Volunteer Opportunities

 

Natural Resources

Dragonfly Mercury Project: Citizen Scientists Sampling of Dragonfly Larvae
Number of volunteers needed: Open
Description: Dragonfly larvae are currently being sampled for mercury levels at CACO and other NPS units. Mercury is a toxic pollutant that can harm human and wildlife health, threatening the natural resources the NPS is charged with protecting. The main source of human-caused mercury in remote national park environments is atmospheric deposition from coal-burning power plants. The “Dragonfly Mercury Project” (DMP) engages citizen scientists such as students and visitors in national parks to collect dragonfly larvae from distinct sampling sites and ID those samples.
Skills required: Volunteers need to be able to traverse uneven ground and pond shorelines carrying minimal equipment. In addition, volunteers will need to be able to utilize a net for sample collection while bending and reaching and sorting, perform “clean” sampling technique following a written protocol, experience in identification of dragonfly larvae, and work in the heat of the day.
Time Commitment: One or two days a week for five or six weeks in a row. 5-7 hours per day in July/August.
Contact: Krista Lee, Physical Scientist, (508)487-3262 x0505, krista_lee@nps.gov

Cut, Pile, and Burn Projects
Number of volunteers needed: Open
Description of work: Work alongside the Cape Cod National Seashore Fire Management Team to assist with resource management goals to reduce wildland fuels, manage the ecological health of open landscapes, and maintain historic vistas. Work involves cutting, piling, and burning brush during the open burn season each winter and spring. Volunteers use hand tools (loppers, clippers and handsaws) to cut vegetation and then build piles from the cut materials to be burned that day or in the future.
Skills or experience required: Ability to follow direction and work as part of a team. Comfortable working with hand tools and working on uneven terrain in field conditions at temperatures between 25 to 65 degrees. Ability to interpret potentially hazardous situations or dangers and report to the on-site work leader.
Equipment to be provided: The park supplies supply all necessary tools, supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment, including hardhat, eye protection, ear protection, leather gloves, and fire-resistant nomex. Nomex must be worn as the outer top layer. Drinking water is available on site.
Equipment not provided, but required of the volunteer: Transportation to and from the worksite; lunch; sturdy shoes (boots preferred) and layered clothing appropriate for the work environment and necessary for predicted weather conditions.
Note: Burn activity has the potential to produce airborne embers. Nylon and polyester clothing may NOT be worn during pile burning. Natural material (cotton, wool) is necessary to prevent injury. Old cotton sweatshirts and jeans work well.
Time Commitment: Tuesday and Wednesdays in late fall and until the close of open burn season on May 1. The time commitment for any volunteer day is expected to be either 3 or 6 hours. This can be a morning session (9:00 am-12:00 pm), afternoon session (12:30 pm-3:30 pm) or a full day (9:00 am-3:30 pm). There is no obligation to serve for multiple weeks. Even just a one-time service session is greatly appreciated!
Contact: Dave Crary, David_Crary@nps.gov

Phenology Monitoring Program: Citizen Scientist Monitoring of Phenology
Number of volunteers needed: Open
Description: Cape Cod National Seashore has managed a Citizen Scientist Phenology Monitoring Program since 2012. Phenology is the timing of specific physiological events in organisms, such as the onset of spring flowering or leaf-out. So far, the data collected has been very well-correlated with the average air temperature during March and April, which over the long term is expected to rise with regional warming. This dataset helps park scientists and managers 1) understand how climate change is influencing our forest and shrubland communities, and 2) predict the future trajectory of landscape-level change.
Skills required: No technical scientific experience is needed, although volunteers must be able to walk distances (no more than 1/2 mile) along trails or dunes. All volunteers will be supplied with the appropriate equipment and are briefed extensively about safety in the field.
Time Commitment: Climate change is influencing when these events occur, and our volunteers venture out into the field twice weekly to collect observations from a variety of tree and shrub species at five different locations throughout the park between early spring and mid summer.
Contact: Stephen Smith, Plant Ecologist, 508-487-3262 x0508, stephen_m_smith@nps.gov

Phenology Monitoring Program: Citizen Scientist Monitoring of Pond Ice Dynamics
Number of volunteers needed: Open
Description of work: Cape Cod National Seashore has managed a Citizen Scientist Phenology Monitoring Program since 2012. Phenology is the timing of specific events, such as the onset of spring flowering or leaf-out, or the formation of ice on ponds. This dataset helps park scientists and managers 1) understand how climate change is altering physical features of ponds and 2) predict the future trajectory of changes to seasonal dynamics in ponds physical and biological features.
Skills required: No technical scientific experience is needed, although volunteers must be able to walk short distances (no more than 1/4 mile) along trails in inclement weather and on icy or snow-covered terrain. All volunteers will be supplied with the appropriate equipment and are trained on safety in the field. Ability and willingness to make field observations alone is required.
Time Commitment: Climate change is influencing when these events occur, and our volunteers venture out into the field three times a week to collect observations from ponds at three different locations in Wellfleet and Truro, MA between November and April. Each week, work may be split up among a team of individuals, so each volunteer may only need to go in the field 1 time a week.
Contact: Nita Tallent, (508) 957-0737, Nita_Tallent@nps.gov

You Can Adopt-A-Plover or a Beach
Number of volunteers needed: Open
Description of work: Volunteers will “adopt” a section of beach or a pair of piping plovers, assisting biologists in monitoring a specific piping plover nest or section of remote beach through the nesting season. This project is ideal for volunteers looking for a more flexible schedule. After receiving training, volunteers work on their own, keeping in close contact with the shorebird staff.
Skills required: Volunteers need to be able to walk at least 1 mile--and up to 5 miles-in soft sand (to the observation points and back) during the heat of the day.
Time Commitment: Days and hours are flexible. Preference is given to volunteers who can commit to 2 days per month (consecutive or not), 4- 6 hours per day, from April through August.
Contact: Nita Tallent, (508) 957-0737, Nita_Tallent@nps.gov

Digital Image Volunteer
Description of work: Cape Cod National Seashore has thousands of images of landscapes, plants and animals, and field activities, including scientists at work. Some images have been digitized, but many others are in the form of slides and prints. The digital image volunteer will improve access to these images by digitizing and organizing an image collection. The volunteer will review the digital photo archive and how images are organized. S/he will interview staff at Cape Cod and other national park areas to develop options for referencing, search tools, and keywords. The volunteer will organize the existing archive of natural resource images and select and scan additional select images to add to the collection. This project offers a unique view of the range of natural resource activities at Cape Cod.
Skills or experience required: The volunteer should have familiarity with and be comfortable using computers, scanners, and associated software. All equipment and staff guidance are provided. Time commitment: A minimum of 40 hours is requested. Timeframe and hours are flexible. Work would be accomplished between Mondays and Fridays between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm at the national seashore laboratory facility in North Truro. For efficiency, shifts of a few hours at a time are requested. Work is done indoors, but there may be opportunities for the volunteer to capture additional seasonal images and see examples of how scientists work in the field.
Contact: Mark Adams, GIS Specialist, 508-487-3262, ext. 0501, mark_adams@nps.gov
 

Shorebird Education and Outreach

Shorebird Protection—Give Them a Break and Much Needed Space
Number of volunteers needed: Open
Description: During the busy summer months, it’s difficult for shorebirds to rest and feed on the beaches and mudflats without human disturbance. Volunteers are positioned in areas where young vulnerable shorebird chicks are feeding or where there are concentrations of migrating/staging shorebirds. Through public engagement and education, volunteers use binoculars and field guides to interact with visitors, discussing the importance of allowing shorebirds to rest and feed on beaches, and suggesting alternative walking routes to reduce disturbance. This is an excellent opportunity to share your passion for nature and give shorebirds a much needed break. This position requires wearing a volunteer uniform (provided).
Skills required: Volunteers may need to walk 1-2 miles in soft sand (to the observation points and back) during the heat of the day. Prefer that volunteers bring their own binoculars.
Time Commitment: At least one day per week for 4 hours from June-September.
Contact: Nita Tallent, (508) 957-0737, Nita_Tallent@nps.gov

Be the VOICE & Spread the Word - Shorebirds Need Our Help - Staff a Mobile Information Station
Number of volunteers needed: 2 per day
Description of work: These volunteers communicate with the public, providing education and information services at shorebird nest sites and visitor access points from Eastham to Provincetown. Volunteers staff a portable shorebird display table with activities and handouts, helping visitors understand threatened birds and how they can help.. A spotting scope may be set up to view birds. Two people are needed to staff the table each day.
Skills required: Strong interpersonal skills with a helpful and friendly attitude. Although volunteers will be trained by park staff, general knowledge and interest in natural history and shorebirds would be useful. This position requires wearing a volunteer uniform (provided).
Time Commitment: One day per week for 3-7 hours (a good project for couples), from June-August.
Contact: Nita Tallent, (508) 957-0737, Nita_Tallent@nps.gov
 

Visitor Services - Interpretation (Eastham - Wellfleet)

Volunteer Visitor Center Assistant, Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham
Number of volunteers needed: Variable
Description of work: Assist visitors at a busy visitor center. Respond to questions about national seashore activities, resources, and facilities, and help visitors match their interests with things to see and do. This position promotes visitor understanding and protection of national seashore resources, and promotes visitor safety.
Skills or experience required: Strong interpersonal skills with a helpful and friendly attitude. Willingness to learn and apply communications skills that help build public understanding of park resources, issues, and themes. General knowledge of the New England area with more specific knowledge of the natural and cultural history of the Outer Cape. Knowledge of park rules, regulations and safety requirements. This position requires wearing a volunteer uniform (provided).
Time commitment: Year-round, 1 to 2 shifts per week, 4 hours per shift.
Contact: Brent Ellis, Park Ranger, 508-255-3421 x 23, brent_ellis@nps.gov

Volunteer Interpreter, Seal Education Team, Truro and Eastham
Number of new volunteers needed in 2017: 8
Description of work: Provide information to visitors who are viewing seals resting at low tide on sandbars in Truro and Eastham. Discuss seal species, natural history, and biology. Encourage compliance with Marine Mammal Protection Act guidelines, such as keeping dogs on leashes and not approaching seals. This position promotes visitor understanding of national seashore resources and protection.
Skill or experience required: Interest in, and ability to research and learn about seals and the marine ecosystem in order to provide accurate information to visitors; prior public contact experience required; ability to converse with a broad range of people and to work as a member of a team; ability to understand multiple perspectives regarding complex issues; and tact in explaining sensitive issues to the public. This position requires wearing a volunteer uniform (provided); ability to walk in soft sand to haul out site (up to 1 mile each way); and ability to stand in the sun in a hot and humid environment for four hours. Four hours of formal training plus shadowing of experienced volunteers is required.
Time commitment: June through August. A flexible schedule is helpful, as shift times change daily with the tide. Shifts are four hours each, two hours before low tide and two hours after low tide. Schedules are prepared in advance, and volunteers sign up for shifts according to their availability. A minimum of three shifts per month required.
Contact: Sue Moynihan, Chief, Interpretation and Cultural Resources Management, 508-957-0738, sue_moynihan@nps.gov
 

Visitor Services - Interpretation (Truro - Provincetown)

Volunteer Visitor Center Assistant, Province Lands Visitor Center, Provincetown
Number of volunteers needed: 2
Description of work: Assist visitors at a busy visitor center. Respond to questions about national seashore activities, resources, and facilities, and help visitors match their interests with things to see and do. This position promotes visitor understanding and protection of national seashore resources, and promotes visitor safety.
Skill or experience required: Interest in, and ability to research and learn about national seashore resources, activities, and facilities in order to effectively assist visitors; good public contact ability and conversational skills. This position requires wearing a volunteer uniform (provided). Eight hours of training required, dates to be determined.
Time commitment: Minimum 4 hours per week, preferably spring through fall, and minimally, mid-June through August.
Contact: Jody Anastasio, Supervisory Park Ranger (Interpretation), 508-487-2100, jody_anastasio@nps.gov

Volunteer Guide, Old Harbor Life-Saving Station, Provincetown
Number of volunteers needed: 5
Description of work: Orient visitors to the 1898 Old Harbor Life-Saving Station located at Race Point Beach, Provincetown, and share the history of Cape Cod’s lifesavers. Possibly tell stories, demonstrate knot tying or other maritime skills.
Skills or experience required: Interest in the US Lifesaving Service and Cape Cod maritime history, good public contact and conversational skills. This position requires wearing a volunteer uniform (provided). Eight hours of training required, dates to be determined.
Time commitment: Minimum 2 hours per week, preferably spring through fall, and minimally, mid-June through August.
Contact: Jody Anastasio, Supervisory Park Ranger (Interpretation), 508-487-2100, Jody_anastasio@nps.gov

Beech Forest Bird Ambassador, Provincetown
Number of volunteers needed: 3
Description of work: Beech Forest is a lovely hardwood forest located along Race Point Road in Provincetown. In spring it is a significant resting spot for migrating songbirds. In summer it is a cool respite from the summer heat. And in fall, it comes alive with vibrant foliage. The Beech Forest Bird Ambassadors will visit the Beech Forest once a week from spring through fall, cleaning up bird seed and bread that wellmeaning visitors and residents have left out for the birds, but which is injurious to their health and against park regulations. The ambassadors will also walk trails, sharing their knowledge of birds with visitors, and encouraging them to observe the birds from a distance and to not feed or attract them.
Skill or Experience Required: Knowledge of migrating songbirds, knowledge or interest in learning about the area’s vegetation, ecology, and history. Interest in engaging with the public to help them understand the natural values of the area.
Time Commitment: Once a week, spring through fall, and occasionally in winter
Contact: Sue Moynihan, 508-957-0738, sue_moynihan@nps.gov
 

Facilities and Maintenance

FMSS Data Entry, Wellfleet
Number of new volunteers needed in 2017: 1
Description of work: The volunteer/intern will assist the CACO Facilities and Maintenance division with data entry related to the comprehensive condition assessments as well as some routine operations data entry. All data entry will be performed in the Facility Management Software System (FMSS) which is an asset and work order management system with many modules, roles and uses. More specifically, the intern will assist with entering asset specification data from written and photo documentation, entering work order data which address asset deficiencies as well as entering cost estimate data into work orders from spreadsheets and other documents. Some familiarity with cost estimating will be helpful.
Skill or experience required: Good organizational skills, intermediate computer skills, primarily in data entry, experience working with spreadsheets, ability to perform repetitive data entry with many unique codes, naming conventions and alphanumeric ID’s. Ability to identify duplication of data with regards to asset records, estimates, asset types and other numerical data. Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing. Perseverance and ability to multi-task and change priorities on occasion. Patience with software systems which are not always completely intuitive or user friendly. Ability to ask questions and seek guidance from staff when any system or data issues arise.
Time commitment: 40 hours/week for 10 weeks
Contact: Karst Hoogeboom, Chief of Facilities and Maintenancem, 508-957-0740, karst_hoogeboom@nps.gov

Adopt-A-Trail Volunteer (Parkwide)
Number of volunteers needed: 5-6
Description of work: Volunteers work in partnership with Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore to perform minor trail maintenance, such as vegetation trimming, and to report trail conditions. Volunteers work on an as-needed, independent basis at their assigned trails. Occasionally volunteers are requested to participate in a group project, such as installing water bars or building up eroded trails. Some Adopt-A-Trail volunteers also help maintain the seashore’s native plant garden at Salt Pond Visitor Center.
Skills or experience required: Trail volunteers walk on uneven surfaces carrying small hand tools. Ability to bend and reach while trimming vegetation is required. Volunteers need to be alert for ticks and poison ivy, both of which are prevalent at many trail locations.
Time commitment: Trails need to be walked twice monthly from April through October, and once monthly from November through March.
Contact: Sue Moynihan, Cape Cod National Seashore Liaison to Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore, (508) 9570738, sue_moynihan@nps.gov

Last updated: January 29, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

99 Marconi Site Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667

Phone:

(508) 255-3421

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