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Volunteer

Tooky and Ken at Festival

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge needs you -- your talents, your enthusiasm and some of your time!  We depend on our volunteers to keep the refuge running, helping with everything to daily visitor center operations to habitat restoration to festivals. Many volunteers bring a lifetime of knowledge about the area. Volunteers dedicate thousands of hours to the refuge to connect their community with nature. Anyone may apply to our volunteer program, but minors under 18 need written permission from a parent or guardian. To join our team, you can:  

  • Download our most recent volunteer newsletter, the Sloughs News (1.8 MB, pdf) , for upcoming & current opportunities
  • Contact the Volunteer Coodinator to sign up to receive the volunteer newsletter by email or mail
  • Get started! Contact the Volunteer Coordinator by email or calling 510-792-0222 ext. 361
WHAT DO VOLUNTEERS DO?
Various opportunities exist at the Refuge for volunteers to gain valuable and rewarding experience. You can download a copy of the Sloughs News (pdf 847 KB), the volunteer newsletter so see what tasks we have for volunteers, and what current volunteers are up to. Volunteers assist Refuge employees by working in such fields as:
 
Interpretation  
Through such activities as nature walks, talks, slide programs and visitor center information duty, volunteers help visitors understand and appreciate both the natural and cultural history of the Refuge as well as provide information on the recreational and educational opportunities available. Volunteers also rove Refuge trails to talk to visitors, report vandalism, note maintenance needs and pick up litter.

Environmental Education
Assisting Environmental Education Specialists with teacher orientation workshops, open house events, day camp, field trips and special projects are but a few of the volunteer duties at the Environmental Education Center in Alviso or at the Visitor Center in Fremont.

The Living Wetlands Program at the Environmental Education Center in Alviso are currently looking for volunteers. Call Julie Kahrnoff at 408-262-5513 ext. 104.

Resource Management
Qualified individuals may assist wildlife biologists in such areas as wildlife surveys and other projects.

Maintenance
Volunteers may help Refuge employees in general tasks such as landscape maintenance, sign installation, gate painting, construction and routine vehicle maintenance. Also, opportunities exist for those with skills in such disciplines as plumbing and carpentry.

Native Plant Nursery
Volunteers germinate seeds, propagate cuttings, transplant seedlings, prune, fertilize and water plants, pull weeds, and plant and nurture new native plants in the field as part of the Refuge's habitat restoration mission.
 
Special Projects
Volunteers may work independently in the areas of photography, photo and specimen collections, journalism, desktop publishing, and other fields.

WHERE DO VOLUNTEERS WORK?
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located in the south Bay Area with the Refuge Headquarters and the Visitor Center situated near the east end of the Dumbarton Bridge in Fremont. The Environmental Education Center is at the end of Grand Boulevard in Alviso. Most volunteers work in and/or out of these buildings. In addition, the Native Plant Nursery and many of the satellite refuges benefit from volunteer efforts.

WHEN DO VOLUNTEERS WORK?
Many volunteers donate their services on weekends but there is a need for their skills during the week. Working hours are generally in the morning and/or afternoon but some evening time is required for meetings, and for training sessions.

WHY DO PEOPLE BECOME VOLUNTEERS?
Volunteers realize various benefits from working at the Refuge. Being involved with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an agency dedicated to the principle of resource conservation, is both satisfying and rewarding. Others find the duties fulfilling and challenging as old talents are employed and new skills acquired. To most, however, the motive is enjoyment, as volunteer work can be just plain fun. 

 

Last Updated: May 18, 2014
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