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. 

Mattamuskeet NWR is seeking enthusiastic, friendly volunteers to work in the refuge's Visitor Contact Station and assist with general grounds and facilities maintenance during the work week and on weekends throughout the year. Thousands of people visit the refuge every year, especially on weekends to view the wildlife, and to fish and crab.

Resident Volunteers (RVs) live in their own recreational vehicle on pads provided by the refuge. Water, electric, sewage hook-up and laundry facilities are provided in exchange for volunteer service.  A couple must commit to 24 hours of service per week. A single person must commit to 32 hours of service per week. 

If you have a talent or skill, and some time and energy to spare, come by the office or call us. For more information, contact mattamuskeet@fws.gov or call (252) 926-4021.


National Wildlife Refuges in North Carolina offer a variety of internships. The primary purposes of the intern program are to identify potential employees for the National Wildlife Refuge System and to introduce potential employees to the National Wildlife Refuge System. For this reason, internships are usually filled by college students or recent graduates. Interns provide a valuable work force for these refuges. Having an interest or goal of future employment with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not a requirement for those applying to be refuge interns.  Interns live in housing provided by the refuge.

Pocosin Lakes and Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge Internship

The refuge’s intern program provides unique experiences for college students and graduates geared towards careers in the environmental sciences. This internship is an opportunity to work & gain experience in many aspects of national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
operations on the 50,000 acre Mattamuskeet and the 110,000 acre Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuges. Projects include water quality on Lake Mattamuskeet, pocosin wetland restoration, visitor services, and general maintenance.

Interns will work independently or with refuge staff or volunteers. This internship consists of approximately half your time in maintenance, and half in bio/visitor services. Work assignments with refuge maintenance could include mowing, trimming, trail work, sign maintenance, light carpentry, trash collection and pickup. Biological work could include identification, mapping and treating invasive plant species, collecting weekly water quality data, and changing filters in an air quality monitoring station. Pocosin wetland restoration includes clearing, monitoring and measuring water control structures to record hydrology levels within a habitat management unit. Visitor services assignments could include greeting visitors, answering questions, presenting/assisting with educational programs, restocking brochures across the refuge and occasionally assisting in the visitor center or rarely in the headquarters office. Interns have the opportunity to work with and learn from wildland firefighters. There are also additional opportunities to visit and work at other refuges and fish hatcheries in the area.

General refuge internships run from mid-May through mid-August, with possible extensions to stay through October to finish out bio work and assist with our Wings over Water event. Interns typically work 40h weeks; weekend work may be required. Mattamuskeet and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuges are remote/rural sites, but interns can stay in a bunk house with moderately fast internet, a full kitchen, 3 bedrooms and two full bathrooms.

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!