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.

Below you will find the schedule for trainings this year.  All trainings will be offered online, via Microsoft Teams.  You will not need a camera or microphone to participate.  Details for those who have not used Teams will be listed below the training information.

NEST Orientation and Sea Turtle Natural History

While opportunities for volunteering this year will be limited, particularly for new volunteers, we still want to offer this training to keep volunteers engaged and as an opportunity for those who feel a review of natural history would be beneficial.

  • July 13 at 9AM
  • July 19 at 5PM

Click Here to register for class and receive the Teams Link

NEST Parenting Class

Experienced Nest Parents will be receiving an additional email detailing some of the modifications for this season and surveying their interests in serving as nest parent. Upon completion of the survey, they will be sent a link to Parenting Class for either date below.

  • July 16 at 6PM
  • July 18 at 9AM

Link to Parenting Class will be sent after completing the survey.

Nest Sitting Training

This year 101 and 201 options will be eliminated and all volunteers will be trained in the same class. The training will review some basic biology but most the time will be spent on the COVID19 modifications, nest site set-up, and volunteer roster/selection process and communications.

  • July 20 at 6PM
  • July 25 at 9AM
  • July 29 at 7PM

Click Here to register for class and receive the Teams Link

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