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Admissions/Front Desk Assistant

The admissions/front desk assistant is the welcoming face of the Institute and plays a vital role in helping us further our mission.  Tasks for our admissions/front desk assistant may consist of greeting and answering visitors’ questions, answering the telephone, helping with program and special event preparations, taking program reservations, assisting in the Tidepool gift shop, and any other administrative needs.

When:  Year round or Seasonal
Eligibility:  Adult or Junior Volunteer.  Shadow training for specific tasks will be provided.
Required Commitment: Minimum 8 hours per month year round; Minimum 20 hours for seasonal per year.

To get involved in this volunteer opportunity, please contact admissions@wetlandsinstitute.org with your volunteer interest and details on eligibility and availability.

Wetlands Institute Summer Docent

The docent program is perfect for anyone looking to spend a handful of hours each week interacting with visitors of all ages while increasing their own knowledge about wetlands and coastal ecology.  Our docent program provides an opportunity to interact directly with the public as they visit the salt marsh and tour The Wetlands Institute.  Roles for our docents include leading and/or providing interpretation during our Salt Marsh Safari programs, Aquarium Teaching and Touch Tank demonstrations, Guided Dune and Beach Walks in Avalon and at Stone Harbor Point, and Back-bay Wildlife Boat Tours.

When:  May – September
Eligibility: Adult Volunteer. Docent Training Manual and shadow training in specific program area of interest will be provided. Advanced content training workshops or lectures may be available throughout the year.
Required Commitment: Minimum 1 day a week from May – September.

To get involved in this volunteer opportunity, please contact education@wetlandsinstitute.org with your volunteer interest and details on eligibility and availability.

Aquarium Care Volunteer

Want to lend a helping hand? Become an Aquarium Care Volunteer!  Volunteers in this area will spend the majority of their time working with our Aquarist behind the scenes in the aquarium to ensure that all animals are well cared for and the aquarium is well kept.  Daily tasks may include: feeding of local marine invertebrates, vertebrates and reptiles, cleaning of freshwater and saltwater animal tanks, seining, crabbing and other live animal collection, aquarium organization, water quality monitoring, and digital recordkeeping. Volunteers in this area should have a minimal working knowledge of basic aquatic animal care.

When: Year-round.
Eligibility: Adult Volunteer with at least minimal experience in aquatic animal care. A Guide to the Animals in the Aquarium and shadow training will be provided.
Required Commitment: Minimum of 1/day per week (or every other week) throughout the year or as needed throughout the year.

To get involved in this volunteer opportunity, please contact education@wetlandsinstitute.org with your volunteer interest and details on eligibility and availability.

Summer Nature Program Assistant

Spend a week discovering the New Jersey Shore in a fun and hands-on way by directly assisting our Summer Nature Program Instructors as they engage children age 4-13 in science experimentation and exploration, playing games, going on field trips, exploring the beach, creating arts and crafts, and much more!

When:  Late June – Mid August.
Eligibility: Junior Volunteer. Responsible, mature, and enjoys working with children. First day expectations and responsibilities provided.
Required Commitment: Minimum of 1 complete week M-F from 9:30-12:00 or 9:30-2:00 daily.

To get involved in this volunteer opportunity, please contact education@wetlandsinstitute.org with your volunteer interest and details on eligibility and availability.

Aquarium Teaching and Touch Tank Educator

There is no better way to learn about the local creatures found in the salty waters of the ocean or back-bays than to experience them firsthand!  Volunteers in this area will spend the majority of their time educating the public about local fish, invertebrates and turtles species by providing demonstrations and answering questions at our aquarium and terrapin station teaching and touch tanks.  Volunteers should anticipate occasional assistance with aquarium care and cleaning. 

When:  Year-round.
Eligibility: Junior Volunteer. A Guide to the Animals in the Aquarium and shadow training will be provided.
Required Commitment: Minimum of 20 hours throughout the year.

To get involved in this volunteer opportunity, please contact education@wetlandsinstitute.org with your volunteer interest and details on eligibility and availability.

Community Outreach Events Specialist

Each year, The Wetlands Institute receives invitations to attend many wonderful community outreach events. These events are great places to showcase all the research, education and conservation efforts currently underway at The Wetlands Institute.  As a volunteer, you can play an important and invaluable role in promoting the mission of The Wetlands Institute at events such as these!

When: Year-round – particularly spring and fall.
Eligibility: Adult Volunteer. An Introduction to The Wetlands Institute, all associated research, conservation and education initiative brochures and information and shadow training will be provided.
Required Commitment: Minimum of 3 community outreach events throughout the year.

To get involved in this volunteer opportunity, please contact education@wetlandsinstitute.org with your volunteer interest and details on eligibility and availability.

Terrapin Nest Monitor

Have you noticed the small black cages around our property? These are exclosures we put around diamondback terrapin nests to keep predators away from the eggs. We patrol our property several times each day in order to spot nesting females and release newly hatched terrapins from the exclosures. Help us keep an eye on terrapin activity on our property so that nests can stay protected.

When: May – mid-July; morning and afternoon shifts.
Eligibility: Adult or Junior Volunteer.
Required Commitment: A minimum of 5 days.

To get involved in this volunteer opportunity, please contact research@wetlandsinstitute.org with your volunteer interest and details on eligibility and availability.

Bird Identification at The Wetlands Institute

Walk our trail or perch on one of our viewing platforms and keep a list of bird species you see and hear. We will post the lists on our website so everyone can enjoy what our property has to offer! Your contributions will help us track which species are here, and how they are using the Institute property. Optics will be available for loan.

When: April – October, mornings and late afternoons.
Eligibility: Adult or Junior Volunteer. Bird ID experience, beginner and above. Willing to record and submit observations.
Required Commitment: Weekly, or minimum twice a month.

To get involved in this volunteer opportunity, please contact research@wetlandsinstitute.org with your volunteer interest and details on eligibility and availability.

reTURN the Favor Public Walk Leaders

The Wetlands Institute is adopting several beaches in Cape May County to rescue stranded Horseshoe Crabs through the reTURN the Favor program. We need volunteers to lead walks with the public, follow program protocol, and collect and submit data. Training and schedule will be provided.

When: May – mid-July. Sites may require early mornings and nights.
Eligibility: Adult Volunteer. Able to walk on sandy beaches, follow protocols, record data, and interact with the public.
Required Commitment: Minimum 1 walk/week for 4 weeks.

To get involved in this volunteer opportunity, please contact research@wetlandsinstitute.org with your volunteer interest and details on eligibility and availability.