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Volunteering and Community Science

Volunteering and Community Science

New Hampshire Audubon encourages and appreciates the efforts of volunteer partnerships in all pillars of our organization. Volunteers at NH Audubon work alongside staff to help fulfill our mission by furthering conservation efforts and engaging the community. Volunteers serve important functions in our statewide offices in Concord, three program centers, our 40 sanctuaries, and locations across the state: monitoring wildlife populations, creating viable natural habitat, educating constituents, advocating for sound environmental policies, maintaining natural lands, and community outreach inspiring future stewards. NH Audubon also has dedicated chapters throughout the state run completely by volunteers.

Join our team!

Volunteer positions will be posted below as the need arises. For questions about volunteering with us, please contact our volunteer office. Thank you for your interest interest in supporting NH Audubon through our volunteer program.

Community Science

In addition to the long-term, regular volunteering opportunities listed below, NH Audubon also offers more flexible opportunities in the form of Community Science projects. These projects offer volunteers the chance to engage in hands-on field experiences of data collecting and conservation work. Some offerings are held on specific dates as outlined in the descriptions, and others are available seasonally for the volunteer to self-schedule.

Participate in this Community Science opportunity by monitoring and recording bird species on your property every winter to inform distribution and abundance of populations. Ability to identify birds is helpful; only those birds that can be confidently identified to species level should be counted. This survey takes place the second week of February each year. Contact Becky Suomala at bwbs@nhaudubon.org to be added to the mailing list or visit this webpage for additional information.

Join NH Audubon the last weekend in July for the annual Capital Area Butterfly Circle Count, where you will be assigned a team and visit three local sites within a 15 mile radius to locate and record butterfly species and numbers. There is no prior experience required but basic butterfly identification is helpful. This survey may involve walking through meadows, fields, walkways or uneven terrain and takes place the last weekend in July dependent on weather. Visit our events calendar for more information.

This is a statewide research initiative aimed at conserving the threatened Common Nighthawk. This project involves monitoring and recording designated sites throughout the state to assist in this effort. This project runs from May to August and primarily occurs in the Concord area. Participants should have the ability to use binoculars, identify Common Nighthawks, and accurately record observations in the field. Please contact Becky Suomala by email or 603-224-9909 x309 for more information.

This project is a collaborative effort managed by NH Audubon that helps inform bird research. Volunteers can support these efforts by reporting bird sightings throughout the state and year, and uploading them to the centralized eBird database. Bird identification skills are necessary as only identified sightings should be recorded. To record sightings, visit NH eBird. For questions, email Becky Suomala.

Visit this page for more information.

Report sightings of butterflies, pupae, and eggs any location in New Hampshire during any time of year via iNaturalist. Basic knowledge of butterfly species is helpful, but the iNaturalist community will assist in identification if unknown.  The only skills necessary are taking clear photographs and uploading. Visit the NH Butterfly Monitoring webpage for additional information.

Report sightings of wildlife and plant species from the McLane Center’s pollinator gardens and meadow any time of year via iNaturalist. Basic knowledge of insects, plants and birds is helpful, but the iNaturalist community will assist in identification if unknown. The only skills necessary are taking clear photographs and uploading. Visit the pollinator garden webpage on iNaturalist for additional information.

This project monitors and records life cycle phases (phenophases) of plants and animals on NH Audubon sanctuaries in order to determine which species are most vulnerable to climate change. Participants will monitor and record timing of plant emergence, flowering, and other events. Basic identification of plants and wildlife is necessary, and an ability to accurately record observational data in the field. This project takes place from March to November in Amherst, Concord, and Deering. Email Diane De Luca for more information.

This is a Vermont Center for Ecostudies project to survey for Bicknell’s Thrush. This project takes place during June in the White Mountains and Northern New Hampshire. Participation requires one morning per route and typically overnight camping. Ability to identify high elevation birds by sight and sound, use specific protocol, and possess good physical condition are a must. Visit the project webpage for additional information.

This project studies raptors as an indicator of environmental health. There are opportunities to participate as a Counter, in which you will record migrant raptors and can work alongside skilled observers. There is also the opportunity for Educators who focus on outreach and support Harris Center Staff. This project runs from September to mid-November at the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory in Peterborough. Ideal participants Should have some familiarity with raptors and ability to identify flying raptors during migration, along with a willingness to learn and an ability to comply with instructions. Email project coordinator Phil Brown for more information.

Conservation

NH Audubon’s Conservation Department uses science to inform decisions and actions. The range of projects is varied, and are funded by grants, contracts, and private donations. Volunteer positions in our Conservation Department will work alongside our Wildlife Biologists to accomplish these projects, from enhancing pollinator habitat in Concord to monitoring wildlife populations in Coos County. There are position opportunities both in the field and in our offices within this department.

For more information on any of the following volunteer opportunities, please contact the volunteer office or go directly to our online volunteer application.

This volunteer position supports conservation efforts of NH Audubon through work on the annual Backyard Winter Bird Survey. Volunteers assist with office tasks, including processing incoming surveys, recording donations, responding to participants, and entering data in the computer. There are also opportunities for more experienced assistants to review and identify photos. Experience with computers and good attention to detail is required. The position requires a half day, once a week, in the Concord office, and training is provided.

This position will support the ongoing recovery efforts for Bald Eagle populations in the State of New Hampshire by searching for and documenting active Bald Eagle nests. We are seeking motivated volunteers to survey known and potential sites via roadside, by boat on rivers or lakes, or in more remote locations requiring extended walks during the breeding season (February-July). There is flexibility available in site visits and duration. Volunteers should be comfortable using binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras, and be able to identify Bald Eagles by age class. Some field experience is preferred. Onboarded volunteers will train with an established project mentor until they are comfortable conducting surveys independently.

This volunteer position will support the ongoing conservation efforts for aerial insectivores, specifically Cliff Swallows, throughout New Hampshire.  The role involves travel to known Cliff Swallow nests to monitor the reproductive success of both natural and artificial nests.  The position also welcomes any motivated individuals who will work to locate currently unknown nesting colonies and notify us for inclusion in the study. Candidates for this role should have an interest in aerial insectivores, the ability to use binoculars and identify Cliff Swallows and their nests, the ability to upload data to eBird, and be able to withstand observational periods of at least one hour outdoors.

This volunteer position involves entering historic bird sighting data into eBird. Tasks include reviewing paper forms or Excel files, standardizing location names, researching locations that are vague or unclear, and entering data in eBird. It requires creative research skills and persistence to find old place names. The tasks require using eBird and Google Maps, and often Excel, so familiarity with these programs is desired. Good record keeping, patience, and attention to detail are critical and some knowledge of birds (common vs. rare) is helpful. Some work can be done at home, but training and most research takes place in the Concord office.

 

This volunteer assists with reviewing and error checking New Hampshire bird sightings in eBird. The primary tasks for this position are to review unusual reports in eBird, research location and information discrepancies, and contact observers to resolve questions about their sightings. This may include requesting additional details on some reports. Proficiency with computers and familiarity with NH birds required, familiarity with eBird and internet tools preferred. Although some work may be done from home, training will take place at the NH Audubon McLane Center in Concord and can be quite extensive depending on the volunteer’s knowledge.

This volunteer position will support the new Grassland Bird Survey being conducted in New Hampshire, beginning in 2024.  This role will identify grassland species at known sites throughout the state between May and July. Dates are flexible, but each survey visit should be at least one hour in length. Candidates for this role should have the ability to use binoculars, identify grassland species, and submit observations to eBird. Volunteers must follow all provided direction and safety protocols, including visiting sites during accessible hours, and acquiring permission from landowners where necessary.

This volunteer role supports conservation efforts in our state through NH Audubon and NH Fish & Game. Volunteers will work with the Massabesic Center Director to monitor evening bat roosts of maternity colonies at the sanctuary from May through July. All surveys must be conducted around dusk, but dates are flexible. Training will be provided online and possibly onsite. Candidates must have the ability to withstand outdoor conditions, including biting/stinging insects and must observe all provided safety protocols. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age to participate in the surveys.

This volunteer role supports conservation efforts in our state by monitoring recovery efforts of Eastern Bluebird populations. Volunteers will work with the Massabesic Center volunteer leaders to monitor zones from April to August. Due to the sensitivity of bluebird habitat, all individuals under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a monitor and no individuals under 16 are permitted in the survey areas. Volunteers must have the ability to withstand outdoor conditions including poison ivy and stinging/biting insects. Training is done onsite in March or April and all materials will be provided.

This volunteer role offers the opportunity to engage in hands-on conservation through the care and maintenance of our Massabesic gardens in Auburn NH. Volunteers will be onsite spring through fall to plant, weed, water, transplant, and mulch species to support our native pollinators and beyond. There are also opportunities to become a garden leader if interested, or to be a volunteer waterer for those with limited schedules. Ability to use email, withstand physical demands of gardening, and be onsite at least one day per month a must.  Previous gardening experience is preferred, but training is provided.  This is an ideal opportunity for individuals interested in the UNH Extension Master Gardening Program.

This volunteer role involves engaging in hands-on conservation efforts of native plant and wildlife species in our pollinator garden at the McLane Center in Concord. Volunteers will be onsite spring through fall to plant, weed, water, transplant, and mulch species to support our native pollinators and beyond. The team meets in the gardens on Monday and Thursday mornings. There may also be opportunities to work on special projects during the winter months, if interested. Training will be provided onsite by an established project mentor. The only necessary qualification is an interest in learning and being a part of a great team.

This volunteer role will work to support the McLane Pollinator Garden in Concord, providing regularly updated education to visitors about our native plants and wildlife that may visit the gardens throughout the season. Candidates for this role must have some knowledge of native plants and pollinators within the state of New Hampshire and should have the ability to photograph plants and wildlife to be used on kiosks and boards around the center. This role will be both onsite one weekday morning and remote on a flexible schedule. Expect to spend a few hours a week working in this position. All training will be provided, both in person and virtually.

This volunteer position helps supports the ongoing conservation efforts of migrating Monarch butterflies through nano tagging. Volunteers will be trained to locate, pursue, net and tag migrating Monarchs. Tagging will occur on a date in September dependent on weather conditions. Candidates should be in physical condition suitable for quick movement over uneven or rugged terrain to net the Monarchs. Experience netting or handling butterflies is a plus but is not required.

This position will support the ongoing recovery efforts for Northern Harrier populations in the State of New Hampshire by documenting Northern Harriers at potential breeding areas, primarily in Coos County, but also potential habitat elsewhere in the state from May – August. There is flexibility available in site visits and duration. Volunteers should be comfortable using binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras, and be able to identify Northern Harriers and other raptors. Some field experience is preferred. Onboarded volunteers will train with an established project mentor until they are comfortable conducting surveys independently.

This position will support the ongoing recovery efforts for Peregrine Falcon populations in the State of New Hampshire by searching for and documenting Peregrine Falcons at potential breeding sites from March-July; cliff areas in the White Mountains are of special need, but there are also opportunities to observe in urban settings. There is flexibility available in site visits and duration. Volunteers should be comfortable using binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras, and be able to identify Peregrine Falcons and other raptors. Some field experience is preferred. Onboarded volunteers will train with an established project mentor until they are comfortable conducting surveys independently.

This volunteer position will support the ongoing conservation efforts for the state-threatened Purple Martin in New Hampshire. This position with monitor nest contents including removal of pest species throughout the breeding season from April to July. This is an exciting opportunity to also establish new colonies as additional volunteers are onboarded. Onsite training with established monitors will be provided. Candidates should have the ability to use binoculars, follow data collection protocols, walk through uneven terrain and withstand a variety of outdoor conditions, as well as make extended observations weekly throughout the season.

This position will support the mission of New Hampshire Audubon: to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people by assisting staff with field surveys for Rusty Blackbirds, a species of conservation concern in New Hampshire, on the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Forest. This position will require a minimum two-day commitment during June 8-23, where you will accompany staff to remote wetlands and observe bird activity in designated areas. The ideal candidates will have the ability to: work independently and collaboratively, follow protocols, make extended observations and accurate records, hike several miles over wet and uneven terrain, and tolerate biting insects and variable weather conditions.

Education

We reach over 40,000 youth and adults annually through environmental education programs at our nature centers and other locations such as schools and libraries. We also offer summer and vacation camps based on a wide age range that offer outdoor experiences of the natural world. Volunteers in our Education Department will collaborate with our Education Coordinators to further the goal of educational outreach through programming and our Animal Ambassadors. Possible positions include animal care, annual camp curriculum, and assistants who prepare, organize, and support both center based and offsite programs.

For more information on any of the following volunteer opportunities, please contact the volunteer office or go directly to our online volunteer application.

This volunteer position will support the Education Department of NH Audubon through outreach and environmental education.  Volunteers will have the opportunity to assist with school or onsite programs, and possibly adult educational offerings such as nature walks.  Responsibilities may include organizing materials, setting up presentations, assisting with animal ambassadors, and leading programs. Onsite training is provided for this role, but some educational background is a plus. Schedules can be flexible but some on-call availability if preferred.

This volunteer position will support the Education Department of NH Audubon through work in its Animal Ambassador Program.  Volunteers will care for animal species in either or both the McLane Center Reptile Room and Raptor Mews, including cleaning habitats and feeding. Onsite training is provided. Schedules can be flexible, but a weekly commitment is preferred.  Candidates should have some animal care experience with either wildlife or domestic species.

Lands and Sanctuaries

NH Audubon owns and manages 40 wildlife sanctuaries throughout all 10 counties of New Hampshire. These lands, covering over 8,000 acres in all of important wildlife habitat, provide opportunities for recreation, wildlife watching, education, and reflective experiences. Through habitat management, research, education, and continued land protection we are working to ensure that New Hampshire’s wildlife and natural heritage is protected for us all. Our Lands Department extends throughout the State of New Hampshire and volunteers in this area have opportunities to engage in a range of activities. Our Lands volunteers fill roles of monitoring and maintaining our wildlife sanctuaries as well as performing maintenance and repairs at our centers and surrounding grounds.

For more information on any of the following volunteer opportunities, please contact the volunteer office or go directly to our online volunteer application.

This volunteer role supports the management and stewardship of NH Audubon Wildlife Sanctuaries by helping to maintain the property of our Massabesic Center in Auburn, NH. We are seeking experienced candidates to mow, weed whack, and rake in and around parking areas, gardens, fields, trails, and around the nature center. Mowers and tools are provided. The ideal candidate can work independently, have a flexible schedule to accommodate 2 or mroe hours per week, have experience working in outdoor conditions, and the ability to communicate via email. Orientation and schedule coordination with the current team will be provided.

Membership and Development

NH Audubon is a member-based statewide organization and is separate from National Audubon. We achieve so much not just with the help of our volunteers, but also our Membership & Development Department that engages our members and the community, accepts donations, and submits for grants. Volunteers working in this area will have the opportunity to support these efforts through events and other community outreach, as well as assisting with new member material and other administrative functions.

For more information on any of the following volunteer opportunities, please contact the volunteer office or go directly to our online volunteer application.

This volunteer position supports NH Audubon through community engagement, welcoming individuals and educating them about our work. New Hampshire Audubon presents three major community outreach events each year and participates in offsite events throughout the state, particularly in the Spring and Summer. There are opportunities for event preparation work, logistical support, and interactive public positions in the form of mission advocacy and education. We are seeking multiple volunteers to take on responsibilities that work with their schedule, ranging from single events to recurring assistance. This volunteer position will report to the Community Outreach Coordinator. 

New Hampshire Bird Records

New Hampshire Bird Records is a quarterly publication all about birds and birding in New Hampshire. You will find articles on bird finding and identification, research and volunteer opportunities, photo quizzes, and all of the latest rarities, seasonal visitors, and migration movements. It takes many volunteers to create this comprehensive journal, and those individuals who wish to join the team will have the opportunity to perform a wide range of activities to move it to publication: writing, editing, locating photos, managing rare bird sightings, researching advertising opportunities, and more.

For more information on any of the following volunteer opportunities, please contact the volunteer office or go directly to our online volunteer application.

This volunteer position supports our quarterly publication, New Hampshire Bird Records, which tracks data trends and educates readers on bird populations and sightings. Volunteers will have the opportunity to assist in various aspects of the publication: computerizing and maintaining publication files, respond to readers via email and letters, prepare materials for mailings; including labeling, copying, stuffing envelopes, researching addresses, and comparing names on lists, as well as other duties as assigned. For interested candidates, there are also opportunities to contribute content to the publications through authoring articles, submitting photographs, and editing sections of the publication. Experience with computers and good attention to detail is required. The position requires a half day, once a week, in the Concord office, and training is provided onsite.

This volunteer gathers stories and photos for the regular Field Notes feature in each issue. Responsibilities include reviewing the NHBirds email list for potential stories, contacting authors, obtaining photos, and occasionally writing text or researching additional information to include. The position requires familiarity/interest in birds, the ability to meet deadlines, and good editing skills. Work may be done from home.

This volunteer position works to solicit, edit and coordinate submissions of field trip reports for publication in New Hampshire Bird Records. Coordinator may provide one or more reports for each issue as long as they fall within a reasonable word count. Articles should be fun and easy to write. They are not designed to be primarily sighting reports but to supplement the reports with anecdotes, highlights and an overview of where the trip went. Coordinator will work with New Hampshire Bird Records Editorial Team for overall guidance. Work is independent and done from home.

This volunteer obtains content for the regular feature highlighting a birding location in New Hampshire. It begins with creating a lineup of topics for the popular Where to Bird feature with help from members of the New Hampshire Bird Records Editorial Team. Responsibilities include contacting authors to write those articles, providing guidance and editing, and facilitating the creation of associated maps. The position requires the ability to meet deadlines and good editing skills. Familiarity with birding throughout the state is helpful.

Operations

The NH Audubon Operations Department oversees and manages our Nature Stores, front desks, and event rentals. Volunteers in this department may have an opportunity to greet visitors to our centers and welcome them to our grounds, assist store visitors, and other projects.

For more information on any of the following volunteer opportunities, please contact the volunteer office or go directly to our online volunteer application.

This volunteer role supports the Massabesic Audubon Center in its fundraising efforts and in educating the public about native plant materials. We are seeking volunteers to both provide event preparation work and to help onsite in decorating and quality checking purchased wreaths. There are year-round opportunities to grow and gather wreath materials and prep items such as bows and pinecones. For decorators, there are morning and afternoon opportunities available during the week and on the weekend in November. Some experience making wreaths is a must to ensure quality standards. Some knowledge of plant materials is also preferred.

Policy

The NH Audubon Policy Department advocates for effective environmental policies that are informed by science. As a volunteer in this area, you will have the opportunity to work with the Senior Policy Advisor and our Environmental Policy Committee, having the opportunity to testify in front of state and federal legislative committees, communicate with Congress and the NH legislature, and develop strategies for how to approach current environmental issues and proposed legislation.

For more information on any of the following volunteer opportunities, please contact the volunteer office or go directly to our online volunteer application.

This position will support the legislative activities of the Conservation Department and Environmental Policy Committee by researching selected bills, monitoring hearing schedules, maintaining matrix of bills of interest, managing production and distribution of legislative testimony, and performing other duties as determined by mutual consent. The schedule may be irregular, particularly during Jan-March. Individual may attend Environmental Policy meetings if s/he desires (not required but may add interest to the job).

Photo (top): Timberland volunteer work day at Follett’s Creek Sanctuary.