For all of us at BiodiversityWorks, one of the hardest things about the COVID-19 pandemic has been the need to suspend most of our volunteer activities. We’ve missed you! But as community vaccination progresses and we learn more about the virus, we are planning to cautiously reinstate some volunteer opportunities in 2021. Precautions will still be in place, such as mask-wearing and driving in separate vehicles to sites. But if any of the volunteer opportunities listed below fits with your interests and availability, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Alysa Emden, at volunteers@biodiversityworksmv.org to let her know. Thanks for contributing your time and talent to our important work!

Beach-nesting Bird Conservation

Shorebird volunteers assist us with erecting or moving protective fencing, setting up predator exclosures to protect plover nests, keeping an eye on chicks, monitoring adult pairs and nests, and helping educate the public about these special birds. Requirements: Love for birds and interest in protecting them is the most important requirement. Work is often physically demanding, requiring walking long distances on soft sand and the ability to lift and move moderate weights. We can teach the right volunteer any needed special skills. Schedule: Days and times are flexible; schedules may change on short notice due to weather or other circumstances. Commitment is a minimum of 1-2 hours at a time, depending on the site. Contact: volunteers@biodiversityworksmv.org  If you would like to be added to a volunteer group text list for when we need help erecting an exclosure on short notice, please let our volunteer coordinator know and provide your cellphone number. The group text will only be used to determine which volunteers are available; we will communicate directly with available volunteers to work out details such as meeting time and place.

Spotted Turtle Trapping

An ongoing BiodiversityWorks project is assessing and documenting the spotted turtle population on the island. These turtles are rare here, and elusive. In 2020, though, we found two spotted turtle “hot spots” on the island, and we hope to discover more this season. We will be trapping at hot spots from April into June. We seek volunteers to help us set traps, record data, and assist in processing any turtles captured. If interested, you may also help with tracking our radio-tagged turtles. Requirements: Must be willing to walk through brush where poison ivy and ticks are present, and through wetlands that have unstable, mucky bottoms. Ideally, you will have your own waders, but we do have a couple of pairs to loan out. You will get wet and possibly smell like sardines – but seeing a spotted turtle is quite magical! Schedule: Dates will be set in advance. On trapping days, it will take 4-6 hours to set and check traps. Let our volunteer coordinator know if you are interested, and she will send you the planned schedule. Commitment will be a minimum of four hours. However, if you are deeply interested in this work but can only manage shorter time commitments, let the volunteer coordinator know since we may have some flexibility. Contact: volunteers@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 in our miniature sandplain grassland, restore habitat following a recent trenching project, and do some light pruning. Let our volunteer coordinator know if you are interested in this type of work and we will schedule some opportunities (2-4 hours) this spring or summer. Contact: volunteers@biodiversityworksmv.org

 

 

 

 

Special opportunity with The Nature Conservancy

Our partner organization The Nature Conservancy (TNC) seeks a volunteer to survey bees at Katama Air Park, Edgartown, as part of a five-year regional bee monitoring project that will help guide future habitat management in the Northeast. TNC is looking for a dedicated volunteer to lead TNC’s portion of the project. Bees would need to be sampled five times this growing season between May 1-14, June 3-17, July 1-23, August 5-19, and September 10-24. The process involves deploying and collecting “bee bowls,” simple record-keeping, and basic processing of sample material from the bee bowls. For more information, please contact Michael Whittemore at mike.whittemore@tnc.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

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