Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities

Get involved by donating your skills and time as a volunteer. Together, we can ensure a future for North Carolina’s wonderful wildlife and the habitats critical for their survival. Check out the available opportunities below and learn how you can get involved in your area.

Waterbird Projects

Coastal North Carolina is home to many species of marsh-, shore-, sea-, and wading birds. To keep these species common along our coast, and to monitor rare species closely, the Wildlife Diversity Program conducts seasonal surveys and research, and protects important habitat. If you are interested in assisting with surveys of Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, colonial-nesting waterbirds, or other species; ongoing research projects; or habitat protection activities, contact Carmen Johnson for more information. (Photo: Scott Anderson)

Calling Amphibian Surveys

If you are familiar with frog calls, you can volunteer for a route with the Calling Amphibian Survey Program. This is a night survey where you listen for frog calls. The program requires being able to identify frogs by sound, but training sessions are available.  To find out more, visit N.C. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation or contact Jeff Hall for more information or to choose a route.

Monitoring Songbirds

The Wildlife Diversity Program monitors songbird populations throughout the year using various methods, including aural surveys and bird banding. There are also numerous opportunities for people across the country to engage in other citizen science programs, including the North American Breeding Bird SurveyProject FeederWatch, the Great Backyard Bird CounteBirdNC Bird Atlas and many others through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Contact Christine Kelly (western) or John Carpenter (eastern) for more information about these and other opportunities.

Tracking Reptile and Amphibian Populations

Help NCWRC biologists track reptile and amphibian populations by registering with the HerpMapper project and reporting your observations.


 

Peregrine Falcons

Peregrine falcons nest on cliffs in western North Carolina. Volunteers can help by monitoring cliff sites to document nesting attempts and whether mated pairs produce offspring. Contact Christine Kelly for more information.

Sea Turtle Populations

There are 22 active sea turtle beach projects along North Carolina’s coastline that monitor sea turtle nesting and stranding in partnership with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. For information about sea turtle volunteering opportunities at a specific beach or island, contact Matt Godfrey

John E. Pechmann Education Center

The Wildlife Diversity Program has several efforts underway to monitor North Carolina’s bats (most in the mountains of N.C.), including winter surveys of hibernating bats, surveillance for White Nose Syndrome (a deadly bat disease) and long term monitoring at summer habitats. The agency's Wildlife Diversity Program participates in the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat), a continentwide long-term monitoring framework aimed at detecting changes in bat populations. Volunteers are needed across the state during nights in June and July to conduct NABat acoustic driving transects. For more information, please contact Katherine Etchison.(Photo: Katherine Etchison)

NaBAT Volunteer Resources

Hunter Education Volunteer

Hunter Education Instructors are volunteers within their community who teach hunter education courses. They share knowledge and appreciation of the sport of hunting, while they promote conservation and safe, responsible outdoor recreation.

Volunteers must be 21 years old, pass a background check and satisfy training requirements to instruct a standardized state curriculum. View a list of instructor workshops. They follow a code of conduct and accept the responsibility to be dependable, prompt and efficient.

North Carolina Volunteer Instructors are important and valued members of the hunter education team. Each year, the NCWRC highlights instructors of the year, as well as Hall Fame Inductees. Visit our Hunter Education Awards page for more information.

Learn To Hunt

A significant amount of volunteer support is essential to the agency's Learn to Hunt program, which is designed for new hunters to help them learn hunting basics, such as new hunting skills, equipment and strategies and wild game processing and cooking. How can volunteers get involved? They can:

  • Assist as an Instructor, or instructor assistant during a Learn to Hunt Workshop.
  • Host a workshop at your hunt camp or property.
  • Host a one-time hunting opportunity to someone completing a workshop.
  • Offer a one-time hunting opportunity on public land to someone having completed a workshop.

If interested, please email learntohunt@ncwildlife.org

Fishing Education Volunteer

Are you someone who enjoys spending time and creating memories with friends and family casting a line at your favorite fishing spot? The NCWRC Fishing Education Team needs volunteers to help others to create their own great fishing memories. Volunteers assist staff with educational programs to include instruction, program development and presentation, and material and equipment organization and maintenance. These programs are developed to serve the fishing interest and needs of our various target audiences of all ages and skill levels. Volunteer assistance and independent activities allow the Fishing and Aquatic Education staff to extend their hours and energy to broaden the scope of educational opportunities that are offered, thereby giving constituents a broader, better educational experience, paving the way toward increased fishing participation.

Volunteers will be trained and mentored in the skills necessary to provide professional support to staff and competent instruction to our participants. Anyone above the age of 18 interested in serving the community as a volunteer instructor with the Fishing Education Team may apply. Each person must complete a volunteer application and consent to a background check before beginning their volunteer career. The application and background check must be completed before the applicant can attend the Volunteer orientation and Basic Fishing Instructor Trainings.

Contact: Tom Carpenter 910-868-5003

Monitoring Bat Populations

The Wildlife Diversity Program has several efforts underway to monitor North Carolina’s bats (most in the mountains of N.C.), including winter surveys of hibernating bats, surveillance for White Nose Syndrome (a deadly bat disease) and long term monitoring at summer habitats. The agency's Wildlife Diversity Program participates in the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat), a continentwide long-term monitoring framework aimed at detecting changes in bat populations. Volunteers are needed across the state during nights in June and July to conduct NABat acoustic driving transects. For more information, please contact Katherine Etchison.(Photo: Katherine Etchison)

NaBAT Volunteer Resources

Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Projects

The NCWRC enhances aquatic habitat in reservoirs by building and installing fish attractors and establishing native aquatic vegetation. These projects take a lot of effort and volunteer support is essential to make them successful. Fisheries Biologists establish native aquatic vegetation in various Piedmont reservoirs from late May to August. This work entails building fenced exclosures to protect vegetation and planting vegetation in ankle to hip deep water. There also may be opportunities to help at the NCWRC aquatic plant nursery in Mebane NC. Contact Mark Fowlkes for more information for these and other opportunities.

2023 Volunteer Opportunities (PDF)