Volunteer Opportunities

For a full list of opportunities, check out our Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation Volunteer Opportunities in New York State Booklet

By Interests

  • Assessing Vegetation for Impacts from Deer (AVID), Cornell Department of Natural Resources
    • AVID is a project to Assess Vegetation for Impacts from Deer. Plants are monitored each year to evaluate the impact of deer browsing. AVID is a method for volunteers, foresters, landowners and others to measure the effect of deer browse on New York forests. Volunteers are encouraged to use AVID to document this aspect of New York forest health. Participants will learn about forest and woodland ecology, how to identify spring wildflowers and trees, and develop an eye for recognizing signs of deer impacts. Volunteers will collect data in your woods or land in your community and enter it on the AVID website to track tree, shrub and wildflower response to deer browsing over time.  The data collected with contribute to a statewide database to document how deer impacts are changing through time. These data can help guide deer management decisions at local and state levels.
    • More info here http://aviddeer.com/
  • Project Budbreak, Cornell Department of Natural Resources
    • Associated with a national effort, a network of citizen scientists is being established in central New York to observe the timing of flowering, leaf development, fruiting, and leaf drop in populations of common native trees and herbaceous species. The website allows observers to enter their data on the timing of important plant events through the growing season. Contact: David Weinstein, daw5@cornell.edu; http://budbreak.org/
  • Natural Areas Academy, Cornell Plantations (must attend orientation in Ithaca, NY)
    • The natural Areas Academy is designed as a year-long program to train citizens in the sustainable use and management of our natural resources and the long-term conservation of our natural heritage. Program requirements include attendance at the initial orientation
      workshop and 40 hours of participation in a combination of workshops, directed stewardship activities, and research opportunities. The Natural Areas Academy offers workshops and field trips throughout the year including hemlock woolly adelgid monitoring, plant propagation and natural area tours.
      Contact: Nikki Cerra, hnc24@cornell.edu; www.cornellplantations.org/NAA

  • New York ReLeaf, NYSDECphoto of tree planting
    • New York ReLeaf is a statewide effort that brings people together to share information about trees and ways to improve the future of trees where we live. ReLeaf creates partnerships between forestry professionals and dedicated citizens. ReLeaf volunteers combine their enthusiasm for environmental action with the skills necessary to sustain that action. Forestry professionals teach the techniques of site and tree selection, along with planting and maintenance techniques to help our community trees live to become big, green and beautiful. ReLeaf volunteers help raise awareness of the importance of trees and share their technical knowledge with other organizations and their communities.
      Contact: New York ReLeaf Coordinator, 518-402-9425, lflands@gw.dec.state.ny.us; www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5307.html
  • School Seedling Program, NYSDEC
    • Location: Saratoga County
    • This program allows any school-associated organization to plant and care for seedling trees from the DEC Saratoga Tree Nursery. Planting and caring for seedlings helps students better understand trees and their value and help stabilize soil and use nutrients that would otherwise wash into waterways.
      Contact: Regional DEC Forestry Office 518-623-1265; www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9393.html
  • Catskill Community Ash Tree Inventory Project, Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP)
  • Weeds Watch Out! (W2O!), Oswego River Basin Invasive Plant Monitoring
    • Location: Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, Tompkins, Schuyler, Yates and Ontario CountiesEuropean Frog-bit, Photograph by Robin Scribailo. Used by permission from www.maine.gov
    • W2O! is an education and outreach program that will attempt to thwart the spread of invasive aquatic plant species into, within, and from the Oswego River Basin, a sub-basin of Lake Ontario. W2O! will establish strong inter-watershed relationships in the Oswego River Basin to effectively address current and future invasive aquatic plant issues in a coordinated manner. Weed Watch Out Volunteers are needed to help stop the spread of invasive aquatic plants in local lakes and rivers. Training workshops are available to teach volunteers how to identify invasive plant varieties, as well as native look-a-likes, monitor the presence or spread of invasive plants along a lake-shore, river, swimming area, or other favorite water body, and report the presence of a new infestation early. For a listing of W2O! general workshops and training workshops as well as water chestnut hand pulling events, visit http://www.cayugacounty.us/Departments/Water-Quality-Management-Agency/Weeds-Watch-Out
      Contact: Michele Wunderlich, 315-253-1107, mwunderlich@co.cayuga.ny.us
  • NestWatch (Joint Program between Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center)
    • NestWatch teaches people about bird breeding biology and engages them in collecting and submitting nest records. Such records include information about nest site location, habitat, species, and number of eggs, young, and fledglings. “Citizen scientists” submit their nest records to our online database where their observations are compiled with those of other participants in a continent-wide effort to better understand and manage the impacts of environmental change on bird populations. https://nestwatch.org/
    • Contact: nestwatch@cornell.edu
  • Project FeederWatch
    • Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.  More info at https://feederwatch.org/
  • eBirdA map of Barn Swallow abundance across North and South America during October
    • A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. By maximizing the utility and accessibility of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers, eBird is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence. The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network of eBird users. eBird then shares these observations with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists. eBird documents the presence or absence of species, as well as bird abundance through checklist data. A birder simply enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard during the outing. Local experts review unusual records that are flagged by the filters. eBird data are stored in a secure facility and archived daily, and are accessible to anyone via the eBird web site and other applications developed by the global biodiversity information community.  https://ebird.org/home
  • BirdSleuth, Cornell Lab of Ornithology  
    • BirdSleuth is an inquiry-based science curriculum that helps educators engage kids in scientific study and real data collection through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's citizen science projects. Each BirdSleuth module encourages students do what “real” scientists do: ask questions, collect data, look for patterns and evidence, test ideas, draw conclusions, and share results. Each module scaffolds one or more citizen science projects, and includes lesson plans, student journals, a reference guide, and a resource kit containing such tools as Focus Cards, CD-ROMs or DVDs, books, and full-color posters.
      Contact: Jennifer Fee, 607- 254-2403, jms327@cornell.edu, www.birdsleuth.org
  • Celebrate Urban Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology  
    • Line of pigeons in the city of New York with buildings behindYou can Celebrate Urban Birds by gardening, by organizing a community event, or by connecting to the outdoors through art projects. Become a citizen-scientist by observing birds in your neighborhood and sending the data to scientists at the Cornell Laboratory of
      Ornithology. For anyone, anywhere, anytime; everybody can Celebrate Urban Birds in some way.
      Contact: Karen Purcell, Celebrate Urban Birds Project Leader, kap7@cornell.edu; www.birds.cornell.edu/celebration
  • YardMap, Cornell Lab of Ornithology  
    • YardMap enables people to map their habitat management and carbon neutral practices in backyards and parks, interact socially, and try out new landscape practices. Participants first locate their yards or parks on a Google map and then use easy point-and-click tools to define habitat types and sustainable activities, including actions like planting natives, putting up bird feeders, or installing solar panels. These practices are stored as data and linked to Cornell’s citizen science bird observations. Integrated social networking tools give contributors the opportunity to form online learning communities and allow people to share their maps and practices broadly within the network. Participants also have access to a wide array of rich media and web-based learning resources with learning objectives ranging from bird and plant identification to conceptual understanding of complex habitat-bird relationships, including the importance of the size and arrangement of habitat patches and the potential for cumulative impacts of many small acts to make a difference to both bird conservation and carbon neutrality. Our partners include the United States Fish and Wildlife Association, National Wildlife Refuge System, The American Community Gardening Association, The Roger Tory Peterson Institute, National Audubon Society, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Empire State College. Join us at YardMap and put yourself on the map today!
      Contact: yardmap@yardmap.org; www.yardmap.org/
  • Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey, NYSDECA ruffed grouse drumming.
    • The ruffed grouse is a forest species that is widely distributed across New York State. While some grouse are found in more mature forests, the greatest population densities are in younger-aged forests. Turkey hunters in pursuit of that wary gobbler in the spring are
      ideally suited for monitoring ruffed grouse during the breeding season. The characteristic sound of a drumming male grouse is as much a part of the spring woods as yelping hens and gobbling toms. DEC currently monitors grouse populations in the fall through the
      Cooperator Ruffed Grouse Hunting Log (www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9351.html) where hunters record the number of birds flushed per hour of hunting effort. The Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey provides a harvest-independent index of grouse distribution and abundance during the critical breeding season in the spring.
      Contact: 518-402-8886, fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us (type “Ruffed Grouse Survey” in the subject line); www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48169.html
  • Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey, NYSDEC 
    • Since 1996, DEC has conducted the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey to estimate the number of wild turkey poults (young of the year) per hen statewide. Weather, predation, and habitat conditions during the breeding and brood-rearing seasons can all significantly
      impact nest success, hen survival, and poult survival. During the month of August, survey participants will record the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkeys observed during normal travel. Individuals interested in participating can download a Summer
      Wild Turkey Sighting Survey form from the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48732.html. Detailed instructions can be
      found with the data sheet. Survey cards can also be obtained by contacting your regional DEC office.
      Contact: 518-402-8886, fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us (type “Summer Turkey Survey” in the subject line);
      www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48732.html
  • Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey, NYSDEC
    • Along with weather conditions during the spring and early summer nesting season, winter conditions (e.g., days below freezing, snow depth, etc.) can significantly impact wild turkey populations, particularly young birds (jakes and jennies). The Winter Wild Turkey Flock
      Survey is conducted from January through March and is used to monitor trends in relative abundance of turkeys statewide and within major regions of the state. Our goal is to collect observations from every county in the state. This is an opportunity for people interested in wildlife to partner with DEC to help monitor wild turkey populations.
      Contact: 518-402-8886, fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us (type “Winter Turkey Survey” in the subject line);
  • Christmas Bird Count
    • From December 14 through January 5 tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an annual bird count. The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission – often before dawn. Go to the Christmas Bird Count website to find a Count Coordinator in your area and find about local activities during the Count.
    • Contact: Geoff Lebaron, CBC Program Director, glebaron@audubon.org; www.christmasbirdcount.org
  • Annual Loon Census, Wildlife Conservation Society 
    • On the third Saturday of July, WCS conducts an annual loon census with the help of local Adirondack residents and visitor volunteers.  This data provides a quick glimpse of the status of the breeding loon population in and around the Adirondack Park and across New York State. The results help guide management decisions and policies that affect loons. However, observations made elsewhere in New York State are also welcome. Census volunteer’s sign up to monitor a lake from 8:00–9:00 a.m. on the census day, and report the number of adult loons, chicks, and immature loons they observe.
      Contact: 518-891-8872, adkloon@wcs.org;  https://northamerica.wcs.org/Wild-Places/Adirondacks/Loon-Conservation/Loon-Census.aspx
  • Grouse and Woodcock Hunting Log, NYSDEC Ruffed Grouse and an American Woodcock
    • Ruffed grouse and American woodcock are widely distributed across New York. These species prefer habitats in an early stage of succession, such as young forests, shrublands, and old orchards, and fields. As New York's forests grow older, these preferred habitats are
      declining, resulting in declining grouse and woodcock numbers since the 1960s. This survey asks hunters to record their daily grouse and woodcock hunting activities in a "hunting log", including the number of grouse and woodcock flushed, the number of hours hunted, the number of birds killed, and if a dog was used to hunt. The primary purpose of the log is to monitor the number of birds flushed per hour. Grouse and woodcock share many of the same habitats, so the information you provide will help monitor populations of both of these great game birds as habitats change both locally and on a landscape scale.
      Please see the email below for more information, or contact us to get on our mailing list (type Grouse Hunting Log in the subject line).
      Contact: NYSDEC, 518-402-8886, fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us; www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9351.html
  • Wilson Hill Goose Drive, NYSDEC Banding goose at the annual Wilson Hill Goose Drive
    • Location: St. Lawrence County
    • Every summer, DEC wildlife staff conducts goose roundups on a couple of Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). These are true roundups (drives) in the way that staff and volunteers, using canoes and walking along the shore, "herd" the geese the entire length of the WMA and into holding pens at one end. This is only possible because geese molt (loose) all their flight feathers in late June and
      early July and cannot fly. Biologists then determine the age and sex of the birds, band them, and release them back into the marsh. The Wilson Hill Goose Drive is held late June or early July, mid-week, starting around 8:00 AM at the headquarters building. Contact: Blanche Town in the Potsdam office at 315-265-3090 (by Mid-June) www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7102.html
  • Pheasant Monitoring in the Genesee Valley Focus Area, NYSDEC Ring-necked pheasant
    • Location: Livingston, Genesee, Wyoming and Monroe Counties
      Farmers in the 13 counties that comprise the Lake Plains of New York have partnered with DEC since 1945 to help survey wild pheasant populations. This effort continues in the newly established “Pheasant Habitat Focus Area” in the Genesee Valley. The focus area was created as a part of DEC’s recently completed 10-year management plan for ring-necked pheasants. The surveys collected from participants will help DEC monitor pheasant populations and evaluate the success of habitat management efforts in the focus area.
      Those who do not farm, but would like to contribute their pheasant observations from Livingston, Genesee, Wyoming and Monroe counties can join the Summer Pheasant Sighting Survey. During the month of August, survey participants record the sex and age of all pheasants observed during normal travel.
      Contact: Lori Severino, 518-402-8000; www.dec.ny.gov/animals/72543.html
  • Eagle Conservation Committee, Delaware Highlands Conservancy
    • Location: Sullivan County (and in PA)
      • Volunteers assist on the Eagle Conservation Committee and/or as a monitor during the winter eagle-monitoring season. Winter monitoring runs from January 1st to the beginning of March each year, weekends only. Volunteers collect data on both wintering eagles and resident pairs, while educating the public in “Eagle Etiquette” and how to have the best eagle watching experience. Trained Eagle Institute volunteers are also needed to help staff booths, do workshops, and participate in other eagle-related events.
      • Contact: 845-583-1010, volunteer@delawarehighlands.org; www.delawarehighlands.org/volunteer#sthash.tNyi6ckg.dpuf
  • Nature Watch Program, Basha Kill Area Association, Wurtsboro, NY Image result for basha kill eagles
    • Location: Sullivan County
    • Nature Watch is the BKAA's premier, hands-on volunteer program. Volunteers are educated to help to learn visitors about bald eagles and ospreys nesting at the Basha Kill, as well as about the many other plant and animal residents of this amazing wetland. The program runs each spring from mid-April until the end of June on the week-ends. Volunteers set up two spotting scopes and an educational table at the main boat launch of the Basha Kill where there is good viewing of the current bald eagle nest and osprey nest. From 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, you'll find our volunteers set up at the boat launch, ready to talk with citizens and help them with the scopes.
    • Contact: Maryallison Farley at 845-888-0261 and/or Patricia Diness at 845-386-5024; www.thebashakill.org/volunteer.htm
  • New York City Audubon Volunteers [b]Volunteers Work with NYC Audubon's Susan Elbin on Swinburne Island[/b][br]© NYC Audubon
    • Location: New York City
    • Each year, hundreds of people are needed in the field in such activities as surveying heron foraging sites, counting horseshoe crabs at spawning beaches, and searching for birds that are the victims of collisions with windows. NYC Audubon also hosts TogetherGreen Volunteer Days throughout the year.
      Contact: 212-691-7483, volunteer@nycaudubon.org; www.nycaudubon.org/volunteer
  • The Lost Ladybug Project, Cornell Department of Entomology John Losey with students at the Ithaca Ladybug Bli
    • To be able to help the nine spotted ladybug and other ladybug species, scientists need to have detailed information on which species are still out there and how many individuals are around. Entomologists at Cornell can identify the different species, but there are too few of us
      to sample in enough places to find the really rare ones. We need you to be our legs, hands and eyes. If you can look for ladybugs and send us pictures of them with our “Upload Photos Submission Form”, we can start to gather the information we need.
      Contact: John Losey, ladybug@cornell.edu; www.lostladybug.org/index.php
  • Firefly Watch: June/Summer 
    • Help the Museum of Science in Boston and researchers from Tufts University and Fitchburg State College conduct a firefly census to track fireflies. Firefly populations appear to be declining throughout the U.S. Volunteer firefly watchers observe and report on firefly activity in or near their backyards.
      Scientists hope the census will shed light on the geographic distribution of fireflies and their activity during the summer season. Visit the Museum of Science’s website www.mos.org/fireflywatch/.
  • Bowhunter Sighting Log, NYSDEC Furbearers (fisher, bobcat, otter, weasel)
    • The New York Bowhunter Sighting Log is designed to provide information on long-term population trends for selected wildlife species. The log was started on an experimental basis in several areas of the state in 1995 and expanded to cover the entire state in the fall 1998. These types of data are collected by New York and a number of other states as an index of wildlife populations. Bowhunters who are cooperators in the sighting log keep a diary of their bowhunting activities and the number of animals of several species that they see from their stand. More participants are needed in northern, eastern and southeastern counties, and in Suffolk and Westchester counties. Please
      email the address below and provide your name, address, hunter ID (back tag number), a list of the counties where you hunt, and whether or not you have participated in New York's bowhunter log in any previous year (type Bowhunter Sighting Log in the subject line).
      Contact: fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us; www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7193.html
  • Furbearer Sighting Surveys, NYSDEC The Bureau of Wildlife wants to learn more about the occurrence and distribution of various furbearers throughout New York. Visit the "Furbearers" page to read profiles for various species, including physical traits and tips for identifying them. There are options for reporting your observations: Upstate New York: report sightings of bobcat, otter, fisher, and weasel in DEC Regions 3 through 9. Long Island/New York City: report sightings of beaver, gray fox, otter, weasel, mink, coyote, and skunk in DEC Regions 1 and 2. Contact: fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us; www.dec.ny.gov/animals/30770.html
  • Grouse and Woodcock Hunting Log, NYSDEC Ruffed Grouse and an American Woodcock
    • Ruffed grouse and American woodcock are widely distributed across New York. These species prefer habitats in an early stage of succession, such as young forests, shrublands, and old orchards, and fields. As New York's forests grow older, these preferred habitats are
      declining, resulting in declining grouse and woodcock numbers since the 1960s. This survey asks hunters to record their daily grouse and woodcock hunting activities in a "hunting log", including the number of grouse and woodcock flushed, the number of hours hunted, the number of birds killed, and if a dog was used to hunt. The primary purpose of the log is to monitor the number of birds flushed per hour. Grouse and woodcock share many of the same habitats, so the information you provide will help monitor populations of both of these great game birds as habitats change both locally and on a landscape scale.
      Please see the email below for more information, or contact us to get on our mailing list (type Grouse Hunting Log in the subject line).
      Contact: NYSDEC, 518-402-8886, fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us; www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9351.html
  • Headwaters Youth Education Initiative, Trout Unlimited 
    • TU's Headwaters Youth Education Initiative is dedicated to creating a "stream of engagement" for youth, starting around age eight and extending into their college years. Kids can join at any time and will be provided a seamless set of activities and experiences to keep them not only actively engaged in nature and conservation, but also in touch with other young people who share their interests. Headwaters will develop, integrate, and expand existing TU youth programs such as Trout in the Classroom, First Cast, and youth camps while also developing new partnerships and programs that will involve young people in our mission to protect and restore the nation's coldwater
      resources. If your child is interested in rivers and flyfishing, consider joining of starting a new program for youth in your home waters.
      Contact: Ron Urban, NYS Council Chair, 914-388-3878, Ronsgonefishing@aol.com; http://www.troutintheclassroom.org/
  • Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network, CCE of Suffolk County 
    • Location: Suffolk County
    • Volunteers are needed to collect data on horseshoe crab spawning abundance, size, sex and tag returns around full and new moon
      evenings from May to July. The data will be used by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to assess the status of
      horseshoe crabs in New York’s Marine District and to assist with the regional management and conservation of this species.
      Contact: Site Coordinators are different for each beach location. www.NYhorseshoecrab.org/
  • American Eel Research, Citizen Science, NYSDEC a bunch of glass eels in the palm of the reasercher's hands
    • Location: Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Columbia, Greene, Albany, and Rensselaer Counties
    • The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a migratory fish that is born in the Atlantic Ocean and enters North American tributaries as tiny "glass eels". The species is in decline over much of its range, and baseline studies of migrations are crucial for management. Teams of scientists, students, and community volunteers are needed to collect glass eels using net and trap devices on several Hudson River tributaries each spring. The juvenile eels are counted, weighed, and released alive, and other environmental data is recorded. At several sites, herring surveys are also conducted.
      Contact: Zoraida Maloney, 845-889-4745 x.107, ztmalone@gw.dec.state.ny.us; or Chris Bowser: chbowser@gw.dec.state.ny.us;  www.dec.ny.gov/lands/49580.html
  • Wilson Hill Goose Drive, NYSDEC Banding goose at the annual Wilson Hill Goose Drive
    • Location: St. Lawrence County
    • Every summer, DEC wildlife staff conducts goose roundups on a couple of Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). These are true roundups (drives) in the way that staff and volunteers, using canoes and walking along the shore, "herd" the geese the entire length of the WMA and into holding pens at one end. This is only possible because geese molt (loose) all their flight feathers in late June and
      early July and cannot fly. Biologists then determine the age and sex of the birds, band them, and release them back into the marsh. The Wilson Hill Goose Drive is held late June or early July, mid-week, starting around 8:00 AM at the headquarters building. Contact: Blanche Town in the Potsdam office at 315-265-3090 (by Mid-June) www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7102.html
  • New England Cottontail Survey, NYSDEC Eastern cottontail
    • Location: Rensselaer, Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, and Westchester Counties
      The only native cottontail east of the Hudson River in New York is the New England Cottontail; however, its range has been greatly reduced in the state due to habitat loss and competition with the more abundant Eastern cottontail. The New England cottontails look nearly identical to Eastern cottontails and are only reliably identified by genetic testing of tissue, by fecal samples, or by examining
      morphological skull characteristics. The skulls will be used for identification to help us determine the distribution of the New England Cottontail.
      NYSDEC is requesting that rabbit hunters in Wildlife Management Units in Rensselaer, Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, and Westchester counties contact us to learn how they can submit the heads of rabbits they harvest (type "NE Cottontail" in the subject line). Contact: 518-402-8870; fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us; www.dec.ny.gov/animals/67017.html
  • Pheasant Monitoring in the Genesee Valley Focus Area, NYSDEC Ring-necked pheasant
    • Location: Livingston, Genesee, Wyoming and Monroe Counties
      Farmers in the 13 counties that comprise the Lake Plains of New York have partnered with DEC since 1945 to help survey wild pheasant populations. This effort continues in the newly established “Pheasant Habitat Focus Area” in the Genesee Valley. The focus area was created as a part of DEC’s recently completed 10-year management plan for ring-necked pheasants. The surveys collected from participants will help DEC monitor pheasant populations and evaluate the success of habitat management efforts in the focus area.
      Those who do not farm, but would like to contribute their pheasant observations from Livingston, Genesee, Wyoming and Monroe counties can join the Summer Pheasant Sighting Survey. During the month of August, survey participants record the sex and age of all pheasants observed during normal travel.
      Contact: Lori Severino, 518-402-8000; www.dec.ny.gov/animals/72543.html
  • New York City Audubon Volunteers
    • Location: New York City
    • Each year, hundreds of people are needed in the field in such activities as surveying heron foraging sites, counting horseshoe crabs at spawning beaches, and searching for birds that are the victims of collisions with windows. NYC Audubon also hosts TogetherGreen Volunteer Days throughout the year.
      Contact: 212-691-7483, volunteer@nycaudubon.org; www.nycaudubon.org/volunteer
  • Bobcat Observation: Year-round
    • DEC needs more information on bobcat populations in most of central and western New York. If you spend a considerable
      amount of time outdoors in these areas, you can help by keeping track of any bobcat sightings and reporting your
      findings. For information, e-mail or call DEC at fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us or 518-402-8920
  • Adopt‐A‐Natural‐Resource Stewardship Program (AANR), NYSDEC
    • AANR is a unique opportunity for individuals or groups to become stewards for a state-owned natural resource of their choice. Once the state approves the proposed adoption, citizens become the authority for conservation management of the chosen location. Activities may involve picking up litter and trash, establishing or maintaining access or nature trails, remediating vandalism, providing interpretive services for school groups and other citizens, managing fish and wildlife habitats, and otherwise providing positive benefits to the natural
      resource.
      Contact: Division of Lands and Forests, 518-402-9428, lflands@gw.dec.state.ny.us; www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2568.html
  • Reinstein Woods Volunteer Program, Friends of Reinstein Woods and NYSDEC Volunteers doing trail maintenance/cleanup
    • Location: Erie County
    • Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center is located at the Dr. Victor Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve – a unique 292-acre complex of forests, ponds, and wetlands surrounded by suburban development. Volunteers provide support for Reinstein Woods' programs in a variety of ways, from sharing nature with adults and children as nature guides, to taking care of our trails and forests,
      and to helping at special events. Designated Research Stewards help conduct citizen science projects in each season of the year.
      Contact: 716-683-5959, rwnp@gw.dec.state.ny.us; www.dec.ny.gov/education/1960.html
  • School Seedling Program, NYSDEC
    • Location: Saratoga County
    • This program allows any school-associated organization to plant and care for seedling trees from the DEC Saratoga Tree Nursery. Planting and caring for seedlings helps students better understand trees and their value and help stabilize soil and use nutrients that would otherwise wash into waterways.
      Contact: Regional DEC Forestry Office 518-623-1265; www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9393.html
  • Adopt A Park
    • Location: Onondaga County
    • Adopt and provide ongoing care for special sections of parks, trails, and gardens and/or dedicate your group to an intensive half-day
      cleanup of buildings and grounds at one of your favorite parks. Sites available throughout Onondaga County see contacts list for
      specific parks.
    • Contacts: Onondaga Lake Park: Dale Grinolds, Park Superintendent, 315-453-6712, dgrinolds@ongov.net
    • Oneida Shores: Gary Lopez, Park Superintendent, 315-676-7366, glopez@ongov.net
    • Highland Forest: Brian Kelley, Park Superintendent, 315-683-5550, bkelley@ongov.net
    • Rosamond Gifford Zoo: Ellen Vaughn, Volunteer Coordinator, 315-435-8511x111, evaughn@rosamondgiffordzoo.org
    • Beaver Kill Nature Center: Meg Valovage, Volunteer Coordinator, 315-638-2519, megvalovage@hotmail.com
    • Hatchery, cemeteries, Jordan Level, and Otisco State Park: Bill Lansley, Parks Commissioner, 315-451-7275
      www.onondagacountyparks.com/about/adopt-a-park
  • Friends of Five Rivers
    • Location: Albany, Rensselaer, Greene Counties
    • Friends of Five Rivers is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that supports the work of Five Rivers Environmental Education Center. Volunteers enable Five Rivers to offer more programs and services. Volunteers are needed to greet people at the Center, assist staff Naturalists, instruct Student Groups, and maintain grounds and gardens, as well as aid other special projects/events.
    • Contact: 518-475-0295, frltd@juno.com ; www.friendsoffiverivers.org
  • Lake George Association 
    • Location: Warren County
    • The Lake George Association (LGA) is the leading citizen group responsible for conserving Lake George. The LGA coordinates volunteers on Lake George for larger volunteer monitoring efforts that are state or park-wide, and also runs its own monitoring programs specific to Lake George. Volunteers can help with on-site projects like clean-ups, site restoration, and invasive species removal, as well as citizen science monitoring projects and office work.
      Contact: Emily DeBolt, 518-668-3558, info@lakegeorgeassociation.org; www.lakegeorgeassociation.org
  • Trout In The Classroom, New York City Watersheds, Trout Unlimited 
    • Location: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond Counties
    • TIC serves an extremely important role in the Southern New York area where Brook Trout, the state fish, are a culturally significant species. By allowing students to raise and release trout into the watershed streams, TIC helps these students understand where their water comes from, the unique structure of the New York City water supply system and the impact they can have on this important resource. The majority of the Trout Release Field Days for New York City students takes place in the Croton Watershed at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River during the months of April and May. Over 1,500 students attend the field days to release trout, study stream biology and geology, and explore nature while hiking through the riparian watershed forests. Trout release field day volunteers include environmental educators and Trout Unlimited volunteers from the community. New volunteers are always welcome.
    • Contact: Lilli Genovesi, genovesi@tu.org; http://www.troutintheclassroom.org/
  • Hudson River Almanac: Year-round immature bald eagle
    • The Hudson River Almanac is a natural history journal that presents the observations of many individuals (more than 1,700 contributors to date), who range from elementary school students to professional biologists. The almanac contains valuable information on the entire river (from the High Peaks
      of the Adirondacks to New York Harbor), and encourages others to look more closely at the Hudson. From 1994 to 2001, the almanac was published as a bound book; today it is a free electronic newsletter delivered weekly via e-mail. To learn more, visit www.dec.ny.gov/lands/25608.html. To subscribe,
      e-mail hrep@gw.dec.state.ny.us (write E-Almanac in the subject line).
  • Asian Long‐horned Beetle Monitoring Survey for Pool Owners, NYSDEC Forest Health Program An Asian Longhorned Beetle on someone's hand with a penny for scale   
    • Pool owners are invited to join in the NYSDEC annual Asian long-horned beetle (ALB) Swimming Pool Survey in order to help keep watch for these exotic, invasive beetles before they cause serious damage to our forests and street trees. The Swimming Pool Survey takes
      place in summer, when ALBs are expected to become adults, emerge from the trees they are infesting, and become active outside those trees.
      Contact: Jessica Cancelliere, 518-810-1609, foresthealth@gw.dec.state.ny.us; https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7255.html
  • iMapInvasives New York, NYSDEC and New York Natural Heritage Program Mobile
    • iMapInvasives is an online mapping tool that supports efforts to protect New York State from the threat of invasive species. Learn about the program and become trained to contribute data by attending an iMapInvasives training session. The iMapInvasives team offers in-person training sessions every spring (May-June). We also offer other training sessions throughout the year as needed. Check back early each year for the newest PRISM training series. Contact: imapinvasives@nynhp.org; www.nyimapinvasives.org
  • Monitor for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, New York State Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Initiative photo of HWA by Mark Whitmore
    • The New York State Hemlock Initiative represents the efforts of scientists, natural resources professionals, volunteers, students, and New Yorkers throughout the state, united in their love for hemlock trees and dedicated to hemlock conservation. Our volunteer programs rely upon Citizen Science, which involves members of the public collecting data and reporting on natural phenomena to contribute to our larger scientific goals. Since our research and scope are statewide, we are supported by citizen scientists all over New York who help us find healthy and HWA-infested hemlock stands, understand the timing of important HWA life stages, monitor for management success and biocontrol establishment, and rear insects for our biocontrol program.
    • More info about volunteer opportunities at New York State Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Initiative
  • Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, NYSDEC and New York State Federation of Lake Associations
    (NYSFOLA)
    • The Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) is a volunteer lake monitoring program run by the NYSDEC and the NYSFOLA. Citizen volunteers are needed to join NYSFOLA-member lake associations that are responsible for collecting biweekly water
      quality data and samples from June-October. About 100 lakes participate each year in the program. Samples are collected both at the surface and the bottom for shallow lakes. Please visit the NYSFOLA website to find a participating lake near you, or register your lake as
      a monitoring site.
      Contact: Nancy Mueller, 800-796-3652, fola@nysfola.org; www.nysfola.mylaketown.com/
  • Trees for Tribs, Hudson River Estuary Program & NYSDEC Volunteers planting tree seedlings
    • Riparian (streamside) buffers are a major component to maintaining healthy streams and water. These buffers, composed of trees, shrubs, and grasses help to reduce pollution entering waterways by slowing down and filtering runoff, thus extending retention time. Buffers also help to reduce flooding and erosion by stabilizing shorelines and absorbing high velocity flows. In addition, they serve an important role for wildlife as a shoreline transition zone and travel corridor, not to mention increasing overall biodiversity and improving in-stream health. The Hudson River Estuary Program's "Trees for Tribs" Initiative is offering free native trees and shrubs for qualifying projects in the Hudson River Estuary watershed within the State of New York from the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to the Troy Dam. This year, NYSDEC is expanding the program to include the Champlain, Upper Hudson, Mohawk, and Great Lakes Basin. The Estuary Program's Riparian Buffer Coordinator and the Trees for Tribs Coordinators can assist with plant selection, designing a planting plan, and other technical information to improve the odds of success for your project.
      Contacts: NYSDEC-Champlain, Upper Hudson, Mohawk, and Great Lakes Basin, 518-402-9405, treesfortribs@gw.dec.state.ny.us;
      www.dec.ny.gov/animals/77710.html; HREP-Hudson River Valley- 845-256-3016, hrep@gw.dec.state.ny.us;
      www.dec.ny.gov/lands/43668.html
  • Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network, CCE of Suffolk County 
    • Location: Suffolk County
    • Volunteers are needed to collect data on horseshoe crab spawning abundance, size, sex and tag returns around full and new moon
      evenings from May to July. The data will be used by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to assess the status of
      horseshoe crabs in New York’s Marine District and to assist with the regional management and conservation of this species.
      Contact: Site Coordinators are different for each beach location. www.NYhorseshoecrab.org/
  • Long Island Seagrass Conservation, CCE of Suffolk County 
    • Location: Suffolk County
    • A group of volunteers is needed to monitor the water quality of local creeks and bays that either supports eelgrass or once did. Staff at LISC can only allot as much time and resources for monitoring as funding allows, and often eelgrass beds that are in distress can crash within a season due to very simple water quality problems that could potentially be identified with more frequent monitoring.  Volunteer-based water quality monitoring benefits all those involved, filling in data gaps and helping to identify areas in need of
      further study.
      Contact: Kimberly Barbour, seagrassli@cornell.edu; www.seagrassli.org/
  • American Eel Research, Citizen Science, NYSDEC a bunch of glass eels in the palm of the reasercher's hands
    • Location: Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Columbia, Greene, Albany, and Rensselaer Counties
    • The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a migratory fish that is born in the Atlantic Ocean and enters North American tributaries as tiny "glass eels". The species is in decline over much of its range, and baseline studies of migrations are crucial for management. Teams of scientists, students, and community volunteers are needed to collect glass eels using net and trap devices on several Hudson River tributaries each spring. The juvenile eels are counted, weighed, and released alive, and other environmental data is recorded. At several sites, herring surveys are also conducted.
      Contact: Zoraida Maloney, 845-889-4745 x.107, ztmalone@gw.dec.state.ny.us; or Chris Bowser: chbowser@gw.dec.state.ny.us;  www.dec.ny.gov/lands/49580.html
  • Lake Ontario Black Bass Angler Diary Program, NYSDEC Examples of Angler Diaries
    • Location: Jefferson, Orleans, Oswego, Wayne, Monroe, Niagara, Cayuga, and Lewis Counties NYSDEC is recruiting volunteer bass anglers to participate in a Lake Ontario Black Bass Angler Diary Program. The program was initiated to help provide NYSDEC with valuable information on fishing quality experienced by anglers targeting smallmouth and largemouth bass in Lake Ontario and its embayments and tributaries to the first impassable barrier, as well as obtain biological characteristic information of caught bass. The diary program is conducted annually, beginning at the start of the traditional open largemouth and smallmouth bass season on the third Saturday of June each year. The program continues to the last day of the open season. Anglers interested in participating can send their name, address, and e-mail address to the email below (type Bass Angler Program in the subject line).
      Contact: fwfishlo@gw.dec.state.ny.us; https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/73518.html
  • Cayuga Lake Watershed Network
    • Location: Tompkins, Seneca, and Cayuga Counties
    • The CLWN is a grassroots education and advocacy organization of citizens, businesses, groups, and local governments from across
    • the Cayuga Lake Watershed. Volunteers are needed to monitor for invasive aquatic plants and conduct shoreline maintenance.
    • Contact: Hilary Lambert, steward@cayugalake.org; www.cayugalake.org
  • Community Science Institute
    • Location: Tompkins, Cayuga, Schuyler, and Cortland Counties
    • The nonprofit Community Science Institute (CSI) organizes and empowers citizen volunteers to monitor water quality in streams, lakes, ponds and groundwater as a critical first step in protecting water resources. Our long-term strategy for stream and lake protection combines the action of dedicated volunteers with the scientific expertise of a state-certified testing laboratory. This strategy has resulted in baseline data sets on water quality in six streams that feed Cayuga Lake, currently the largest data set on tributary streams of any of the Finger Lakes.
    • Contact: Becky, CSI’s Outreach Coordinator, becky@communityscience.org; www.communityscience.org
  • Coastal Beach Clean‐up (September), American Littoral Society
    • Location: Sites registered in Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, NYC, Rockland, Richmond, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Oneida, Jefferson, Lewis, Cayuga, Ontario, Monroe, Orleans, Niagara, Erie, and Chautauqua Counties
    • Since 1986, the Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society (http://www.littoralsociety.org/) has coordinated New York’s participation in the annual September International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). Go to the website below to find a local site coordinator and register for the event.
    • Contact: 1-800-449-0790, nysbeachcleanup@gmail.com; www.nysbeachcleanup.org
  • Community WaterWatch  
    • Location: Monroe County
      The Community WaterWatch program is a volunteer activity involving the residents of Monroe County in efforts to improve and sustain the quality of the waterways in our community. Monitoring is essential in the process of identifying water quality problems and trends. Although many government agencies conduct regular monitoring, smaller streams are often not monitored because of limited resources. The Community WaterWatch program aims to fill these gaps with local resident participation.
    • Contact: 585-274-7638; www.monroecounty.gov/eh-citizenaction.php
  • Lake George Association
    • Location: Warren County
    • The Lake George Association (LGA) is the leading citizen group responsible for conserving Lake George. The LGA coordinates volunteers on Lake George for larger volunteer monitoring efforts that are state or park-wide, and also runs its own monitoring programs specific to Lake George. Volunteers can help with on-site projects like clean-ups, site restoration, and invasive species removal, as well as citizen science monitoring projects and office work.
      Contact: Emily DeBolt, 518-668-3558, info@lakegeorgeassociation.org; www.lakegeorgeassociation.org
  • Long Island Water Sentinels 
    • Location: Suffolk County
    • The goal of the Long Island Water Sentinels program is to compile baseline water quality data for both the North and South Shores of Long Island. Long Island Water Sentinels train and equip adult, teacher, and student volunteers to do water testing in the field. All volunteers work in teams, ensuring reliable and accurate data.
    • Contact: Ann Aurelio, 631-560-0055, smileyann21@verizon.net; www.liwatersentinels.org/ 
  • Monitor for Invasive Hydrilla on Cayuga Lake Send us your photo of suspected hydrilla against a light background, for identification!
    • Location: Tompkins, Cayuga, and Seneca Counties
    • The Hydrilla Hunters is an informal, trained group of Cayuga Lake watershed residents working together to prevent takeover of our lake and creeks by the aquatic invasive plant, Hydrilla verticillata. Lakefront Hydrilla Hunters are needed around Cayuga Lake. Monitoring of the lake shore and the shallow end will continue, led by trained experts. These professional teams need the assistance of Hydrilla Hunters patrolling and reporting on lakefront properties and checking boats and docks. Cayuga County is offering identification workshops for hydrilla and other invasive aquatic plants and critters at several locations.
      Contact: Brittany Toledo, btoledo@wells.edu; http://ccetompkins.org/environment/invasive-nuisance-species/aquatic-invasives/hydrilla/fighting-hydrilla-in-the-cayuga-lake-watershed/report-hydrilla-suspects
  • Project Watershed Central New York, Izaak Walton League of America
    • Location: Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego and Madison counties
    • Project Watershed is a consortium of groups that facilitate water resource education in Central New York. They provide access to programs, equipment and training for water monitoring projects, and contribute to, and use, an internet database. The consortium coordinates three separate projects, two of which focus on high school students. The third project, Select-A-Stream (SAS), is aimed at adult volunteers in Onondaga County. Volunteers work in teams to monitor seven compromised streams in Onondaga County; Beartrap Creek, Butternut Creek, Ley Creek, Limestone Creek, Onondaga Creek, Nine Mile Creek and Skaneateles Creek.
    • Contact: Mat Webber, Project Watershed Coordinator, mwebber@iwla.org; www.projectwatershed.org
  • Rockland County Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program Water_Study.jpg
    • Location: Rockland County
    • The Rockland County Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking volunteers for its Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program. Volunteers conduct physical, chemical and biological surveys of Rockland County's streams to monitor the current state of streams' health and assess the level of impairment. The program has been gathering information on the vitality of local streams since 2006 and needs volunteers at sites around the county. Volunteers must be age 16 or older and a Rockland County resident.
      Contact: Mary Hegarty, 845-364-2670, hegartym@co.rockland.ny.us; https://rocklandgov.com/departments/environmental-resources/volunteer-opportunities/
  • Schoharie River Center
    • Location: Schoharie, Montgomery, and Schenectady Counties
    • Founded in 2001, the Schoharie River Center’s Environmental Study Team (EST) program is a year-round, life and career skills youth development program which engages youth ages 13-18 in the study of their local environment to foster the values of environmental conservation and stewardship. Middle and high school age youth work with environmental scientists and youth development professionals learning the skills necessary to study, monitor, document and improve the water quality of local streams, lakes and rivers within the Mohawk River Basin Watershed. EST youth work under the supervision of adult professionals and parent volunteers in ongoing studies of local environmental conditions, learning the methodologies and skills necessary to conduct scientifically valid research through hands-on learning. Youth also engage in outdoor recreational activities designed to develop
      mastery skills and involve them in healthy life-long physical activities such as hiking, bicycling, swimming, and other outdoor activities.
    • Contact: John McKeeby, Executive Director, 518-320-4510, schoharierivercenter@juno.com www.schoharierivercenter.org/index.html
  • StreamWatch, The Catskill Center  
    • Location: Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties
    • The Catskill Center has been providing STREAM WATCH as an educational program in the Catskill Region for over two decades! Knowledgeable staff will teach youth to make observations about stream water quality based on physical, chemical, and biological data. The Catskill Center will provide water sampling kits and all necessary equipment. Stream Watch programs can be requested by teachers (public school, private school, and home school groups!) within the Catskill Region, as well as by scout groups, clubs, or private landowners.
      Contact: Contact Nicole McShane, 845-586-2611, nmcshane@CatskillCenter.org; http://catskillcenter.org/streamwatch/
  • Trout In The Classroom, New York City Watersheds, Trout Unlimited 
    • Location: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond Counties
    • TIC serves an extremely important role in the Southern New York area where Brook Trout, the state fish, are a culturally significant species. By allowing students to raise and release trout into the watershed streams, TIC helps these students understand where their water comes from, the unique structure of the New York City water supply system and the impact they can have on this important resource. The majority of the Trout Release Field Days for New York City students takes place in the Croton Watershed at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River during the months of April and May. Over 1,500 students attend the field days to release trout, study stream biology and geology, and explore nature while hiking through the riparian watershed forests. Trout release field day volunteers include environmental educators and Trout Unlimited volunteers from the community. New volunteers are always welcome.
    • Contact: Lilli Genovesi, genovesi@tu.org; http://www.troutintheclassroom.org/
  • Weeds Watch Out! (W2O!), Oswego River Basin Invasive Plant Monitoring
    • Location: Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, Tompkins, Schuyler, Yates and Ontario Counties
    • W2O! is an education and outreach program that will attempt to thwart the spread of invasive aquatic plant species into, within, and from the Oswego River Basin, a sub-basin of Lake Ontario. W2O! will establish strong inter-watershed relationships in the Oswego River Basin to effectively address current and future invasive aquatic plant issues in a coordinated manner. Weed Watch Out Volunteers are needed to help stop the spread of invasive aquatic plants in local lakes and rivers. Training workshops are available to teach volunteers how to identify invasive plant varieties, as well as native look-a-likes, monitor the presence or spread of invasive plants along a lake-shore, river, swimming area, or other favorite water body, and report the presence of a new infestation early. For a listing of W2O! general workshops and training workshops as well as water chestnut hand pulling events, visit http://www.cayugacounty.us/Departments/Water-Quality-Management-Agency/Weeds-Watch-Out
      Contact: Michele Wunderlich, 315-253-1107, mwunderlich@co.cayuga.ny.us

  • Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings, Cornell Department of Natural Resources Photo of an adult spotted salamander in someone's hands.
    • Location: Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Columbia and Greene, Albany, and Rensselaer Counties
    • The Hudson River Estuary Program (HREP) and the Cornell University Department of Natural Resources are working together to conserve forests, woodland pools and the wildlife that depend on these critical habitats. You can help by telling us when and where
      you see migrations of woodland pool amphibians. Your observations will enable us to identify and map road crossings where salamanders and frogs are especially vulnerable and learn more about where their habitats are located. This information can then be
      used for community planning and for groups of volunteers interested in starting "crossing guard" programs for the breeding season. Over time, we can also learn whether the period of spring migrations may be shifting due to climate change.
      Contact: Laura Heady, HREP’s Biodiversity Outreach Coordinator, 845-256-3061, ltheady@gw.dec.state.ny.us;
      https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/51925.html
  • Frogwatch USA 
    • FrogWatch USA is AZA's (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) flagship citizen science program that allows individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads. For over ten years, volunteers have been trained to enter their FrogWatch USA information and ongoing analyses of these data have been used to help develop practical strategies for the conservation of these important species. Contact: Tiffany Vanderwerf, Curator of Education Buffalo Zoo, 716-995-6138, tvanderwerf@buffalozoo.org; www.aza.org/frogwatch

 

By Organization

County Extension Offices

Volunteer at local nature center and land trust

Contact: Kevin Mathers – kjm8@cornell.edu or visit Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County

Answer calls from hotline about trees, birds, etc.

Outreach programs in the community

For more info about volunteering, visit Cornell Cooperative Extension Cayuga County

 

Help deliver outreach classes 4-H and after school outreach

Set up local demonstration and research projects

Volunteer at Rogers Environmental Center Conduct summer camp programs

Contact: Rebecca Hargrave at jrh45@cornell.edu or visit Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County

Riparian forest and street tree inventories of ash trees growing in the areas where Emerald Ash Borer has been discovered

Bird and amphibian monitoring

Damselfly/dragonfly inventory

Install Best Management Practices at Siuslaw Model Forest

Get trained at Bowery Creek Training Facility on how natural river processes can be accommodated to minimize flooding impacts on infrastructure

Contact: Marilyn Wyman, at mfw10@cornell.edu or visit Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene and Columbia Counties

Wildlife Habitat Showcase Project: A group of Master Gardeners at CCE of Oneida County have been in the planning stages of developing a Wildlife Habitat Showcase for local schools and the community. The goal of the project is to develop a Wildlife Habitat area that can be duplicated or to develop a similar area in their schoolyards. The concept comes on the heels of the importance of and the need for bringing the classroom outdoors. The research is very prevalent on the impact of educating our students with outdoor and hands on activities.The Wildlife Habitat Showcase will feature a small area that will incorporate the existing lands with highlighting the ability to providing food, water, shelter and a place to raise young. The area will also incorporate pathways allowing accessibility for wheelchairs and a location for class presentations. The need of volunteers is great to lay pathways, plant a few small native trees, and participate in program presentations.

Contact: Bonnie Collins at bsc33@cornell.edu. Bonnie is a Master Gardener and employee of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County as a Farm Business Community Educator.

Documenting special designation areas for protection
Contact: Brett Chedzoy at bjc226@cornell.edu or visit Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County

Invasive species pulls/monitoring

Participating in Suffolk Project in Aquaculture Training (SPAT program) – program encourages community members to become stewards of their environment and to restore shellfish to the bays by raising your own shellfish!.  For more information visit here

Horseshoe Crab Monitoring and Research

Eelgrass and Marsh Grass Restoration through our Marine Meadows Program

Installing Rain Gardens in Schools and Offices

Teacher Training Opportunities

"30 Ways to Give Back to the Bays" events

For more information visit CCE Suffolk County

Monitor for Invasive Hydrilla on Cayuga Lake

The Hydrilla Hunters is an informal, trained group of Cayuga Lake watershed residents working together to prevent takeover of our lake and creeks by the aquatic invasive plant, Hydrilla verticillata. Lakefront Hydrilla Hunters are needed around Cayuga Lake. Monitoring of the lake shore and the shallow end will continue, led by trained experts. These professional teams need the assistance of Hydrilla Hunters patrolling and reporting on lakefront properties and checking boats and docks. Cayuga County is offering identification workshops for hydrilla and other invasive aquatic plants and critters at several locations.
Contact: Brittany Toledo, btoledo@wells.edu;

http://ccetompkins.org/environment/invasive-nuisance-species/aquatic-invasives/hydrilla/fighting-hydrilla-in-the-cayuga-lake-watershed/report-hydrilla-suspects

 

Invasive species outreach

Bat monitoring

School programs

Woods walks

Invasive species monitoring

Provide programs at county environmental education center
Contact: Laurel Gailor at lrg6@cornell.edu or visit Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County

Nature center and land trust volunteers

For more info visit CCE Wyoming County

Others

  • Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Programs
    Location: Suffolk County
    Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge offers “Weed Warrior” Volunteer work, hand pulling common invasive plants in the spring.
    There are also opportunities to lead birding tours throughout the year and perform beach cleanups.
    Contact: 631-286-0485, longislandrefuges@fws.gov; www.fws.gov/refuge/Elizabeth_A_Morton/what_we_do/get_involved.html 
  • Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Programs
    Location: Genesee and Orleans Counties
    Iroquois Wildlife Refuge offers volunteer projects in Resource Management. Opportunities are available year-round in habitat
    restoration, planting wildlife food grasses, bird counts and surveys, and data entry.
    Contact: 585-948-5445, Iroquois@fws.gov; www.fws.gov/refuge/Iroquois/what_we_do/get_involved.html
  • Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Programs
    Location: Cayuga, Seneca, and Wayne Counties
    The Montezuma refuge is looking for amphibian monitoring volunteers to collect information on frogs and toads that depend on the
    refuge to survive. The commitment is three times per week from March through August.
    Contact: Andrea VanBeusichem, 315-568-5987 ext.228, Andrea_VanBeusichem@fws.gov;
    www.fws.gov/refuge/Montezuma/what_we_do/get_involved.html
  • Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Programs
    Location: Nassau County
    Volunteers are needed with the Oyster Bay Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee to help with invasive species removal,
    especially in the eradication the aquatic invasive plant water chestnut. Volunteers are also needed to go out on the bay and conduct
    water quality testing along the harbor every weekend between April and October.
    Contact: Rod Crafa, 631-848-2090, rob@oysterbaycoldspringharbor.org; www.oysterbaycoldspringharbor.org
  • Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Programs
    Location: Suffolk County
    The Seatuck Refuge is looking for volunteers to help with invasive species control in the spring and summer. Throughout the year,
    help is needed on bird hikes and other one-time events.
    Contact: 613-286-0485; www.fws.gov/refuge/Seatuck/what_we_do/get_involved.html
  • Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer programs
    Location: Suffolk County
    Target Rock Wildlife Refuge needs volunteers for both short term and long-term opportunities, including monitoring bluebird
    populations, leading nature walks and habitat restoration.
    Contact: 631-286-0485; www.fws.gov/refuge/Trget_Rock/what_we_do/get_involved.html
  • Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Program
    Location: Suffolk County
    The Wertheim Wildlife Refuge needs volunteers to help clean up local refuge beaches, specifically in spring. Volunteers are also
    needed to help control invasive species by hand pulling and cutting invasive plants. Invasive species control takes place in spring and
    summer.
    Contact: Nicole Gabelman, 613-316-3265, Nicole_Gabelman@fws.gov;
    www.fws.gov/refuge/Wertheim/what_we_do/get_involved.html
  • Finger Lakes National Forest Volunteer Work
    Location: Seneca and Schuyler Counties
    Help is needed to run interpretive programs and youth conservation crews. Also opportunities to help with wildlife conservation.
    Contact: Hector Ranger Station, 607-546-4470; www.fs.usda.gov/main/fingerlakes/workingtogether/volunteering
  • Natural Resource Management Volunteer, Fire Island Wildlife Refuge
    • Location: Suffolk County
    • Within Fire Island Wildlife Refuge, volunteers are needed to assist the division in collecting and preparing information on the park's natural resources and resource areas. Volunteers will be working on projects ranging from wilderness area proposals to freshwater delineations to other surveys with the boundaries of the barrier island. Other duties may include, but are not limited to inventory and monitoring the various vegetation communities and wildlife populations on the island or at the William Floyd Estate, and monitoring water quality of the ocean, bays or wetlands. The volunteer also prepares correspondence, enters collected data into computer databases, enters data into a GIS program or maps information. Volunteers work directly under the park's biologist, though other
      resource management staff personnel may manage daily consultation and fieldwork. A recruitment day is held each spring for volunteers to learn more about the opportunities available.
      Contact: Irene Rosen, Volunteer Coordinator, 631-687-4765; www.nps.gov/fiis/supportyourpark/volunteer.htm
  • Gateway Volunteer Corps, Gateway National Recreational Area
    • Location: Richmond and Nassau County
    • Gateway National Recreational Area is split into three different units (Jamaica Bay, Staten Island, and Sandy Hook). Opportunities in wildlife conservation are available at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Within the Staten Island unit, Miller Field and Great Kills are undergoing park restoration after hurricane Sandy, and opportunities are available for park cleanup and dune planting.
      Contacts: Staten Island (Miller Field and Great Kills): Pamela Pettus, Volunteer Manager, 718-351-6974; Jamaica Bay: Keith White, Volunteer Manager, 718-354-4657, Keith_White@nps.gov; http://www.nps.gov/gate/supportyourpark/volunteer.htm
  •  Annual High School Paddle and River Clean Up, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River
    • Location: Orange, Sullivan, and Delaware Counties
    • Each year, a High School Paddle and River Clean Up take place in early June. Students can earn eight community service hours for
      graduation while experiencing the beauty of the river and learning about our watershed, wildlife, and recreation. Each year volunteers remove a tremendous amount of litter and waste from the floor and banks of the river. The clean-up trip is open to all high school students but is limited to the first twenty who register. Registration is required.
      Contact: Ingrid Peterec, 570-685-4871; www.nps.gov/upde/supportyourpark/volunteer-opportunities.htm
  • Finger Lakes Land Trust
    • Location: Onondaga, Cortland, Tioga, Chemung, Schuyler, Yates, Cayuga, Tompkins, Seneca, Ontario, Livingston, and Steuben Counties
    • The Finger Lakes Land Trust was founded in 1989 to protect those lands that define the character of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. To date, the Land Trust has protected more than 15,000 acres of the region's wetlands, forests, farmland, shorelines, and gorges. Join us for nature walks, birdwatching, luncheons, work days, monitoring, and more throughout the year in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region. The Land Trust has over 200 active volunteers and could use your help today.
      Contact: 607-275-9487, info@fllt.org; www.fllt.org
  • Genesee Land Trust
    • Location: Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, and Wayne Counties
    • Work parties help the Genesee Land Trust accomplish our important work of keeping preserves pristine and functional. Volunteers can help by performing trail work, invasive plant control, trash pick-up, and other activities. Work Parties generally take place on weekends and occur at various preserves.
      Contact: Emily Johnson, landprotection@geneseelandtrust.org; www.geneseelandtrust.org/volunteer-needs.aspx
  • Hudson Highlands Land Trust Volunteer Programs
    • Location: Putnam County
    • Hudson Highlands Land Trust has many opportunities, including conducting water studies, guiding tours, beach clean-ups, and other
      outreach/management activities. Contact: 845-424-3358, info@hhlt.org; www.hhlt.org/
  • Peconic Land Trust
    • Location: Suffolk County
    • Some Preserves within the Trust are passive and need minimal maintenance, while others require extensive measures to control soil erosion, restore wetlands, control public access, etc. Throughout the year, the Peconic Land Trust's Stewardship and Outreach Departments partner on clean-up days at our preserves. Contact: Kathy Kennedy, Outreach Manager, 631-283-3195 ext. 29, kkennedy@peconiclandtrust.org; www.peconiclandtrust.org/volunteer.html

 

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