What do Volunteers do?

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Volunteer opportunities are based on the talents and interests of the volunteers and the needs of the refuge.  

What do Volunteers do?  Golly, they do just about any and everything staff does!  It's based on the abilities and interests of the volunteer.  But, here are a few examples:

Outreach - Have a flair for writing, working with web pages, conducting programs for groups?? We always have a need for getting more information out to the public!

Public Use Programs - Despite its large size, Alligator River has relatively low visitation, most of which is associated with hunting or fishing. However, two walking trails, a wildlife drive, and a system of paddling trails are encouraging more non-consumptive users to visit this remote Refuge. During the summer, regular weekly programs are conducted for the general public. Other times, programs are offered for school groups. Guided canoe tours are conducted for a fee March through November each year, both as educational tools and as a means of creating a funding base for other Refuge needs. These tours are jointly sponsored by the Refuge and by the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society. Often, volunteers who conduct programs are local folks who can devote a day or more each week, or interns who are available on a full time basis.

Trail and Sign Maintenance - All refuges have an on-going maintenance program for trail work and signs. Alligator River is no exception. From weed-eating to carpentry work, there's always a need for a volunteer with an eye for quality and an attitude for hard physical work; minimum of a day a month or group project on a one-time basis.

Forestry/Fire Management - Projects dealing with everything from mapping vegetative cover types to assessing damage from southern pine beetles are on tap in our Forestry/Fire Management programs. We throw in a bit of timber cruising, too! A research project that examined the regeneration of stands of Atlantic white cedar that dominated this land before logging has recently been completed. Spending all day in the field, the fire crew always welcomes an extra hand to help with clearing trails, using GPS, and surveying vegetation transects; minimum of one day each week, or intern status required.

Resource Management - A great deal of biological, management, and maintenance activities occur on the Refuge year-round. Assistance can be used with surveys, banding, administrative, and maintenance work. Refuge policy and common sense dictate that volunteers who assist wherever needed will be considered first for the more "glamorous" biological activities. No minimums; however, the more time available, the more valuable and useful the volunteer!

Office Assistant - Surprisingly, one of the most important volunteer duties on the Refuge is assisting in the Manteo Office! The office volunteer provides assistance with answering the phone (which can be a full-time job!), editing papers, running errands, faxing, photo copying, dealing with the walk-in public, etc. It's a great way to learn about the many facets of both Alligator River and Pea Island Refuges. There are no restrictions on abilities or knowledge; however, patience will make the job more appealing!

The Red Wolf Program - The Red Wolf Recovery Program coordinates red wolf reintroduction, as well as maintaining a captive breeding colony. Year round, a red wolf caretaker intern lives on the refuge. Primary duties include feeding the captive colony, gathering scat, counting tracks, tracking with radio telemetry, conducting public programs, and other miscellaneous duties. Wolf interns must commit to a 3 month program.  Visit  Red Wolf Internships. or contact Tracey Rock for more information.

Other Intern Opportunities- Internship Opportunities on Alligator River are limited only by the imagination. In addition to the Red Wolf Project, focused internships are sometimes available with the Forestry/Fire Program, the Public Use Program, Refuge Administration, Resource Management, and other areas. More popular are internships that offer experience in a variety of these program areas. During a usual summer, six-eight interns are selected for positions on Alligator River, Pea Island, and sometimes Pocosin Lakes and Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuges. 

Refuge staff provide the highest quality experience possible for interns while maintaining a balance that benefits the Refuge, as well. Most internships require a twelve week commitment.