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.

Upcoming Trainings

We are thrilled to announce the Fall Training Schedule! Below is a list of the different classes being offered and who should attend. Remember, training is required annually so if you wish to participate this coming season, be sure to attend each team that interests you (but you need only attend one of the many sessions offered this fall).  For greater description of each class, check out the online calendar.

NEST Fall Trainings 

  • Volunteer Orientation & Natural History – for new volunteers and those looking to refresh
  • Stranding Response and Cold Stun Transport – for volunteers interested in helping either in the field responding to stranded turtles, at the staging site, or to help     transport cold stun turtles 
  • Staging Site Training – for volunteers interested in helping at the staging site in Buxton (these volunteers must also attend Stranding Response) 
  • Staging Site Drill – for volunteers who attended Staging Site training and would like to practice processing turtles at the actual site (Drill is optional!) 
  • Rehab (STAR Center Training) – for volunteers interested in helping at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island in the STAR center (Dates TBD)

MMSN Fall Trainings 

  • MMSN Training: Volunteer Orientation – for new volunteers and those looking to refresh 
  • MMSN Training: Seal Monitoring – for volunteers interested in helping monitor hauled-out seals this winter 
  • MMSN Training: Marine Mammal Stranding Response – for volunteers interested in helping respond to stranded dolphin, whales, and porpoises

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. 

Also note that Stranding Training is being re-vamped this year to be very hands-on. Therefore, participation is limited (this is why so many sessions have been offered).  So, if your first pick is filled, please consider some of the other sessions. We will have a waitlist option as well that you may sign up for if someone else cancels.

FALL SCHEDULE

Nov 16 – Corolla

  • 9:30AM MMSN Training: Volunteer Orientation
  • 10AM MMSN Training: Seal Monitoring
  • 11:30AM MMSN Training: Marine Mammal Stranding Response 

Nov. 18 – Carova

  • 10:30AM  NEST Training: Orientation & Sea TurtleStranding Response
  • 12:30PM MMSN Training: Orientation& Seal Monitoring
  • 2PM MMSN Training: Marine Mammal Stranding Response 

Nov. 19th – CapeHatteras – Buxton

  • 1PM: NEST Training: Staging Site Training Drill

Nov 28 – KDH

  • 5PM MMSN Training: Volunteer Orientation
  • 5:30PM MMSN Training: Seal Monitoring
  • 7PM MMSN Training: Marine Mammal Stranding Response

Dec 7 – Corolla

  • 9:30AM MMSN Training: Volunteer Orientation
  • 10AM MMSN Training: Seal Monitoring
  • 11:30AM MMSN Training: Marine Mammal Stranding Response