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.

** All S.T.A.R. Center volunteers shall be subject to all regulations, procedures and policies as set forth by and applicable to the North Carolina Aquariums and the NC Department of Cultural Resources. N.E.S.T. assumes no responsibility or liability for S.T.A.R. Center volunteers.

NEST Summer Training Schedule 2020

Due to the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and CDC recommendations, all trainings this summer will be online webinars. Nest Sitting volunteer opportunities will be limited this year.  We will be working to maximize participation in every way possible but volunteer safety will take priority. While not everyone who attends training will end up sitting, we still encourage interested volunteers to attend, if for anything, to keep fresh and engaged with our efforts this year.

Final Make-Up Nest Sitting Training, LAST CALL!!!

If you missed our previous Nest Sitting Trainings but are interested in helping, please complete the following items.

  1. If you have not already done so, complete the NEST volunteer application
  2. Review the recorded Nest Sitting Training on this YouTube video https://youtu.be/q7jhEyQ8woQ and the training handouts
  3. Complete this short, 5 question, online review .
  4. Attend the final virtual ‘in-person’ session scheduled for Thursday August 27th at 2PM. Register HERE to get the Zoom link.

Upon registration you will receive a link to the class and further directions for using Teams for first time users.