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.

Spring 2019 Sea Turtle Training Schedule

Let us all be thinking of warm weather as spring is hopefully upon us, and warm weather means sea turtle activities will start to pick up, yippee! Please see below descriptions for each of the trainings below we are offering this spring so you know which to attend. Remember returning volunteers you must attend training again this year in the team of your interest to receive your new permit.

  • Volunteer Orientation – this training covers how volunteers can become involved in NEST activities followed by an overview of the life strategies of sea turtles and the different species we see in North Carolina coastal waters. This training should be attended by new volunteers and any returning volunteers interested in a refresher on sea turtle biology.
  • Stranding Response 101 – this training will teach volunteers how to respond to live and dead strandings of sea turtles. Volunteers will learn to identify species, take measurements, and complete and upload a Stranding Report to Seaturtle.org as well as how to provide initial field triage for live strandings. Please note this training will have a heavy hands-on component and is for new volunteers and volunteers who have responded to less than 2 stranding responses. We will be going through every field on a Stranding report so experienced stranding volunteers should not attend but you are still welcome if you want the refresher!
  • Nesting Response 101 -this training is for volunteers who wish to help respond to late night and early morning sea turtle nesting activity. We will cover identifying crawls, locating eggs, and taking nest measurements. Please note volunteers attending this training this is for those who have responded to fewer than four crawls, have not been active for the past two years, or those who simply enjoy a refresher should plan on attending 101.
  • Nesting Response 201 – This training is for volunteers who are well-seasoned (those who have responded to 4 or more crawls). We will briefly review identifying crawls, locating eggs, and taking nest measurements and then go in-depth into other nesting behavior and biology.

 

To register for any of the sea turtle trainings, click here or call 252-453-0221 ex1.

March 23rd in Kill Devils Hills at the Library

  • 9AM Volunteer Orientation – 1hr
  • 10AM Stranding Response 101 – 1.5hrs

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

March 26th in Kill Devils Hills at the Library

  • 9AM Volunteer Orientation – 1hr
  • 10AM Stranding Response 101 – 1.5hrs

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

April 23rd in Corolla at Wildlife Center

  • 9AM Volunteer Orientation – 1hr
  • 10AM Nesting Response 101 – 1.5hrs
  • 11:30AM Nesting Response 201 – 1hr

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

April 28th in Nags Head at the Jennette’s Pier

  • 1PM Volunteer Orientation – 1hr
  • 2PM Nesting Response 101 – 1.5hrs
  • 3:30PM Nesting Response 201 – 1hr

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

May 11th in Nags Head at the Jennette’s Pier

  • 9AM Volunteer Orientation – 1hr
  • 10AM Nesting Response 101 – 1.5hrs
  • 11:30AM Nesting Response 201 – 1hr

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

May 17th in Nags Head at the Jennette’s Pier

  • 4:30PM Volunteer Orientation – 1hr
  • 5:30PM Nesting Response 101 – 1.5hrs
  • 7PM Nesting Response 201 – 1hr

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