This program represents our most critical area of operations. Volunteers perform duties in three areas of refuge operations: Visitor Services, Environmental Education, and Resource Management.
Volunteers perform many duties such as both formal and informal interpretation, staff the refuge visitor center, provide information to the general public, issue passes and facilitate our general hunt program.
Environmental Education is focused more in its interpretation. Volunteers are trained to lead school groups in activities that are designed to educate the students about the world around them.
Education Volunteers form the backbone of the refuge's volunteer outreach activities, and as such they must undergo more specialized training than those who only work in visitor services.
Volunteers Resource Management is a broad term that encompasses many different jobs. Volunteers performing resource management duties do a lot of different things. They assist our forestry staff in cruising timber, they assist our wildlife biology staff with wildlife monitoring activities, and they assist our maintenance staff with trail improvements and minor construction projects.
The St. Marks General Volunteer Program has something to offer everybody. Volunteers can choose those activities that they feel will meet their needs even if some of the activities encompass more than just one area of refuge operations. Applications for the general volunteer program are accepted year-round.
This program offers a unique opportunity for recreational vehicle and/or trailer volunteers to live and work at the refuge. It is only open to those volunteer candidates who own their own trailer and/or RV. Volunteers commit to work at the refuge 32 hours a week, for a minimum of thirty days.
In exchange for their services, the refuge provides a full hook-up trailer pad plus access to garbage and laundry facilities. Volunteers perform work in the same area of operations as does our general volunteer staff, i.e. visitor services, environmental education and resource management.
Resident Volunteer positions usually begin by late September and run through the first of May. Applications are accepted year-round.
This unique opportunity provides an excellent introductory experience into the operations of a national wildlife refuge. Candidates perform a variety of natural resource management activities and visitor services, and they are introduced to many different facets of managing a wildlife refuge. This opportunity is available as a full-time position only.
Full-time internships are 40 hours a week, The internships usually run in twelve week increments for a total of three working months; however, this schedule can be amended depending on the needs of the applicant and/or site management. Dorm-style housing and reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses ($10/work-day) are available on a limited basis.
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The refuge is actively involved in the recovery of the red-cockaded woodpecker. The Service’s current Red-cockaded Woodpecker Recovery Plan (2003) has a panhandle population goal of 1,000 potential breeding groups, with a refuge goal of 71 active clusters. Active refuge management of the red-cockaded woodpecker population and habitat since 1980 has not only prevented extirpation, but also fostered population growth.