Ways to Get Involved
Volunteering for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is fun and rewarding in many ways. Master new skills. Meet new friends. Enjoy a sense of accomplishment from doing your part to further wildlife conservation for the pleasure of generations to follow.
The refuge’s diverse programs utilize volunteers of all ages and abilities. Common volunteer activities include staffing the visitor centers, helping with guided tours, developing outreach and informational materials, and maintaining trails and signs. At times, volunteers may be invited to help with biological surveys, fire management activities, or other one-time volunteer events. Whether the jobs are labor intensive projects for scout or church groups, full-time internships, or regular weekly or monthly assistance, there are always needs in the various refuge program areas. Even if you can't come to one of the refuges in person, you might be able to help by being a Volunteer from a Distance. There may be web-related or non-internet related writing projects that need assistance. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Chrissea Rothrock, firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
Alligator River NWR has space for RVs (Resident Volunteers) who live in their own recreational vehicle on pads we provide on the refuge. We provide water, electric, sewage hook-up and laundry facilities. In return for these provisions, a couple must commit to 24 hours of service per week or a single person must commit to 32 hours of volunteer service per week. For more information, contact Volunteer Coordinator Chrissea Rothrock, email@example.com.
The refuge’s intern program provides unique experiences for college students and graduates geared towards careers in the environmental sciences. Internships expose interns to many aspects of managing a refuge. Interns assist with visitor services, biological monitoring, and maintenance activities. Interns receive training to assist them in presenting public outreach programs such as guided canoe tours, refuge open-air tram tours as well as educational programs on refuge history, management practices, and on species such as black bears and sea turtles. They also help with staffing our visitor centers as needed. Biological duties include installing bird closures, trail maintenance, invasive plant control (spraying herbicides), sea turtle monitoring, shorebird surveys and water level monitoring. All interns assist with refuge maintenance, duties include mowing, trimming, trail work, sign maintenance, trash collection and pickup and assisting other staff with a variety of projects. Interns will receive on-the-ground training for all duties, i.e. ATV/UTV training, mower use and safety.
We seek enthusiastic team members! It is more important for us to find candidates with good references and positive attitudes than previous technical experience.
General refuge internships run from mid-May until sometime in August, when interns need to return to college. We often ask one or two interns each year to stay through September or October to assist with Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival.
Resumes are accepted all year. Resume reviews begin in October for selection for the summer intern positions, which run mid-May through the end of August. If the refuge has work, sometimes one or two interns are asked to remain through October.
It is highly recommended that you apply as early as possible. A cover letter, resume and three references with email contact information are required. No matter when they're received, all resumes will be held and considered.
You will increase your chance of being selected if you’re open to internships at any of the four refuges. We typically receive many more applications than the positions we have to fill.
In most cases, to be considered for an internship position, an applicant must be able to stay a minimum of three months. However, in rare cases, slightly shorter internships have been scheduled.
Internships are volunteer positions. However, housing and a small monetary award is provided.
To apply, mail a resume, three references, and a cover letter indicating your specific interests and dates available to Chrissea Rothrock, firstname.lastname@example.org. In your application, indicate your specific interests and describe your background and experience relating to the following:
- Forestry management techniques
- Wildlife identification and surveys
- GPS concepts and applications/general computer skills
- Basic plant taxonomy
- Public interpretive programs
- Operation of ATV & motor boats
- Maintenance (trail and other)
Be sure to provide your dates of availability!
Nature does not recognize human-made boundaries. In order to conserve our natural and cultural resources effectively, we must work with others to bridge these boundaries. Partnerships foster creative solutions to challenging situations and often the results are greater than the sum of the parts.