Wildlife Research, Monitoring & Mentoring

Volunteer Opportunities, Spring-Summer-Fall

We have limited opportunities for volunteers, and most of them occur spring through summer.  The best way to keep up to day on volunteer opportunities is to join our mailing list to receive our monthly eNews. If any of the volunteer opportunities listed below fit with your interests and availability, please contact our volunteer coordinator, at volunteers@biodiversityworksmv.org , and let us know your skill set and availability.  Thank you for your interest in supporting our mission!

3 people on the beach holding signs

Beach-nesting Bird Conservation

We protect hundreds of beach-nesting birds across 15 sites on the island from April through August annually. We begin posting nesting habitat with symbolic fencing and signage for American oystercathcers, piping plovers, and terns in late March through early April. Nest searching and monitoring begins then and continues through August.  Volunteers assist staff with posting habitat, locating and monitoring nesting pairs of adults, public outreach and education, and removing fencing and signage at the end of the season. Requirements:  Must be able to walk at least 1/2 mile on the beach and carry a minimum of 5 lbs of gear. Schedule: Hours are flexible from early morning to evening. Contact: volunteers@biodiversityworksmv.org

Bioblitz Events

The MV Atlas of Life project is a community-driven catalog of the island’s biodiversity. Anyone interested in the flora and fauna of the island can contribute observations to this project using the iNaturalist app and participate in a 24 hour biodiversity survey (Bioblitz). We host 2 – 3 of these events each summer and invite anyone interested to join us. Staff will help you get started using iNat so that you can upload observations on your own or help our staff survey during a bioblitz event. Requirements: Participation can range from sitting by a moth light trap at night photographing insects to hiking throughout a property surveying for as many species as you can document in a day. Schedule: Each event typically runs 6pm to 6pm, and they are often on weekends. Contact: Check the MVAL website for these events or mpelikan@biodiversityworksmv.org


Invasive Plant Brigade

The Natural Neighbors program works with individuals and neighborhood associations to offer customized management recommendations on land they manage to benefit native plants, pollinators, and wildlife. The Invasive Plant Brigade is a group of volunteers who help Natural Neighbors participants manage non-native invasive plants on their properties, which can grow aggressively and crowd out native species. Volunteer events typically involve cutting and digging invasive plants with hand tools.
Requirements: Ability to perform physical work outdoors. Schedule: Variable, spring, summer, fall. Most volunteer events last about two hours.

Contact: Rich Couse, rcouse@biodiversityworksmv.org

Northern Long-eared Bat Monitoring

We will be out this spring and summer monitoring our northern long-eared bat population as they emerge from hibernation and settle into their maternity colonies. Volunteers join us in the field at night to help set up nets and record data. Unfortunately, volunteers cannot handle any bats because a rabies vaccination is required for that. There may be other bat-related opportunities such as checking bat detectors or doing emergent counts. Requirements: These opportunities are not physically demanding but do require a fondness for working outdoors at night. Schedule: Mostly nights, about four hours starting at dusk. April-August; time commitment is flexible. Contact: volunteers@biodiversityworksmv.org


Facilities: Grounds work at BWorks Headquarters

Help us keep our “forever home” looking spiffy! We may hold occasional work days to remove invasive species, pull saplings or thin the sweet fern in our miniature sandplain grassland, or prune trees and shrubs near our building. Let our volunteer coordinator know if you are interested in this type of work and we will schedule some opportunities (2-4 hours) spring through fall. Contact: volunteers@biodiversityworksmv.org

Other Potential Opportunities

Depending on how our season shapes up, we may be able to offer volunteer opportunities including tiger beetle surveys, volunteer photography, plant and insect surveys and monitoring, and other needs that may come up along the way. Join our volunteer list to stay in the loop for these and other opportunities that arise. And thank you for helping us advance our mission! Contact: volunteers@biodiversityworksmv.org