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Volunteer

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer, contact Visitor Services Manager, Jody DeMeyere, to learn more about opportunities we currently have available. 631-286-0485 or jody_demeyere@fws.gov 

Each of these positions is located at different national wildlife refuge on Long Island:

Visitor Center Greeter and Nature Store Volunteer (Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Shirley, NY) - Volunteers are needed to assist in operation of the Visitor Center and Nature Store. Duties include distributing informational brochures, helping to answer visitor’s questions, selling merchandise from the gift shop and cleaning displays and facilities (as necessary). Volunteers will have a chance to meet people from all over the country and help visitors enjoy and appreciate the wonderful natural resources of our region. Length of Time: Both short and long term. Monday through Saturday, two shifts 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Welcome Cabin Volunteer (Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Shirley, NY) - If you like interacting with people, both young and old, this is the volunteer position for you!! Volunteers are needed to work a two hour shift on Sundays when the new visitor center is closed but visitors are still welcome to walk the refuge trails. Volunteer duties include meeting and cheerfully greeting visitors while providing them with area and refuge recreation opportunity information. Sounds difficult? Not really because we will provide you with everything you need to know!! You will also be allowed to drive your vehicle to the cabin, eliminating the need to walk the half mile for the new center. Training Provided:  New volunteers will be paired with experienced volunteers at first. Knowledge of Long Island is beneficial but not necessary. Date Needed: Sundays (12:00 PM till 2:00PM). Number of Volunteers Needed: 2 each shift. Two people will always work together. This is a great opportunity for couples!

Special Event Volunteer (Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Shirley, NY) - We need volunteers to: staff a variety of education booths and children’s craft activities; lead canoe and birding tours; direct parking; other tasks as they arise. Many volunteers are needed in every aspect of this event from parking, kids’ activities, bird hikes and ensuring the public has a great experience at the event. Length of Time: Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year for one-time events.

Beach Cleanup Volunteer (Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge) - Assist refuge staff with litter pickup of local refuge beaches. Gloves, trash bags and snacks are provided. Length of Time: Specific dates in spring, usually a Saturday from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Invasive Species Control Volunteer (Sayville, Seatuck, Oyster Bay, National Wildlife Refuges) - Volunteers will assist with hand-pulling and cutting invasive plants such as black swallow-wort, common mullein, purple foxglove, Japanese stiltgrass and mile-a-minute vine to help prevent their spread on the refuge. Several invasive plants actively grow during the spring and summer months, often producing a lot of seeds and are highly competitive with native vegetation. Length of Time: Specific dates for invasive work days are announced in the spring and summer usually from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Registration is required at least two days prior to the event. 

Volunteer Landscaper/Trail Maintenance (Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Shirley, NY) - Assist refuge staff with routine weeding, mowing, weed eating and trail pruning. Length of Time: One to two hours per week as schedule allows during spring, summer and fall.

Volunteer Photographer (Amagansett, Elizabeth A. Morton, Oyster Bay, Target Rock and Wertheim National Wildlife Refuges) - Using volunteer’s own equipment, take photographs of native flora and fauna. Close ups/Macro photos are preferred. Photographs will become property of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and may be used for specific outreach materials including brochures, web sites, Power Points, etc. Length of Time: One to two hours per week as schedule allows during all seasons.  

Visitor Services Resident RV Volunteer (Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge) The Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex connects the public to the wealth of natural resources on Long Island, while protecting wildlife and their habitat in one of the densest populated regions of the country. The brand new Complex’s interactive visitor center will be standing in the dark without YOUR assistance! As an RV Volunteer in this new center, you will help visitors connect to refuge lands through a variety of recreational opportunities. In addition to the thorough training you will receive, your knowledge of the refuge lands will be gleaned by living on refuge grounds! Continue reading for more specific details of this exciting opportunity.

Location:
Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, 340 Smith Road, Shirley, New York (Headquarters for the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex) Hidden treasures and unexpected surprises can be found throughout Long Island. Whether your interests involve art museums, lighthouses or wineries, to some of the best fishing in New York State, to relaxing on some pristine beaches, a bounty of natural beauty, wildlife and scenery can be found a short distance from the refuge. If New York City is what you’re after, it is very easy to ride the Long Island Railroad from Shirley into New York City. Sit back, enjoy the scenery and let the conductor do all the hard work of driving for you!!

The Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, headquartered in Shirley, New York, encompasses ten units, totaling nearly 6,500 acres. The primary purpose for each is to benefit wildlife. These ten units protect many of the Island’s habitat types critical to migratory birds, endangered species and other wildlife. The Complex’s strategic location—situated in the Long Island Pine Barrens and along the Atlantic Flyway—provides important nesting, wintering and migratory stop-over areas for hundreds of bird species. Each unit is unique in wildlife species, habitat and management programs. Five of the units on Long Island are open for visitors.

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge comprises 2,572 acres, with a mixture of wetlands, open water and upland forest. The heart of the refuge is the Carmans River, a New York statedesignated Scenic and Recreational River. The Carmans provides habitat for a variety of birds and fish, as well a place for fishermen and canoers to enjoy. The refuge also falls within the Central Pine Barrens region of Long Island. Formed by a unique set of geological conditions over the past 15,000 years, the Pine Barrens is Long Island’s premier ecosystem and one of the Northeast’s greatest natural treasures. It is home to literally thousands of plant and animal species, many of them endangered or threatened. The refuge offers six miles of hiking trails; hikers commonly see white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. A new headquarters building and visitor center opened on the eastern section of the refuge in May 2012.

Position Description: If you like interacting with people, both young and old, this is the volunteer position for you!! This volunteer position interacts closely with Long Island Refuge Complex’s Visitor Services team. Stationed at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuges, volunteers will focus their energies:

If you like interacting with people, both young and old, this is the volunteer position for you!! This volunteer position interacts closely with Long Island Refuge Complex’s Visitor Services team. Stationed at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuges, volunteers will focus their energies:

 Staffing the Complex’s new interactive visitor center (Meet and cheerfully greet visitors, provide area and refuge recreation opportunity information, give orientations to the work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Wildlife Refuge System; assist visitors with refuge rules and regulations; concisely explain the refuge entrance fee options; answer telephones, answer visitor questions, respond to visitor correspondences, distribute brochures and restock brochures.) 

 Roving refuge trails to educate refuge visitors (Engage refuge visitors as they walk trails and look for wildlife, show wildlife related props and photos.); 

 Provide informal interpretation (Research, develop and present interpretive programs, talks or demonstrations); 

 Doing clerical activities (Filing, answering the phone at the front desk, researching refuge history at local libraries and organizing Complex’s image library.); 

 Photographing a variety of natural resources; and

 Performing basic maintenance duties (Maintain cleanliness of public restrooms; pick up and dispose of litter found along roadways, trails and visitor areas). 

These duties provide volunteers with the opportunity to reach diverse groups of people with a knowledge and appreciation of the environment and the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Skills Desired: Volunteers should have good communication skills, an interest in and ability to learn about area history and natural resources, a desire to share knowledge with visiting public and work with a diversity of staff and visitors. Experience with public speaking is beneficial, but not necessary. We especially look for volunteers with backgrounds as educators or naturalists and with skills in birding and photography. A flexibility to handle variations in routine due to shifting priorities and visitor needs is appreciated. In addition, we are looking for volunteers with a demonstrated skill for investigating refuge history through local sources. We are also looking for people with experience organizing and sorting image libraries (i.e. slides, photographs and digital images).

Position Dates: Use of a RV pad will require a two month minimum commitment and at least three, eight hour days for couples/week and four, eight hour days for individuals/week. The work schedule is firm (a half day Thursday, all day Friday and Saturday and a half day Sunday). Friday and Saturday shifts will be 8 hours, beginning at 8:00 am and ending at 4:30 pm. Thursday and Sunday shifts will be 12:00 – 4:00 pm. All volunteers will be given an orientation to Long Island National Wildlife Refuges and a volunteer hat, shirt and jacket.

Volunteers should have good communication skills, an interest in and ability to learn about area history and natural resources, a desire to share knowledge with visiting public and work with a diversity of staff and visitors. Experience with public speaking is beneficial, but not necessary. We especially look for volunteers with backgrounds as educators or naturalists and with skills in birding and photography. A flexibility to handle variations in routine due to shifting priorities and visitor needs is appreciated. In addition, we are looking for volunteers with a demonstrated skill for investigating refuge history through local sources. We are also looking for people with experience organizing and sorting image libraries (i.e. slides, photographs and digital images).Use of a RV pad will require a two month minimum commitment and at least three, eight hour days for couples/week and four, eight hour days for individuals/week. The work schedule is firm (a half day Thursday, all day Friday and Saturday and a half day Sunday). Friday and Saturday shifts will be 8 hours, beginning at 8:00 am and ending at 4:30 pm. Thursday and Sunday shifts will be 12:00 – 4:00 pm. All volunteers will be given an orientation to Long Island National Wildlife Refuges and a volunteer hat, shirt and jacket.

Housing and Amenities: One RV pad is located at this national wildlife refuge. The pad is crushed gravel and has full hook ups (water, electric and sewer). Amenities for RV volunteers include a picnic table and access to a washer/dryer in the headquarters building. Dogs, under 25 pounds, are allowed but must be under control at ALL times and non-intrusive to others. The stipend is $75/week/couple ($60/week/individual camper). On the job training will be provided. One RV pad is located at this national wildlife refuge. The pad is crushed gravel and has full hook ups (water, electric and sewer). Amenities for RV volunteers include a picnic table and access to a washer/dryer in the headquarters building. Dogs, under 25 pounds, are allowed but must be under control at ALL times and non-intrusive to others. The stipend is $75/week/couple ($60/week/individual camper). On the job training will be provided.

Qualifications: 

 Must be a U.S. citizen

 A valid driver’s license is necessary.

 Must pass a federal background investigation in order to use government computers.

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2014
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