Volunteers / Training

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.

Dreaming of Warmer Weather and Spring Trainings!

As we all are anxiously awaiting for Spring to arrive let us warm you up with these spring training dates! Not only are we offering some of the typical sea turtle trainings for the spring but we have also added sea turtle necropsy trainings as well to the list. Below is a list of the sea turtle trainings that will currently be offered in the spring. All classes have descriptions of who should attend. Remember, training is required annually so if you wish to participate this spring 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 Trainings

  • Volunteer Orientation – for new volunteers and any returning volunteers interested in a refresher on sea turtle biology. This training covers how volunteers can become involved in NEST activities followed by an overview of the life strategies of sea turtles and the different species we see in North Carolina coastal waters.
  • Stranding Response 101 – for new volunteers and volunteers who have responded to less than 2 stranding responses. Volunteers will learn how to respond to live and dead strandings of sea turtles and how to identify species, take measurements, and complete and upload a Stranding Report to Seaturtle.org as well as how to provide initial field triage for live strandings. This training will have a heavy hands-on component and we will be going through every field on a Stranding report so experienced stranding volunteers should not attend and should instead attend Stranding Response 201, but you are still welcome if you want a good refresher!
  • Stranding Response 201 – for volunteers who have responded to at least 2 or more sea turtle strandings. We will go over a few fields on a Stranding Report such as completing measurements, location, and tag boxes. Training is completed once volunteer submits the practice stranding report onto seaturtle.org. Experienced volunteers may take an online review course and quiz to exempt out of the Stranding TrainingClick here to read directions for the online training option. 
  • Sea Turtle Necropsy – this is an advanced training workshop for experienced stranding response volunteers. Volunteers are required to have responded to at least two stranding calls to sign up (response means completing Stranding Reports and uploading to seaturtle.org for two stranding events). Participation in this workshop is limited to four spaces. Each participant will have a carcass to walk through their own necropsy. Step-by-step guidance will be provided so no prior experience is necessary. Participants will complete a necropsy, learn to collect samples, and complete a necropsy report for this class.
  • Nesting Response 101 – for new volunteers and volunteers 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. Volunteers will learn how to help respond to late night and early morning sea turtle nesting activity as well as how to identifying crawls, locating eggs, and taking nest measurements.
  • Nesting Response 201 – for experienced Nesting Response volunteers (those who have responded to 4 or more crawls). We will briefly review identifying crawls, locating eggs, and taking nest measurements and then go in-depth into other nesting behavior and biology. Volunteers may attend either 101 or 201 to get their permit and be put on the phone tree for response (but all are welcome to attend both if they wish).

Spring 2018 NEST Trainings

This spring we are offering numerous classes for sea turtle volunteers.  Volunteers need only attend the teams of interest and need only attend team training once a year. (Each class is offered multiple times in effort to accommodate most schedules.) 

Below are the class offerings in chronological order. To read a more detailed description of each class and to register online, visit our program online calendar.

March 17th in KDH at Library – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 9:30AM Stranding Response 101 – 1.5 hrs
  • 11:15AM Stranding Response 201 – 45 min.

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

 

March 26th in Corolla at Wildlife Center – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 9:00AM Sea Turtle Necropsy – 2 to 3 hrs

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

 

April 6th in Corolla at Wildlife Center – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 9:30AM Stranding Response 101 – 1.5 hrs
  • 11:15AM Stranding Response 201 – 45 min.

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

 

April 10th in Corolla at Wildlife Center – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 8:30AM NEST Volunteer Orientation – 1 hr
  • 9:45AM Nesting Response 101 – 1.5 hrs
  • 11:30AM Nesting Response 201 – 1 hr

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

 

April 14th in Nags Head at Jennette’s Pier – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 8:30AM NEST Volunteer Orientation – 1 hr
  • 9:45AM Nesting Response 101 – 1.5 hrs
  • 11:30AM Nesting Response 201 – 1 hr

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

 

April 18th in Nags Head at Bodie Island – Sea Turtle Trainings 

  • 9:30AM Sea Turtle Necropsy – 2 to 3 hrs

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

April 25th in KDH at Library – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 5:30PM Stranding Response 101 – 1.5 hrs
  • 7:15PM Stranding Response 201 – 45 min.

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

 

May 2nd in Corolla at Wildlife Center – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 8:30AM NEST Volunteer Orientation – 1 hr
  • 9:45AM Nesting Response 101 – 1.5 hrs
  • 11:30AM Nesting Response 201 – 1 hr

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

 

May 12th in Nags Head at Jennette’s Pier – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 8:30AM NEST Volunteer Orientation – 1 hr
  • 9:45AM Nesting Response 101 – 1.5 hrs
  • 11:30AM Nesting Response 201 – 1 hr

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

 

May 12th in Nags Head at Bodie Island – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 2PM Sea Turtle Necropsy – 2 to 3 hrs

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

 

May 23rd in Nags Head at Jennette’s Pier – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 4PM NEST Volunteer Orientation – 1 hr
  • 5:15PM Nesting Response 101 – 1.5 hrs
  • 7PM Nesting Response 201 – 1 hr

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.

 

June 7th in Nags Head at Bodie Island – Sea Turtle Trainings

  • 5:15PM Sea Turtle Necropsy – 2 to 3 hrs

To register, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex 1.