U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Volunteer With Us

The US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska offers a variety of once in a lifetime volunteer adventures in wildlife conservation. Especially, during the busy summer field season you can serve by: assisting field biologists, teaching children about nature, providing information to visitors, carpentry projects, field camp operation, or collecting video footage. 

Due to the short field season (May-August), remote working conditions, and training requirements, we typically expect a 2-3 month full-time commitment from most volunteers. If you live near a National Wildlife Refuge or Fish and Wildlife Field office, there may be more sporadic short-term opportunities available. Contact your local refuge or field office to find out how you can help in your spare time.

Volunteers come from every corner of the world and from a variety of ages and backgrounds. High school age students build trails.  University and graduate students volunteer studying migratory birds, bears, and more. Others travel to Alaska via RV to see the last Frontier and host at campgrounds, greet visitors, or assist with carpentry projects.  Does one of these fit your interests?

Volunteer Will Deacy collaring a brown bear
Volunteer Will Deacy collaring a brown bear, Kodiak NWR. Photo Credit: USFWS
Bird TLC volunteer Bev Cason in classroom
Bird TLC volunteer Bev Cason in classroom. Photo: Julia Pinnix/USFWS

Service Through Partnerships

Non-profit organizations and others partner with the USFWS to provide volunteers for a variety of projects.  Two of our primary partners include:

Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges provide volunteers to projects on all 16 National Wildlife Refuges. As a member of the Friends group you can apply for shorter term (1 week-1 month) volunteer opportunities on Alaska’s 16 National Wildlife Refuges.  

Friends have been active on Alaska refuges fighting invasive species along the Dalton Highway, hosting special events, photographing refuges, teaching children at summer camps, and clean-up projects on refuges.

Service with a View!

Camp for 3 months on a remote Aleutian island surveying sea birds.

Help run the annual Salmon Camp for Kids at Kodiak Refuge.

Cut brush on a trail at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Meet people from around the world as a Campground Host at Tetlin NWR.

Serve as a biological field assistant in a remote field camp at Innoko Refuge.

Greet visitors at the new state-of-the-art Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.

Wildlife needs your help, with these and a variety of other volunteer opportunities.

 

Open Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities are seasonal. To see what opportunities are open at this time, check with each wildlife refuge below.

Volunteers and biology technician from Mt. goat research crew, Kodiak NWR. Photo Credit: USFWS

Volunteer FAQ

What skills and experience are you looking for in volunteers?
Most importantly, we need people who are passionate about wildlife conservation, curious about the natural world, flexible and adventurous. For most positions outdoor skills and experience are a must.

When are volunteer opportunities posted?
Field stations typically post summer opportunities winter and spring each year.  If you are interested in working at a particular field site, it is best to call the field station and inquire in late fall and early winter.

Does the USFWS provide travel expenses to Alaska?
Depending on the position, some TRAVEL expenses may be covered. Typically, if you travel to remote areas for your duties, these expenses will be covered.   

Are volunteers provided housing?
Usually rustic HOUSING is provided to volunteers in remote areas.  Look at each position description for more information.

Will I receive any reimbursement for food or lodging? 
It depends, a small LIVING ALLOWANCE or reimbursement for food may be offered with some positions. 

What security and safety measures are required to volunteer for the Federal Government?
You may be subject to a Background Check. You may need to complete the following safety of security training, once you are selected.

  • The Basic Aviation safety modules -A-101, A105, A-106, A-108, & 113 (ONLINE)
  • Water Ditching and Survival (Instructor Led with hands-on water exercises  (1 Day WORKSHOP)
  • Bear Safety (2-Day Workshop)
  • Federal Information Systems Security Training (ONLINE)