Our Vounteers

N.E.S.T Volunteers

Sea turtles are one of the Earth’s most ancient creatures. The seven species that live today have been around for 110 million years, since the time of the dinosaurs. Five species – Loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley, Green, Hawksbill, and Leatherback – can be found along the coast of North Carolina. Now the very survival of all sea turtles is either threatened or critically endangered due to among other things, entanglement in fishing gear, poaching and illegal trade, coastal development, marine debris, global warming, and ocean pollution.

In order to combat these threats N.E.S.T. needs your help on the Outer Banks in protecting sea turtle nests and hatchlings, rescuing injured sea turtles and reaching out to the public about the challenges to sea turtle survival.

Join One of Our Turtle Teams

  • Nesting Response Team
  • ATV Crawl Patrol Team
  • Nest Sitting Team
  • Cold Stun Stranding Response
  • Rehabilitation Team
  • Education Committee
  • Fundraising Committee
  • Board of Directors

Training is mandatory for all active NEST volunteers. Because sea turtles are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), anyone handling a sea turtle or sea turtle eggs must have an ESA permit. You can get a permit once you attend training classes.

Training is available during certain times of the year in:

  1. Nest identification and verification
  2. Nest sitting
  3. Turtle stranding and rescue
  4. Turtle rehabilitation
  5. ATV beach nest patrol
  6. Marine mammals

Go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/EducationCenters/OuterBanks/EventRegistration.aspx to sign up for training. Once you become a volunteer you will receive regular emails about training opportunities and N.E.S.T. activities.

The turtles are arriving which means more trainings!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I am not talking about Christmas! We are in full swing with sea turtle nesting season and below is a list of the different classes that are currently being offered this summer. All classes have descriptions of who should attend. Remember, training is required annually so if you wish to participate this summer, be sure to attend each team that interests you (but you need only attend one of the many sessions offered this summer).  For greater description of each class, check out the online calendar.

NEST Summer Trainings

  • Volunteer Orientation & Natural History – for new volunteers and those looking to refresh
  • Nesting Response 101 will provide the basics of nesting response. This is for those who have responded to fewer than four crawls, have not been active for the past two years, or those who simply enjoy a refresher should plan on attending 101.
  • Nesting Response 201 is designed for volunteers who are well-seasoned and looking for additional information about nesting response and nesting biology.
  • Nest Sitting 101 will provide monitoring techniques for soon-to-emerge sea turtle nests and should be attended by all “fresh” volunteers which includes those who have sat on fewer than four different nest or those who haven’t sat in a few years. Also welcome to those who simply want a refresher.
  • Nest Sitting 201 expands on current guidelines for volunteers monitoring soon-to-emerge sea turtle nest. It is designed for volunteers who are well-seasoned (those who have sat on more than 3 or 4 different nest) and are interested in participating in nest sitting this season.

Below are the class offerings in chronological order. To see them on a calendar and to register online, visit our program online calendar. So check back if you don’t see the class you’re looking for.

June 20th in Corolla at the Wildlife Center

  • 9AM NEST Orientation & Sea Turtle Natural History – 1 hr
  • 10AM Nesting Response 101 – 1.5 hrs
  • 11:30AM Nesting Response 201 – 1 hr

July 13th in KDH at Library

  • 5PM NEST Orientation & Sea Turtle Natural History – 1 hr
  • 6PM Nest Sitting 101 – 1.5 hrs
  • 7PM Nest Sitting 201 – 1 hr

July 28th in Corolla at the Wildlife Center 

  • 9AM NEST Orientation & Sea Turtle Natural History – 1 hr
  • 10AM Nest Sitting 101 – 1.5hrs
  • 11AM Nest Sitting 201 – 1 hr