Volunteer

Volunteer at the Refuge and gain valuable, rewarding experience. Through nature walks, talks and slide programs, help visitors understand and appreciate the natural and cultural history of the Refuge.

You can assist Refuge employees with teacher orientation workshops, open house events, day camp, field trips and special projects. You can volunteer for visitor center information duty. You can rove Refuge trails to talk to visitors, report vandalism, note maintenance needs and pick up litter.

Volunteer Opportunities

Environmental Education Center (Alviso, California) at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

If you have an interest in wildlife and their conservation, enjoy working with people, and are enthusiastic and dependable, the Environmental Education Center's Volunteer Program is for you! As a volunteer, you'll receive on-the-job training from staff and other volunteers in the project area you choose.

Requirements for volunteering at the refuge at the Environmental Education Center include: attending a volunteer orientation; attending scheduled trainings; and meeting the age requirements for the program. Volunteer applications will be provided at the orientation. Contact Hope Presley at 408-262-5513 ext. 104 or hope [ . ] presley [ @ ] sfbws [ . ] com for more information.

Volunteer Positions

Restoration Project Volunteers

Volunteers are needed to work on the EEC's ecotone habitat restoration project. In the fall and winter, volunteers plant natives and in the spring and summer volunteers pull invasive species to ensure that the native plants have a chance to thrive!

  • Training: Volunteer orientation and on-the-job training
  • Additional Requirements: Individuals and groups of all ages must be physically able to do the work. Work is primarily outdoors.
  • Hours: Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Weekend Information Desk Volunteers

Volunteers are needed to answer visitor questions, answer phones, sell bookstore items, and check out discovery packs and binoculars to interested visitors.

  • Training: Volunteer orientation and a 1 hour information desk training
  • Additional Requirements: Two half days per month for a six-month commitment
  • Hours: Shifts are from 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays as needed.

Interpretive Program Volunteers

Come help out with Saturday and Sunday interpretive programs, or present one of your very own. We offer a wide variety of programs (see the Activity Pages in this issue) and are always looking for new ideas and faces to share our mission of wildlife conservation and pollution prevention.

  • Training: Volunteer orientation, attend three weekend programs of your choice, and attend one interpretive guide training with the refuge.
  • Additional Requirements: One shift per quarter for a one year commitment
  • Hours: Weekends

Field Trip Docents

The EEC offers two environmental education programs: Wetland Round-Up (1st-5th) and Living Wetlands (5th-12th). Docents will gain experience in environmental education and public speaking, and will be responsible for managing and leading groups of students through educational activities.

  • Training: Volunteer orientation and 4-week training course, one half day per week
  • Additional Requirements: Field Trip season is from September to mid-June. Two full days per month for a 6-month commitment
  • Hours: Programs are generally Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on an as-needed basis.

Team Citizen Scientists EEC Community Service

Become a citizen scientist! Are you interested in plants? Volunteer for one or all team dates and learn native plant monitoring and habitat restoration. Bring your own gloves or borrow a pair of ours – tools are provided. Dress in layers and bring water and sunscreen. Be prepared to get dirty!

  • Training: On the job training
  • Questions: Please contact Hope Presley at 408-262-5513 ext. 104 or hope [ . ] presley [ @ ] sfbws [ . ] com
  • Additional Requirements: Ages 9 and up.
  • Dates & Hours: One time date specific for Spring

Butterfly Garden Manager

A volunteer experienced in California native plants is needed to keep the education center’s demonstration garden thriving. The position will require managing the nursery and developing a plan for the 1.5 acre garden.

Volunteers established this garden to provide critical habitat for songbirds and butterflies, and to demonstrate how to garden for wildlife using beautiful California native plants without the use of herbicides. It contains mature specimens of Ceanothus, fuchsia flowered gooseberry, pink flowering currant, buckwheat, toyon, and black sage in a natural setting.

  • To Apply: Please send resume and letter of interest to Hope Presley at hope [ . ] presley [ @ ] sfbws [ . ] com
  • Additional Requirements: One day a week for a three month commitment.

Outreach Volunteers

Help us get out into the community and spread the word about one of the Bay Area’s best kept secrets – the Refuge!

  • Training: Volunteer Orientation, outreach training and Refuge 101 training are provided.
  • Questions: Please contact Hope Presley at 408-262-5513 ext. 104 or hope [ . ] presley [ @ ] sfbws [ . ] com
  • Additional Requirements: One event per quarter (four total) is required for a one year commitment.
  • Hours: Hours can vary depending on the event.

Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center (Fremont, California) at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Volunteer Positions

Nature Store Coordinator

The San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society is looking for a volunteer coordinator for the Nature Stores at Fremont and Alviso. They need an individual who will use their energy to review, update and enhance the store’s current inventory. Nature Store sales are one important way to enhance people’s connection with our wildlife and its habitat. Below are some essential functions of the position:

  • Assist the Wildlife Society and Refuge personnel in recruiting volunteers capable of greeting refuge visitors and handling nature store financial transactions.
  • Assure the training of new Nature Store volunteers.
  • Update a nature store operations manual and assist in developing nature store volunteer duties and procedures.
  • Assure the maintenance of a nature store volunteer schedule with a six-month horizon.
  • Coordinate with and report to the Wildlife Society’s Program Coordinator.
  • Inventory management – the volunteer will figure out how to entice people to the store by encouraging and sharing curiosity for the natural world.
  • Previous retail experience preferred. Minimum six-month commitment.
  • Questions? Please contact Mary Deschene at mary [dot] deschene [at] sfbws [dot] com

Visitor Center Information Desk Volunteers

Volunteers are needed to answer visitor questions, answer phones, sell bookstore items, and check out discovery packs and binoculars to interested visitors.

  • Training: Volunteer orientation and a 1 hour information desk training
  • Please contact Paul Mueller at 510 792 0222 ext. 361 or Paul_mueller@fws.gov

Warm Springs Docent

Volunteers are needed to give public tours of the Warm Springs Unit of Don Edwards SF Bay NWR (Warm Springs).

Warm Springs is a vernal pool grassland in South Fremont with beautiful vernal pool flower blooms in April. This area is otherwise closed to the public.

  • Training: Docents will be trained by Warm Springs staff and will attend at least two tours prior to leading a tour.
  • Questions: Contact Ivette Loredo, Wildlife Refuge Specialist at Ivette_Loredo@fws.gov
  • Additional Requirements: We are looking for docents who can lead two to four tours on weekends. (Two tours can be done in one day) in mid-April and make at least a two-year commitment. Tours are two hours long and limited to 20 participants.
  • Hours: Typically tours are offered at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm and last two hours.

Native Plants Nursery

Work with our nursery doing weeding, pruning, and planting. Help make the refuge more beautiful!