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.

Cold Stun Training 2019 Sessions

Cold Stun season uses volunteers on three different teams: Field Patrol (walking the marsh shoreline looking for turtles), Staging Site and Transport (prepping turtles for transport to rehab), and STAR Center (husbandry of rehab turtles). To determine which trainings are specifically  required for you, visit our Cold Stun Training Decision Guide. Any questions call or email Marissa.Liverman@ncwildlife.org 919-707-0246. To register for trainings, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex. 1.

Stranding Response Training  (For Field Patrol and Staging Site & Transport Volunteers)

  • Oct. 18th 9:30AM (Corolla, Wildlife Center Auditorium)
  • Oct. 26th 11:30AM (Nags Head, Jennette’s Pier classroom)
  • Oct. 28th 6:45PM (Nags Head, Jennette’s Pier classroom)
  • Nov 1st   10AM (47730 Buxton Back Road, Staging Site)
  • Nov 9th   10AM (47730 Buxton Back Road, Staging Site)
  • Online Training (for returning volunteers only, must be completed by Nov. 8th)

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

Staging Site Drill Sessions (For Staging Site and Transport Volunteers. Located at 47730 Buxton Back Road, in Buxton)

  • Nov 1st at 12:30PM, 1:30PM, 2:30PM, or 3:30PM
  • Nov 9th at 12:30PM, 1:30PM, 2:30PM, or 3:30PM

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

Field Patrol Training (located at 47730 Buxton Back Road, in Buxton)

  • Nov 1st 9AM  (9:30 for RETURNING members)
  • Nov 9th 9AM (9:30 for RETURNING members)

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

STAR Center Cold Stun Review and Team Building Training (For current STAR volunteers)

  • Oct. 9th 12PM
  • Oct. 19th 10AM

Register for training with the NC Aquarium Volunteer Coordinator david.trenor@ncaquariums.com .  New Volunteers should contact David regarding additional training requirements.

Fall 2019 Marine Mammal Training Schedule

Please read the descriptions below to learn more about the trainings being offered and which one you should attend. We will start to offer seal monitoring trainings closer to December so be on the lookout for those dates in late fall.

  • Volunteer Orientation – This training is for all volunteers interested 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.
  • Marine Mammal Stranding – This training is for volunteers to learn 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.

October 9th in Corolla at the Wildlife Center

  • 9:00 AM MMSN Volunteer Orientation – 0.5 hr
  • 9:30 AM Marine Mammal Stranding – 1.25 hrs

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

October 26th in Nags Head at Jennette’s Pier

  • 9:00 AM MMSN Volunteer Orientation – 0.5 hr
  • 9:30 AM Marine Mammal Stranding – 1.25 hrs

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

November 7th in Corolla at the Wildlife Center

  • 9:00 AM MMSN Volunteer Orientation – 0.5 hr
  • 9:30 AM Marine Mammal Stranding – 1.25 hrs

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

November 18th in Nags Head at Jennette’s Pier

  • 5:30 PM MMSN Volunteer Orientation – 0.5 hr
  • 6:00 PM M Marine Mammal Stranding – 1.25 hrs

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