Network for Endangered Sea Turtles 24 HR. HOTLINE 252-441-8622

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

** 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 2023 Training Schedule

We have set our Nest Sitting Training Schedule for the summer of 2023!

Nest Sitting 101 will review all the basic nest monitoring guidelines in full detail. This session is intended for new or ‘rusty’ volunteers (or those who just like all the details).

Nest Sitting 201 will give a quick review of the nest monitoring guidelines followed by an enrichment topic. This session is intended for returning volunteers though all are welcome to attend (there will be some repeat from Nest Sitting 101).

Nest Sitting 4WD will be a specialized session for those who monitor nests on the Currituck 4WD beaches. Volunteers who sit on 4WD beaches are highly encouraged to attend this session though they may attend any to be permitted to sit on a nest.

Any volunteer who wishes to sit a nest this summer must attend either a 101 or 201 in-person session at one of the locations listed below. (Volunteers may attend both 101 and 201 if they wish but some content will be repeated.)

Volunteers wishing to be Nest Parents will take an additional Parent Class which will be announced later, but must still attend 101 or 201.

To make reservations for any class, go to . Select your class, click sign up, and then click the “Sign Up Without an Account” option. (Volunteers with TrackItForward accounts sign into your account for quick registration. If using your phone App, use the menu in the upper right corner to toggle to “Events”).

Class Date Time Location       
Nest Sitting 4WD 7/24/2023 5:30 PM Carova – Fire Station  
Nest Sitting 101 7/27/2023 4:30 PM Kitty Hawk – Church of the Holy Redeemer
Nest Sitting 201 7/27/2023 5:45 PM Kitty Hawk – Church of the Holy Redeemer
Nest Sitting 101 8/8/2023 5:30 PM Nags Head – Jennette’s Pier  
Nest Sitting 201 8/8/2023 6:45 PM Nags Head – Jennette’s Pier  
Nest Sitting 101 8/10/2023 5:00 PM Corolla – Wildlife Center or Library (TBD)
Nest Sitting 201 8/10/2023 6:15 PM Corolla – Wildlife Center or Library (TBD)
Parenting Class TBA