Get Involved

Reserve volunteers make an enormous difference in helping the Reserve staff complete their work. Volunteers help to fulfill the Reserve’s mission: to promote informed management and stewardship of North Carolina’s estuarine and coastal habitats through research, education, and example.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the appropriate site manager. 

  • Southern Sites Manager (Masonboro Island, Zeke's Island, Bald Head Woods, Bird Island):
    Elizabeth (Colhoun) Pinnix, 910-620-0005
  • Central Sites Manager (Rachel Carson, Permuda Island): Paula Gillikin, 252-515-5439
  • Buckridge Site Manager: Woody Webster, 252-796-3709
  • Northern Sites Manager (Currituck Banks, Kitty Hawk Woods, Buxton Woods): Erik Alnes, 252-475-7219

Site Stewards

A site steward is a trained volunteer that observes and records data in the field and reports those findings back to the site manager. Information collected may be related to general site conditions, marine debris, visitor issues, infrastructure damage, and species found at the site. 

To be a site steward you must: 

  • Complete Site Steward training with Reserve staff
  • Be willing and able to work in the outdoors in various environmental conditions
  • Commit to a minimum of 24 hours annually 
  • Be able to provide you own transport to the site

There are currently site steward programs at the Currituck Banks, Kitty Hawk Woods, Buxton Woods, Rachel Carson, and Masonboro Island Reserves. If you would like to become a site steward at a reserve site, contact the site manager (listed above).

Pony Patrol 

The application period for Pony Patrol at the Rachel Carson Reserve is now closed. If you are interested in this program, contact Paula Gillikin

Friends of the Reserve

Friends of the Reserve (FOR) is a non-profit organization that works to support the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve. Through fundraisers and donations, FOR is able to provide funds for education, stewardship, and research activities conducted on Reserve sites.

Follow FOR on Facebook @FORNorthCarolina!

Local Advisory Committee

The local advisory committees consist of citizens and representatives from community organizations, government agencies, and non-governmental partner organizations who provide division staff with guidance and feedback regarding program activities and management of the reserve sites. 

Members are appointed by the Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality for a five year term. The LACs meet on an at least annual basis, with most committees meeting biannually. Recent meeting minutes are published on the website. 

Tidal Flat Blog

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Community Science

Learn how to get involved with community science projects.

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Event Calendar