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Volunteers needed for NYC's Jamaica Bay terrapin conservation project-NOW


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Nov 18, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Suburban-life in Salem, Oregon
Volunteers needed for Jamaica Bay terrapin conservation project
Once again I am seeking volunteers to help with the diamondback terrapin (DBT) research and conservation project at Jamaica Bay in June and July 2014. We’ve had a long and cold winter and we have lots of new projects so this is likely to be a particularly interesting spring.
Volunteer work can be arranged around anyone's summer schedule. Prospective volunteers should contact me via email or here on Facebook. Most volunteers decide to come out one or two days/week, others come out for one longer stretch of days or weeks. Work mostly involves walking thru known nesting areas and looking for nesting DBT, then following a standard protocol for marking nests, capturing DBT, and data collection. We also go in areas where visitors are not allowed. When you do this, you must be wearing an official terrapin volunteer t-shirt.

No one under 16 without a parent or guardian along. It is helpful if you have a pair of binoculars. Volunteers are never more than a 20 minute walk to the Jamaica Bay Visitor Center, which is air conditioned and has water and restrooms.

The first step is Scheduling: Please go to the Google home page (www.google.com) and sign in to the [email protected] google account (see the button on the upper right hand corner of the page labeled “sign in”). The password is Malaclemys2014. After you sign into the account, click on the set of nine dots in the top right, a drop down menu will pop up with a Calendar button. When the calendar opens up, you can type an appointment for any days when you can volunteer. Please include your name and phone number with each entry, so if I have to cancel for some reason I can reach you. I need people every day, more or less 7am-7pm. Feel free to sign up for the same time as other people; I usually need more than one person at a time.

Newbies: On your first day go to the visitor center at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Center (directions below) and call on the DBT phone (646.415.2074). BTW--I only have this phone on during the DBT season. One of us will answer and direct you to wherever the action is, and start training you. Special DBT Researcher Volunteer T-shirts are available free for those that make a serious volunteer commitment.

Remember: always schedule your volunteer time on the Google calendar before coming out, so I know to expect you.

The Visitor Center is on Cross Bay Boulevard just south of the town of Howard Beach.

You should bring water, a cell phone, binoculars and camera if you have them, food/snacks, sun block, and a hat. You can wear shorts and sandals are OK. I supply all note-taking equipment. It's good to be prepared for rain since DBT do come out on days when there are showers followed by sun. There are mosquitoes/no-see-ums especially around dawn/dusk so you might want to bring your favorite bug repellant.

Communication: I can’t stay on top of phone calls all the time, but I can do emails and Facebook. If you haven’t already, you can join us at the Facebook group Jamaica Bay Terrapin Research and Conservation. You can always email me ([email protected]). And you can always leave messages on the DBT phone (646.415.2074).

Dr. Russell Burke
Department of Biology
Hofstra University

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