Get Involved

Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.


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 Jonathan Rosenberg. (973)425-1222 x115

Internship Opportunities

Periodically, Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge has summer volunteer internships available for college students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in natural resources.  Interns usually work for 12 weeks to acquire experience or college credit.  When available, internships are typically advertised on our website in mid-December or early January.  The selection process takes place by February and the internships start in late May.  Volunteer interns may be provided with housing depending upon availability.  

Additionally, we partner with Groundwork Hudson Valley, American Conservation Experience (ACE), Frostburg State University, William Paterson University, Groundwork Elizabeth, and Hispanic Access Foundation.  These organizations hire and recruit environmentalists, students, and graduates who may work on the Refuge to support our conservation efforts.  

Read the experience of a previous intern at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. 

Great Swamp NWR is not currently recruiting for volunteer internships.  

  Friends Group

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