Volunteer for Southeastern Wildlife
Volunteers help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with almost everything we do. From wildlife monitoring to leading school programs or maintaining trails, our volunteers make it happen. In addition, volunteering has been proven to provide benefits to your mental and physical health!
Volunteering with us is also a great way to engage with your local community while making a positive difference for American wildlife and habitats. Most of our stations and a variety of our projects need volunteers, so if you have the desire to help, then we need you!
- Visit the National Volunteer Database to search and apply for current opportunities.
- Contact the refuge, hatchery or station with the opportunity that interests you to get more information, or to introduce yourself after you’ve applied.
- Discuss your skills, talents, experience, abilities, and passions with the staff.
- Get an idea for their needs, expectations, and how you can best prepare for your new role.
Types of volunteers
Volunteering at your hometown refuge, fish hatchery or station is a great place to begin. Search the National Volunteer Database for opportunities in your community.
“RVs” are volunteers who spend time stationed in designated areas at national wildlife refuges or hatcheries by providing their own living accommodations, such as a recreational vehicle or van.
The host station provides a variety of support amenities, usually including a pad with septic, water and electricity hook-ups. These volunteers set up “housing-keeping” on the refuge or hatchery for a predetermined length of time and contribute a predetermined number of hours of volunteer service each week.
Perhaps there’s not a refuge or hatchery near you, but you still want to help make a difference. Distance volunteers work on jobs that can be done remotely. Much of the work is web-based such as:
- Regularly checking specific sets of web pages for outdated information and broken links.
- Assisting with marketing special programs or events by finding appropriate/related web sites and requesting they provide a link to our sites.
Tips for volunteers
- Safety first. Be sure to clearly outline any special limitations or needs you may have. Bring any materials you may need for your job, like water or sunblock.
- Have a positive attitude and be a team player. Teamwork makes the dream work.
- Keep an open mind about volunteer opportunities. The willingness to help out in a variety of areas (within your physical capability) is what makes a star volunteer. These are the volunteers that come to mind when special opportunities arise.
- Get outside of your comfort zone. Taking on volunteer work is great way to develop new interests, skills and friends.
- Join a Friends Group. Most refuges and hatcheries have a Friends Group. Volunteers have a vested interest in the refuge or hatchery and make great members for these support groups.
- Have fun!