Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge would not be in existence were it not for the countless hours of dedicated efforts from volunteers who saved the swamp from becoming a major jetport in 1960. From 1982 to 2012, over $3 million worth of volunteer time has been donated to the refuge, representing over 150,000 hours - the equivalent of 75 full-time staff members working for one year. Every year, volunteers make programs like wood duck nest surveys, duck banding, and staffing of the Wildlife Observation Center and Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center possible. The refuge also sponsors some community service projects every year.
We invite you to get involved in the work that we do. Share your knowledge of the refuge and natural history with visitors and the general public; get hands-on experience with our wildlife monitoring teams, or share your administrative talents and skills. Opportunities are available in public use, natural resource management, administration, and service projects. If you are interested in working with us, please call our volunteer coordinator David Sagan.
Each year 2-8 internships are available for college students interested in pursuing a career in natural resources. Typically internships are hosted during the summer months, but may also be hosted during the spring, fall or winter if a qualified applicant is interested.
An intern is a college student or recent graduate that works full-time for 12 weeks or more to acquire experience or college credit. Interns may be provided with housing depending upon availability. Interns will receive a stipend if their home address is >50 miles away from Great Swamp NWR funded by the Friends of Great Swamp, the Mushett Family Foundation or federal grants.
Click below to learn more about internship opportunities at the refuge.
Read the experience of a previous intern at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization as defined under the laws of the state of New Jersey and the United States Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)3.
The Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1999 in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Our focus is refuge-centric; we support the goals, projects, and mission of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Our operations and activities are managed by an all-volunteer board of directors and committees.
The Friends is part of a network of more than 200 friends groups nationwide, each associated with one or more national wildlife refuges, all committed to improving and protecting our unique refuge resources.
Many of our volunteers are also members of the Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The 'Friends' are an independent, non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to supporting refuge goals and projects. Members receive the quarterly ""Swamp Scene"" newsletter, a 10% discount in the bookstore and gift shop, notification of coming events and access to ""Members-only"" events held on the refuge.
Funds to support refuge projects and activities are received from memberships, Nature Shop sales, donations, and grants. Visit their website at www.FriendsofGreatSwamp.org
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Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is located only 26 miles west of New York City’s Times Square. It is a 12-square-mile natural oasis in an area that is mostly suburban, making the refuge an outstanding area for migrating waterfowl to stop, rest and feed on their migration.