What do volunteers do?

Volunteers assist with running the visitor center, maintaining the refuge, and supporting wildlife management. Assignments include:

  • meeting and greeting visitors and providing information;
  • leading tours and providing interpretation to the visiting public and groups;
  • taking part in special projects and events;
  • performing clerical and administrative duties;
  • working with computers, exhibits, and other technical equipment;
  • maintaining trails;
  • operating the bookstore;
  • representing the refuge at community functions;
  • developing environmental education materials, assisting with teacher workshops, and leading lessons;
  • assisting with volunteer recruitment efforts, orientation training, and job matching;
  • assisting with hunter harvest surveys at the hunting control station;
  • participating in wildlife surveys.

View a full list of volunteer opportunities (pdf)

How much of my time is required?

A commitment averaging 8 hours a month for at least 6 months is required, beyond that the amount of time that you volunteer is up to you.

Who may volunteer?

  • No special skills are needed to be a Patuxent Research Refuge volunteer. However, on the job training is provided, if needed.
  • Volunteers must be at least 16 years old; however, for some positions, 12 - 15 year olds can be permitted to volunteer if accompanied by a trained parent or guardian. Anyone under 18 must have parental approval.
  • Organized group participation is welcomed and encouraged for one time volunteer projects (please call the volunteer coordinator for more details).

How to Volunteer

  • Review our most common volunteer positions here and list all of the opportunities you would be interested in pursuing in the application
  • Apply in one of 3 ways…
    • Download the application MS Word file, fill it out, save it to your desktop and e-mail or mail your application to contact information below.
    • Download the application PDF file, print it, fill it out, and mail your application to contact information below.
    • E-mail, call, or write to the following contact to request an application package.
      Volunteer Coordinator
      National Wildlife Visitor Center
      10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop
      Laurel, MD 20708-4027
      Email: Diana_Ogilvie@fws.gov
      Phone: 301 497-5565
      Fax: 301 497-5765
  • We will contact you after we review your application. Being accepted as a PRR Volunteer begins with an orientation seminar. We'll e-mail or call to talk with you and let you know the date of the next orientation seminar.

We look forward to welcoming you as a PRR volunteer!