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.

Let’s Fall Into Marine Mammal Trainings!

As sea turtle nesting season is coming to end, it is time to start thinking about the other marine animals that visit us often here on the Outer Banks. The OBX Marine Mammal Stranding Network is always looking for more volunteers to help with marine mammal strandings and seal monitoring in the fall and winter. Below is a list of the Marine Mammal Stranding trainings that will currently be offered in the fall and we will offer more Seal Monitoring trainings in the winter. All classes have descriptions of who should attend. Remember, training is required annually so if you wish to participate this fall and winter 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.

OBX MMSN Trainings

  • Volunteer Orientation – for all volunteers interested in helping with the Outer Banks Marine Mammal Stranding Network (OBX MMSN). We will discuss the various species which strand in NC and the response efforts by the stranding network.
  • Stranding Response – for volunteers interested in learning how to respond to live strandings of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). New volunteers should also attend the Marine Mammal Volunteer Orientation class taught before this one.
  • Seal Monitoring – for volunteers interested in learning about what seals are on our beaches, when and why they visit, and how you can get involved to help protect these species. Seals are a protected species that are monitored and managed by members of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

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.

September 13th in Nags Head at Jennette’s Pier

  • 5PM MMSN Volunteer Orientation – 1/2 hr
  • 5:45PM Marine Mammal Stranding Response – 1.5 hrs

September 23rd in KDH at Library 

  • 9AM MMSN Volunteer Orientation – 1/2 hr
  • 9:45AM Marine Mammal Stranding Response – 1.5 hrs

October 2nd in Corolla at the Wildlife Center

  • 9AM MMSN Volunteer Orientation -1/2 hr
  • 9:45AM Marine Mammal Stranding Response – 1.5 hrs

October 10th in Nags Head at Jennette’s Pier

  • 5PM MMSN Volunteer Orientation – 1/2 hr
  • 5:45PM Marine Mammal Stranding Response – 1.5 hrs

October 28th in Corolla at the Wildlife Center 

  • 10AM MMSN Volunteer Orientation – 1/2 hr
  • 10:45AM Marine Mammals Stranding Response – 1.5 hrs
  • 1PM Seal Monitoring 1.5 hrs

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