Ways to Get Involved
Interested in getting involved with any of the five Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuges or the Providence Urban Wildlife Conservation Partnership? Opportunities include volunteering, internships, employment, and becoming a member of the Friends of Heinz Refuge. Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you've come to the right place. National wildlife refuges provide many opportunities for you to help your community and fish and wildlife by doing what you love. Rhode Island's national wildlife refuges partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of urban and coastal communities to make a lasting difference.
Paid Summer Internships
Internship opportunities are available for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, and recent graduates.
College Students and Recent Graduates
1) Hispanic Access Foundation Internship
If you identify as Hispanic or Latine, consider applying for a Hispanic Access Foundation summer internship! Gain experience in visitor services, environmental education, and community engagement. You must be a US citizen or resident and Spanish-speaking skills are preferred. Learn more and apply here.
2) Shorebird, Biology and Visitor Services Internships
We offer a wide variety of internship opportunities in the summer. Join the shorebird crew to survey and protect endangered shorebirds. Join the biology crew to do hands-on field work that supports New England Cottontail rabbits, box turtles, native plants, and more. Be part of the active Visitor Services team to do outreach, public programs, shorebird stewardship and more. Learn more here.
From trail maintenance to environmental education to the front desk, there are many opportunities to contribute! Volunteers provide thousands of hours annually to the refuges assisting with programming, resource management, and administrative duties. Their time and dedication are critical to the refuge’s ability to accomplish goals related to our mission and services delivered to the public. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering with a filled out volunteer application, or drop one off at a visitor center during operating hours. Visit volunteer.gov to find specific volunteer postings, including for RV volunteers.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Rhode Island NWR Complex is committed to working collaboratively with national, state, local, and community partners. A few key partners include:
Friends of Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuges
The Friends of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuges is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization engaged in a wide diversity of projects, programs, and services which serve to raise awareness of and support for the Rhode Island Refuges, as well as the National Wildlife Refuge System and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The Friends assist the refuge complex in meeting their mission in a variety of ways including managing two nature stores, hosting special events, providing funding for the Providence Urban Wildlife Conservation Partnership, and much more! To find out how you can get involved, visit https://www.friendsnwrofri.org/ .
Providence Urban Wildlife Conservation Partnership
The Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuges have been engaged with urban communities through the Providence Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership (Established in 2013) and the Providence Urban Bird Treaty (Established in 2019). The Service, and our conservation and community partners continue to work with underserved communities, with a focus on connecting with community leaders and youth on conservation issues that affect their neighborhoods, parks and landscapes. Learn more by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Urban Wildlife Conservation Program page, and the Urban Bird Treaty page.
Some of our partners include (but are not limited to): Department of Providence Parks, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence Schools Teachers, Woonasquatucket River Watershed, Rhode Island Department of Management, Parks Friends Groups, and Groundworks Rhode Island