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.

Fall 2018 Sea Turtle Cold Stun Training Schedule

  • 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.
  • Cold Stun Stranding – This training is for volunteers to learn how to respond to live and dead strandings of sea turtles. Volunteers will learn 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. Staging Site volunteers must take NEST Stranding Training (returning volunteers may take an on-line review for this requirement) as well as a 2018 Cold Stun Staging Site Drill session. New volunteers should also complete a volunteer application.
  • Cold Stun Turtle Patrol – Volunteers patrol Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands soundside marshes looking for cold stun turtles. Volunteers should be prepared to walk in cold and windy conditions. Field Patrol volunteers should take NEST Stranding Training and Turtle Field Patrol Review (returning volunteers may take an on-line review).
  • Cold Stun Staging Site Drill – After Turtle Patrol volunteers find turtles, they take them to our Staging Site located in Buxton. Staging Site volunteers help complete Stranding Reports and prepare turtles for transport up to the STAR Center in Manteo. This drill is a voluntary follow-up for those who attended Staging Site Training. We will run different scenarios onsite at the Buxton Back Road Staging Site to practice procedures for processing cold stun turtles from the field. This is not a required drill but good for those who would like to get a feel for the site in operation. Staging Site volunteers must take NEST Stranding Training (returning volunteers may take an on-line review for this requirement) as well as a 2018 Cold Stun Staging Site Drill session.
  • STAR Center Cold Stun Specialized Teams – Current STAR Center volunteers may fill extra shifts needed during cold stun events. STAR volunteers interested in assisting with these specialized teams should attend STAR Center Cold Stun Training.

 

To register for any of the Buxton Trainings or the Stranding Trainings, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex1.
If you are a current STAR volunteer interested in the specialized training, call or email David Trenor at 252-475-2335 david.trenor@ncaquariums.com

October 30th in Manteo at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

  • 2:00PM Stranding Training – 1.5hrs
  • 3:30PM STAR Center Cold Stun Specialized Training – 1hr

November 2nd in Buxton at the Buxton Back Road Staging Site

  • 9:30AM Orientation and Natural History – 1hr
  • 10:30AM Cold Stun Stranding Training – 1.25hrs
    11:30AM Cold Stun Turtle Patrol – 0.5hr
    1PM Cold Stun Staging Site Drill – 3hrs

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

November 4th in Manteo at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

  • 1:00PM STAR Center Cold Stun Specialized Training – 1hr
  • 2:15PM Stranding Training – 1.5hrs

November 13th in Buxton at the Buxton Back Road Staging Site

  • 9:30AM Orientation and Natural History – 1hr
  • 10:30AM Cold Stun Stranding Training – 1.25hrs
    11:30AM Cold Stun Turtle Patrol – 0.5hr
    1PM Cold Stun Staging Site Drill – 3hrs

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