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Opportunities/Volunteers
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Volunteer of the Year

INTRODUCTION

There are many opportunities throughout the year for people to learn about Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary or participate in sanctuary efforts.

These include:

Check out each of the categories below, or click on one of the links above, to see where you might fit in. We welcome your involvement!

EVENTS

The sanctuary participates in many different kinds of public events such as outdoor festivals, Earth Day celebrations, educator conferences, and dive shows, by setting up an information booth or display. These events give us the opportunity to share lots of information about the sanctuary and some great images of the reefs and the animals that live there.

A table-top sanctuary display under a pop-up tent at a local festival

Upcoming event participation is usually listed in our online Calendar of Events so that you'll know where to find us.

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ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETINGS

Our Sanctuary Advisory Council is a group of people representing a variety of regional interests, who advise the sanctuary on management and planning issues on behalf of the diverse groups of people they represent. This group generally meets about 4 times a year to discuss current topics of interest.

People seated at tables in a large u-shape during meeting

You are more than welcome to join us at those meetings or communicate your thoughts and ideas about the sanctuary to council members.

VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES

A group of volunteers posing with Sanctuary Sam, a walkaround character of a sea lionVolunteers are an important part of sanctuary participation in many public events. They help us staff exhibits, share information and conduct activities. Without volunteers, we wouldn't be able to accomplish as much as we do in the surrounding communities.

Please visit our Volunteer Activities page to learn more about these and other types of volunteer opportunities.

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INTERNSHIPS

While internships are not a formal part of our volunteer program, we sometimes offer positions through other organizations such as the Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program.

We are also open to suggestions, but seldom have extra funding to provide paid internships. If you have a particular type of internship in mind, please feel free to contact us.

EMAIL LISTS

If you'd like to receive regular news from us, we have a variety of email lists that you can subscribe to.

  • FGBNMS Updates - Single topic emails about the latest sanctuary news, events and web updates.
  • Research Opportunities - Information about marine and environmental research and volunteer opportunities.
  • Education - Digest format emails that provide regular updates on sanctuary activities, the latest coral reef news, educational resources, useful web sites, professional development opportunities, position openings, and more.
  • Diving - Information about diving-related news and issues at or near the sanctuary.
  • Fishing - Information about fishing-related news and issues at or near the sanctuary.

Please visit our Email Lists web page to subscribe to any of these lists.

Individuals may not post directly to these list serves, but may email the sanctuary with announcements for consideration and possible posting.

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VISITING THE SANCTUARY

If you are SCUBA certified, the best way for you to learn about the sanctuary is to see it first hand, although this is sometimes easier said than done! You'll have to plan your trip through one of the available Dive Charters or Fishing Charters, then wait for the weather to cooperate.

diver hovering over reef with boat hull visible at the water's surface above

Once there, you can assist with monitoring the reef’s health by reporting observations. You can also participate in the Reef Environmental Education Foundation’s (REEF) fish survey program for recreational divers. Surveys submitted to REEF are entered into a database that is used by scientists to identify broad trends in fish populations at the sanctuary.

Trip Reports button

Since our visits to the sanctuary are limited by weather, staffing, and vessel availability, we always welcome observations from other visitors.

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weather report observations cool stuff get wet


Female scuba diver, in a pink and black wet suit, holding a slate and pencil while working underwater.
   
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves