If donating your time and effort while living on a remote, roadless island surrounded by the largest freshwater lake in the world appeals to you, consider volunteering at Isle Royale National Park.
Work may require travel throughout the park's backcountry; camping, backpacking, and small boat handling experience is desirable but not mandatory. The time commitment for most positions is 12 weeks, full-time (40 hours/week).
Volunteer positions typically have an application deadline of March 1, though occasionally positions are filled earlier.
Isle Royale Volunteer Opportunties
Visitor Services Interns
This student intern position is located at Isle Royale National Park, located in northern Michigan. Primary duties are assisting with or conducting programs (i.e. orientations, hikes, boat tours, talks, evening program, and social media). Other duties are staffing the visitor center desk and sales area, providing trip-planning assistance, and disseminating information in person. Volunteers will receive appropriate training, guidance, and supervision from the Lead District Interpreter. You may be duty stationed in Windigo or Rock Harbor. If you are 18 years of age or older, you may apply.
Natural Resource Technician Interns
This position is located at Isle Royale National Park, located in northern Michigan. This position assists resource management staff in investigating terrestrial biological components of the park’s ecosystem. The volunteer working in this capacity will receive appropriate training, guidance and supervision from Natural Resource Management staff. If you are 18 years of age or older, you may apply.
You may apply through the volunteer.gov listing: Isle Royale National Park Natural Resources Assistant Volunteer.
Natural Resource Management Assistant – Mosaics In Science
The primary project will be an analysis of snowshoe hare distribution and habitat on Isle Royale. Wolf reintroduction on Isle Royale is ongoing and the park is interested in the cascading impacts of predation throughout the ecosystem. While snowshoe hare are not a primary prey of wolves, the population and distribution is expected to be impacted. Snowshoe hare density surveys were last conducted in 2017 when the wolf population was 2, while the current wolf population is at least 14 (not counting pups born in 2020). Read more about this Mosaics in Science volunteer opportunity
Scientists in Parks Fellows Program
This project analyzing long term trends in bird abundance at Isle Royale will fill a critical management need in evaluating park biological resources. It provides natural resource managers with information to evaluate the status of breeding birds, understand trends in bird abundance, and assess the impacts of climate change on the park’s bird population. Isle Royale is currently reintroducing wolves to reestablish predation and control the populations of the island’s herbivores, primarily moose. The park does not currently understand how the impacts of moose browse on the island’s vegetation impacts breeding bird habitat. The products of this project will assist resource managers in understanding how the cascading effects of wolf reintroduction impact breeding birds and their habitats.
Last updated: March 3, 2021