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, christina_rothrock@fws.gov to learn more!

Resident Volunteers

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, christina_rothrock@fws.gov.


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, including 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 mid-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. 

To Apply

Resumes are accepted year-round. The deadline for Summer 2024 applications is January 5, 2024. It is highly recommended that you apply as early as possible.

You will increase your chance of being selected if you’re open to internships at any of the four refuges. 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 living stipend are provided.

To apply, mail a resume, contact information for three references, and a cover letter indicating your specific interests and dates available to Chrissea Rothrock, christina_rothrock@fws.gov.  In your application, indicate your specific interests and describe your background and experience relating to the following:

  • Forestry management techniques
  • Wildlife identification and surveys
  • GIS concepts and applications/general computer skills
  • Basic plant taxonomy
  • Public interpretive programs
  • Canoeing
  • Operation of ATV & motor boats
  • Maintenance (trail and other)

Make sure to provide your dates of availability!

Volunteer Opportunities

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge hosts Resident Volunteers year round. Our RV site is located on the refuge in East Lake NC, about 15 miles from our visitor center / headquarters in Manteo NC. Each site has electric (30/50amp), water and sewer hook-up, and a laundry and bath house with...
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge hosts Resident Volunteers year round. Our RV site is located on the refuge in East Lake NC, about 15 miles from our visitor center / headquarters in Manteo NC. Each site has electric (30/50amp), water and sewer hook-up, and a laundry and bath house with...