Volunteer with Audubon
The Audubon Society of Rhode Island is a non-profit environmental organization that relies on volunteer support. Opportunities to help Audubon include volunteering, community service and internships. We have fun, rewarding opportunities for people aged 16 and older. Audubon partners with high schools, college groups, scout groups, fraternities & sororities, community service programs, and corporate teams.
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Explore our Volunteer Opportunities
Apply today! Click on each opportunity below for more information and to access our volunteer application.
Click here for Audubon internship opportunities and application.
Animal Care & Handling
Audubon Society of Rhode Island Headquarters - 12 Sanderson Rd. Smithfield, RI 02917
- Experience and/or Strong interest in amphibians /reptiles/arthropods and wildlife husbandry
- Ability to work both independently and in a team
- Willingness to work at least 1 or 2 weekly shifts regularly
- Must have a tolerance to handling non-venomous snakes, turtles, frogs, hissing cockroaches, and feeding dead mice to snakes.
- Mature Individual Preferred, Retirees and Seniors welcome!
The Animal Care Volunteer is responsible for assisting with the care of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Education Animals. These animals include reptiles, such as snakes and turtles, amphibians, such as frogs and Salamanders and arthropods, such as hissing cockroaches, crickets, and fishes used for feeding. Animal Care Volunteers are responsible for the daily care, cleaning, and maintenance of the education animals. This would include food preparation, and feeding, cleaning of tanks, record keeping, and maintenance of equipment. They also assist with training and handling of education animals, environmental enrichment, behavior observations, general physical exam and medical care and public education. This position works as an integral part of the education team.
The Audubon Society animal care volunteer will learn:
- In depth raptor and reptile biology, natural history, especially of the common eastern species.
- The basics of feeding, housing, equipment, and training amphibians and reptiles for education.
- Basic amphibian/reptile handling and transportation techniques for public education.
- General maintenance and medical care of small animals.
- The basics of interpretation and education for the general public.
Minimum schedule of 1 shift: Each shift requires at least 2 hours commitment. This would be anytime between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday – Friday with a preference for the beginning of the week and/or the end of the week.
Tracey Hall, Education Coordinator; email@example.com or 401 949-5454 x 3011
Audubon's special events and nature programs are fun ways to connect with nature and the community! Opportunities vary with the seasons:
Camouflaged Egg Hunt: Audubon offers a fun alternative to the same old Easter Egg Hunt! Assist with hiding eggs, helping children find eggs, handing out prizes, and staffing the craft table.
Spring Craft Fair: Audubon's Spring Craft Fair, held at Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge in Smithfield, RI, is a fun way to connect with the community! Volunteers may assist with parking/directing guests or attracting visitors by dressing up in fun costumed animal characters.
Raptor Weekend: Help make New England's largest celebration of raptors a success! From games, to crafts, first aid and more, there is a place for you at this exciting event!
AuduBonfire: A laid-back evening where we celebrate Audubon Members. Help greet/register members, assist with set-up/break-down, tend to the fires, or help make s'mores (yum!)
Pumpkin Party: Join Audubon for a different kind of fall celebration and find out just how much fun a pumpkin can be! Assist with the pumpkin painting craft, pumpkin games and greeting visitors/handing out prizes.
Holiday Craft Fair: A favorite annual event in Smithfield! Help with set-up/break-down, greeting visitors, registration, attracting more visitors as a costumed character and general support.
Photos with Santa and Christmas Tree Sale: Help at the craft/activity tables, greet visitors and show guests around the Christmas tree selection (no experience required).
Maple Sugaring: Step back in time at the Caratunk Wildlife Refuge to experience the history of maple sugaring! Volunteers will assist with car parking and/or leading small groups from station to station (outdoors). Knowledge of maple sugaring is not required.
Free Family Fun Days: Join the fun at Audubon's Nature Center and Aquarium, typically on the first Saturday of each month. Volunteers assist with nature based crafts, activities and nature walks from 10:00 am- 4:00 pm. Each month there is a different theme and the Center is open to the public for free, thanks to Citizens Bank!
School Vacation Activities: (December, February and April) A variety of fun nature-based activities will be offered each day of school vacation. Volunteers will help with setting up/breaking down activities, assisting families and children at craft tables and assisting staff with nature walks or other programming.
Responsibility Bird Monitoring
Calling all birders! Nearly every group of birds is declining. Audubon is working to bring them back - but we can't do it without your help. Join our dedicated group of data collection volunteers who support the Audubon Avian Research Initiative.
Training for our Responsibility Bird Monitoring efforts will be held on April 24 & April 27 from 6-7pm on Zoom – click the dates to apply!
We encourage the participation of all. If you know of someone that would like to contribute to our work and needs a copy of this message in Spanish, please contact the Director of Avian Research: firstname.lastname@example.org
Si necesita transcribir este mensaje en español, comuníquese con el director de investigación aviar en: email@example.com.
Bluebird Box Monitoring
For decades, Audubon has installed and monitored bluebird nest boxes across Rhode Island to create suitable nesting sites for Eastern Bluebirds and to document their population trends in changing landscapes. During the breeding season, these nest boxes require regular monitoring, and Audubon hopes to include the public in our monitoring efforts! Volunteers will assist in these efforts by observing bluebirds throughout their breeding season and collecting data on various breeding metrics, such as number of eggs and number of fledglings. Volunteers can choose to mindfully peek into boxes or monitor the boxes from a distance. No prior experience is required and proper training and monitoring protocol will be provided. Volunteers will commit to monitoring assigned nest boxes at least once every two weeks from May 1st to August 31st.
TerraCorps Land Stewardship Coordinator, Mike Perrin will assign a specific refuge for volunteers to monitor based on proximity, capability, and interest. Participating properties include Caratunk Wildlife Refuge, Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge, Fisherville Brook Wildlife Refuge, Maxwell Mays Wildlife Refuge, George B. Parker Woodland Wildlife Refuge, and Touisset Marsh Wildlife Refuge.
Water Quality Monitoring
This community science volunteer position assists the Stormwater Innovation Center, which partners with the University of Rhode Island by participating in the Watershed Watch program, a scientist-led volunteer water quality monitoring program. The sampling season is May through October. More details and specifics are available on their website.
Time Commitment: Each site requires weekly sampling (20 minutes), bi-weekly sampling (1-2 hours), 3 times per year sampling (2 hours). If a site is shared with another volunteer, times can be halved.
Location: Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island.
For more details and information about our specific programs, please contact Ryan Kopp at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the Stormwater Innovation Center at https://www.stormwaterinnovation.org.
Community Service Through Audubon
Fulfill your community service with Audubon! We offer service opportunities for school-based, court-ordered, faith-based, family and corporate service needs. Service opportunities are typically conducted at our headquarters in Smithfield or our Nature Center and Aquarium in Bristol.
Image: Citizens Bank Volunteers
Get outside while giving back! Audubon welcomes businesses of all types and sizes from Rhode Island and surrounding communities to partake in team-building projects on our Wildlife Refuges.
Image: FM Global Volunteers
Friends of the Pollinator Garden
Calling all gardeners! This volunteer position assists the Caretakers and Garden Coordinator in maintaining the Pollinator Rose Discovery Garden at the Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium in Bristol, RI. Gather with fellow gardeners, to help tend the garden, including watering, weeding, planting and other landscaping. Position may also entail assistance in maintaining trails, additional gardens and border of the property depending on need. This is a great opportunity to make new friends, as you will be working with many of the same people at each workday. Workdays will be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Audubon Society of Rhode Island Nature Center & Aquarium, Bristol RI
- Volunteer position
- Internship available
- Work study students welcome
- Service learning or course work requirements welcome
- Must be 16 years old or older.
- Must be able to work alone or in a group.
- Interest in gardening, pollinators and/or botany.
- Responsible and hardworking.
- Work requires physical exertion and/or physical strain and the ability to lift 35 lbs.
- Work environmentmay involve exposure to disagreeable elements such as summer heat.
- Willingness to take direction, accept feedback and ask questions.
- Have reliable transportation to and from Bristol location.
Garden Coordinator Katie Schortmann (email@example.com)
Caretaker Barry Cohen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In-Kind Skilled Trade Work or Service
Are you experienced in a trade or other service and looking to give back? Audubon outsources and pays for many different types of work to help keep our land and other property maintained. We may be able to use your help! Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, landscapers and beyond are welcome to apply to volunteer their expertise.
Junior Camp Counselors
Audubon is looking for enthusiastic young adults (ages 16+) with experience working with children for our Junior Counselor positions. A love of nature, the outdoors, and science is important. Positions are available at both camp locations - Bristol and Seekonk. For more information, contact Tracey Hall at email@example.com or 401-949-5454, x3011.
What are the qualifications for being a Junior Counselor?
Junior Counselors must be 16 years or older with experience working with children and experience working at camps or in an outdoor setting- a love of nature and science is important! Junior Counselors must attend a Training Day.
What are the duties of a Junior Counselor?
Junior Counselors are an important part of the Camp Staff. You assist the Instructors in all aspects of camp and help monitor the needs and safety of the campers. You play a key role in playing games, setting up materials and craft projects. JC’s are invaluable in helping with daily camp chores such as sweeping the camp area, washing paint brushes, and putting craft materials back. Most importantly, you are an extra set of hands, ears and eyes, in helping the Camp Instructor make sure camp runs as smoothly as possible for our summer campers.
Do Junior Counselors get paid?
No, Junior Counselors are now a volunteer position. This is a great way for youth to get community service hours. It is a fun and rewarding experience to work with children in an outdoor setting. Many of our Junior Counselors were campers at our camps and then go on to become full time paid Camp Staff when they get older. Also, our Junior Counselors use the experience at our camps to help them in getting future jobs, and for pursuing admittance into higher education.
Nature Center and Aquarium Naturalist
Join the team at our Nature Center and Aquarium in Bristol, RI. Naturalists support the general operations of and guide visitors through the exhibits and trails, focusing on the local flora and fauna found on the refuge. You will also support the Center's education programs, special events and more, depending on your skills and interests. Training is provided but basic knowledge of the natural world is requested.
Please have a love of nature and a willingness to interact with the public. We request a weekly commitment of three hours per week, for at least three months. A variety of shifts are available. Please be 18 or older.
This statewide program was started back in 1977 in order to maintain watch on an important indicator species in Rhode Island.
Volunteers are needed to monitor Osprey nests during the upcoming breeding season (April – August) in Rhode Island. This is fun, fair-weather fieldwork at its best! Training occurs in February and March. Head over to www.riosprey.info to learn more about the program.
All new Osprey Monitors must attend a training session to participate. Returning monitors are encouraged (but not required) to attend a training session! Training sessions are as follows:
February 12 at Caratunk Wildlife Refuge in Seekonk, MA
February 26 at our Nature Center in Bristol, RI
April 16 at the South Kingstown Land Trust Barn in South Kingstown, RI
Refuge Monitoring and Maintenance (Gardens, Grounds, and Trails)
Audubon's conservation volunteer positions give you the opportunity to help Rhode Island's wildlife and their habitats. RI. Help the Audubon Wildlife Refuge caretakers with watering and maintenance of gardens, as well as other projects around the grounds including the upkeep of trails, trailheads, and parking lots. Positions may be limited depending on the location and/or time of year.
Gain practical experience with a well-established environmental conservation, education and advocacy organization!
Current opportunities available:
Click for Details
Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium
Visit Rhode Island's largest nature center and aquarium. Walk the trails through meadows and marshes to Narragansett Bay. Say hello to Zach, our Common Raven.
Birding in Rhode Island
Stay involved with Audubon's birding programs and resources:
Audubon Avian Research Initiative →
Recent Bird Sightings (eBird) →
Red-bellied Woodpecker by Jason Major
Stormwater Innovation Center
Roger Williams Park is home to the Stormwater Innovation Center. The Center has been developed by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and its partners! Learn more about the nature-based solutions we are using to learn about and protect urban water quality.