our coastal community.
  • Answer visitors’ questions and help them understand exhibits.
  • Make connections between the museum and visitors from around the world.
  • Maintain and explain exhibits, and assist with special events, exhibit openings, art receptions, and community festivals.

“Docents also enjoy the social environment of the museum, make new friends, and gain a feeling of fulfillment,” said Jesse Baker-Lorelli, guest services manager.

“I have to admit that I love being in the museum,” said docent Diane Kirchner. “I learn something new every day, and it’s fun to share tidbits with our guests. They are always so appreciative.”

For more on how to volunteer and become a docent, contact Baker-Lorelli at or 805-456-8748. To apply, complete a volunteer application, at