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Share Your Love of Nature

A refuge volunteer teaches a learning station about bird adaptations as part of the 4th grade environmental education program/USFWS PhotoAlthough most of the refuge’s environmental education outreach is to area 4th grade students, other opportunities to volunteer with school-age youth arise throughout the year. Look below for specific ways you can contribute…

Lead Classroom Instructor

Time Commitment: minimum of 3.5 hours per classroom visit (prep, travel time, teaching lesson; mid-Feb – late April)


  • Bring lesson materials
  • Ensure each station volunteer has materials for their station
  • Make schedule/lesson adjustments as necessary
  • Before lesson starts touch base with teacher & coordinate any materials (leave-behinds such as workbooks)
  • Bring materials for lesson (including leave-behinds, props, timer)
  • Deliver introduction, lecturette and conclusion portions of lesson
  • Either teach a station or listen in to other instructors and take pictures
  • Coordinate and track time (including station rotation notification)
  • Gather props at the end of the lesson and transfer/store

Learning Station Instructor

Time Commitment: minimum of 3.5 hours per classroom visit (prep, travel time, teaching lesson; mid-Feb – mid-May)


  • Attend instructor training for specific lesson/fieldtrip
  • Review lesson plan and fast fact sheets as needed
  • Facilitate station for 5 rotations per classroom visit or support student group for fieldtrip

View more environmental education volunteer opportunities...

Classroom Visit & Fieldtrip Scheduler

Time Commitment: minimum of 8 hours (scattered, primarily in November)


  • Contact Fourth Grade Teachers (Ocean Park-2, Long Beach-2, Naselle-1, South Bend-2, Raymond-2, Willapa Valley-1) to schedule classroom visit & fieldtrip dates
    • 1.5 hours per lesson
    • ~Late Feb/Early March – Lesson 1
    • ~Mid-Late March – Lesson 2
    • ~Early April – Lesson 3
    • ~Late April/early May  – Lesson 4
    • ~Mid-late May – Fieldtrip*
      • Combine classrooms – up to 35 students
      • Two lessons can be scheduled on the same day – ensure at least 30 minutes between and include travel time
      • Schedule a minimum of a 3-day gap between lessons for instructor training
      • Check school calendars for spring break, holidays, early dismissals, etc 
  • Confirm dates & times with teachers via email
  • Send email reminders to teachers one week prior to visit or fieldtrip, including:
    • Classroom or fieldtrip date and time
    • Direct them to resources on the refuge website(fast fact sheets, lesson plans and workbooks)
    • Request for classroom set-up (cleared desks, flat surface to cluster around for each station-5, students divided into 5 groups) 
  • Serve as point of contact for teachers (answer questions…)
  • Reschedule as needed

**Note: teachers schedule buses and chaperones for fieldtrip

Volunteer Recruitment & Coordination

Time Commitment: minimum of 1 hour per classroom visit (mid-February – mid-May), on-going recruitment efforts (1 hour per month minimum)


  • Recruit volunteer instructors
  • Maintain contact list
  • Support individual volunteers (answer questions, provide additional materials…)
  • Ensure each volunteer has a vest & nametag
  • Contact Lead Instructor if additional volunteer materials are needed for a lesson
  • Coordinate with Instructor Trainer to schedule Instructor Training
    • 2.5 hours, at least one week prior to lesson
    • Volunteers must attend instructor training or have made special arrangements in advance
    • Confirm attendance, date and time with instructors 
  • Schedule volunteers for each classroom visit/fieldtrip, including:
    • Providing a list of volunteers assigned to each station to the Lead Instructor
    • Confirm assignments with volunteers at least 1 week prior to classroom visit/fieldtrip
    • Serve as point of contact for cancellations & confirm replacement instructor

View more environmental education volunteer opportunities...


Instructor Trainer

Time Commitment: minimum of 5 hours per lesson (prep, teaching, travel; mid-Feb – mid-May)


  • Prep materials
    • Instructor packet, including:
      • Lesson plan
      • Fast Fact Sheet
      • Workbook
      • Additional information specific to lesson 
    • Props/materials for lesson, including:
      • Lecturette
      • Box for each station
      • Leave-behinds 
    • Snacks 
  • Teach instructor training, including:
    • Goals & measures of EE Program and specific lesson
    • Review of lesson plan, roles and flow
    • Lecturette content
    • Content of each station, including the specific use of equipment
    • Workbook
    • Leave-behinds
    • Special concerns or issues, classroom management 
  • Answer questions

Material Prep

Time Commitment: minimum of 1 hour per classroom visit/fieldtrip (mid-February –mid-May)


  • Gather materials for each visit/fieldtrip prior to instructor training:
    • Workbooks
    • Leave-behinds
    • Station boxes
    • Laminated fast fact sheets
    • Photographs & props, including collection of samples
    • Volunteer nametags
    • Schedule with volunteer assignments
    • Coordinate and pick-up gear from State Parks for fieldtrip 
  • Transfer materials to Lead Instructor as needed
  • Refresh content as needed

View more environmental education volunteer opportunities...

Field Trip Coordinator

Time Commitment: minimum of 9 hours (prep, coordination; mid-May)


  • Collect inferences from teachers
  • Ensure gear is gathered
  • Tent & tables set up as needed
  • Create schedule, including coordination of refuge staff
  • Rally instructors, review schedule and answer last minute questions
  • Greet buses
  • Serve as floater/emergency contact/timekeeper

Evaluation Manager

Time Commitment: minimum of 10 hours (prep, coordination; mid-Feb through early June)


  • Create or update evaluation structure based on program goals and measures, including (but not limited to):
    • Overall program effectiveness
    • Individual Lesson Plans
    • Delivery of Lessons
    • Workbooks & follow-up activities
    • Instructor Training & Support 
  • Administer evaluations (written or verbal) within one week of lesson delivery, with:
    • At least half of teachers per lesson
    • At least half of volunteer instructors per lesson 
  • Collate evaluation response within two weeks of lesson delivery and provide to:
    • Lead instructor
    • Instructor Training
    • Friends Education Coordinator
    • Refuge Visitor Services Manager
Page Photo Credits — Refuge volunteer Wade Cogdill teahces about birds - USFWS
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2013
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