Four young women in blue t-shirts smile at the camera w
LEAF interns work at Black Cap trail in the Green Hills Preserve © Megan Latour

The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire

Volunteer for Nature

Make a difference in the Granite State

Do you love exploring one of our many preserves on a regular basis? Do you want to work with others to help protect natural spaces in your community? Are you interested in resource and land management? Turn your passion into action by joining NH Volunteers for Nature, a group of volunteers who donate thousands of hours annually in more than 100 volunteer sites across the state. Check out what our volunteers accomplished in 2017 and 2018!

Whether you want to get to know and care for a preserve for years to come, or are excited to spend an afternoon removing invasive species from key habitat, we want to work with you! We’re actively recruiting for several positions—listed below—and hold regular volunteer workdays throughout the year.

Let us know what you’re interested in! Complete the Volunteer Interest Form to receive our monthly e-newsletter with upcoming volunteer events.

Volunteer Positions

Program Overview

Preserve Stewardship Team

  • Be on the frontlines of conservation at the preserve nearest (or dearest) to you!

    Join a small team of like-minded volunteers! These stewardship teams are trained to perform general monitoring and basic stewardship on the preserve they select. They also serve as ambassadors to the public and assist with larger volunteer projects as necessary and able. Volunteers should have reliable transportation, be comfortable walking the preserve trails, and be able to read a map.

    Commitment: The Nature Conservancy requests a one year, good-faith commitment and six annual visits to the preserve, with a focus on April-October.

    Benefits: Free training in land management and stewardship, with the opportunity for further learning in topics like natural history, trail maintenance, and boundary monitoring. A connection to The Nature Conservancy and the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals committed to a future where nature and people thrive. The chance to intimately know, and care for, a piece of land that is not only important to the community around it, but vital to the future of biodiversity.

    Why we need you: With more than 26,000 acres spread over 29 preserves, and more than 60 miles of trails, The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire has a lot to manage. Our stewardship teams perform tasks necessary to maintain ecosystem health, provide an outstanding visitor experience, and uphold the high standards we set for ourselves as owners and protectors of the land. In addition, stewards inform us of any urgent preserve needs, allowing us to address issues in a timely, efficient manner.

    Open Positions:                     

    Pine Barrens Protectors (Osssipee, NH)

    Green Hills Guardians (North Conway, NH)

    Lubberland Habitat Heroes (Newmarket, NH)

    Manchester Keepers of the Swamp (Manchester, NH)

Conservation Rover

  • Become the “go-to” volunteer for stewardship miscellanea.

    Do you want a taste of a little bit of everything? The conservation rover is someone who has a flexible schedule, a willingness to travel, and an excitement about learning, seeing and trying new things. They are the volunteer we call up when we need a hand installing a new preserve sign, want a second person to patrol boundaries with, or think would be perfect to investigate a suspected patch of invasive species. Conservation Rovers should have reliable transportation, be comfortable outside, and work well with others or alone.

    Commitment: Conservation rovers don’t have a set number of days they are expected to work, but they should try to be available within three weeks of notice and avoid cancellations.   

    Benefits: The chance to shape a volunteer position to your interests, and to learn about and participate in a wide range of conservation and land management practices. A connection to The Nature Conservancy, and the opportunity to work outside with like-minded individuals. Exploration of the state and the many unique and precious ecosystems within it.

    Why we need you: With more than 26,000 acres spread over 29 preserves, and more than 60 miles of trails, The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire has a lot to manage. Our land stewards could often use another set of hands, but don’t always have volunteers in place to help, especially at our more remote preserves. We need conservation rovers to be a reliable, trustworthy network of support wherever we are, whatever we need to get done.  

    Supervisors:

    Northern NH: contact Birch Malotky via email or at (603) 356-8833.
    Southern NH: contact Myrilla Hartkopf via email or at (603) 659-2678.

Preserve Adopter

  • Care for preserves with the flexibility of your own schedule.

    Our volunteer Preserve Adopters serve as our eyes, ears, and muscle on the ground, and as ambassadors to the public. They dedicate their time to a single preserve and work independently to meet the stewardship goals for the preserve. On their own time, they will help maintain trails, eradicate invasive species, and assist with workdays.

    Commitment: The Nature Conservancy requests a one-year, good-faith commitment and six annual visits to the preserve, with a focus on April-October.

    Benefits: Get hands-on learning and training in land management and stewardship practices. A connection to The Nature Conservancy and the opportunity to work outside with like-minded individuals. The chance to intimately know and care for a piece of land that is not only important to the community around it, but vital to the future of biodiversity.

    Why we need you: With more than 26,000 acres spread over 29 preserves, and more than 60 miles of trails, The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire has a lot to manage. Our stewardship teams perform tasks necessary to maintain ecosystem health, provide an outstanding visitor experience, and uphold the high standards we set for ourselves as owners and protectors of the land. In addition, stewards inform us of any urgent preserve needs, allowing us to address issues in a timely, efficient manner.

    Open Preserves: See a list of preserves that need your help.

Trail Adopter

  • Volunteer at your leisure to monitor and maintain a trail that’s important to you.

    Our trail adopters are just like you! Enthusiastic users of a Nature Conservancy trail that they want to help care for. Trail adopters agree to walk/hike/run/bike/ski their trail regularly and report on anything that is amiss, trim back encroaching vegetation, and remove any trash or debris. They also serve as ambassadors to the public and may assist with larger volunteer projects as necessary and able. Volunteers should have reliable transportation, be comfortable traveling the preserve trails, and be able to read a map.

    Commitment: The Nature Conservancy requests a one year, good-faith commitment and at least four annual visits to the trail, especially in early spring and after storm events.

    Benefits: Free training in trail maintenance, a connection to The Nature Conservancy, and the opportunity to work outside with like-minded individuals. The chance to serve your community by maintaining a valuable resource, and pride in a job well done.

    Why we need you: With more than 60 miles of trails across the state, The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire relies on the help of volunteers to ensure our trails are safe and user-friendly. Trail adopters perform necessary maintenance tasks and inform us of any urgent trail needs, allowing us to address issues in a timely, efficient manner.

    Supervisor: contact Birch Malotky via email or at (603) 356-8833.

    Orphaned trails: See a list of adoptable trails.

Volunteer Burn Crew Member

  • Light a fire for conservation.

    Get trained as a Wildland Firefighter and participate in The Nature Conservancy’s fire management program at the Ossipee Pine Barrens and in Southern Maine. Volunteers help prepare units to be burned and join the burn crew day-of to put fire on the ground in a safe and effective manner. Tasks include ignition, running engines and pumps, holding line, and patrolling the fire at the end of the day to make sure that it is dead out.

    Commitment: Burn crew members must take a 30-hour online course through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group on their own time, pass a physical fitness pack test, and attend a field day in the spring. One day helping to prepare burn units is requested. Controlled burns occur, as weather allows, from August to October and typically last one day.

    Benefits: Free Wildland Firefighter Type II training. Experience on a controlled burn for anyone looking to advance a fire career, or curious about fire management. A connection to The Nature Conservancy, and the opportunity to work outside with like-minded individuals. Contribution to sound fire management practices and the protection of a globally rare ecosystem.

    Why we need you: The Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve protects the largest intact pine barrens in New Hampshire, a fire-adapted forest found only on dry, sandy soils. Since 2007, The Nature Conservancy has been using controlled burns to restore and maintain the health of this globally rare forest type. Because we have a small staff, we rely on partners and volunteers to fill our burn crews to ensure a safe and successful burn.

    2019 Training: We are once again offering a Wildland Fire Fighting Training course in 2019. This course is required training for entry level wildland firefighters. We’re looking for volunteers willing to assist on controlled burns in ME and NH. Please come and join us!  Learn what's involved and register today.

    Supervisor: contact Michael Crawford via email or at (603) 356-8833.

Field Ecology Research Asst.

  • Get on the ground to understand and monitor NH’s most precious ecosystems.

    From retired researcher to budding scientist, this is a great opportunity to get hands on, in the field, collecting data that will influence land management. The Field Ecology Research Assistant will work closely with stewardship staff to select an available ecological monitoring program that is best suited to their skills and abilities, with 1-2 volunteers assigned to each program.

    The field assistant should know, or be willing to learn, how to navigate with a GPS, a compass, and device-based software like GAIA, Avenza maps, or ArcCollector. Prior experience with plant identification or familiarity with common New England species is recommended. She or he must be comfortable traveling off trail, on uneven terrain, alone or with one other person.

    Commitment: Field Ecology Research is typically focused during the field season, roughly May to October, and often recurs annually. Field assistants must commit to the full project season and are encouraged to extend their service multiple years. See individual project descriptions for position-specific details.

    Benefits: Experience in field data collection such as plant identification, GPS navigation, and vegetation surveys. A great headstart to a career in natural resources or ecology. A connection to The Nature Conservancy, and the opportunity to work outside with like-minded individuals. Contribution to sound land management and the protection of critical ecosystems.

    Why we need you: The Nature Conservancy protects some of the most ecologically significant places in New Hampshire. Monitoring these ecosystems is critical to understanding how they are responding to environmental change, visitor use, and management.

    Current positions:

Oyster Conservation Volunteers

  • Contribute to the preservation of Great Bay Estuary by helping with oyster restoration.

    Our Marine Team has fantastic opportunities for you to make a positive impact on the health of the Great Bay Estuary: The New Hampshire Oyster Conservationist Program and Spat Counting Volunteers.

    NH Oyster Conservationist Program: As an Oyster Conservationist (OC) you will receive a cage with young oysters (spat) in July and care for those oysters over an 8-week period (Sept). During this time, you are asked to check on the cage, clean it, and collect data twice. These oysters are then placed on top of an oyster restoration site in Great Bay in October.

    Requirements to be an OC include access to water around Great Bay Estuary in New Hampshire. New OC's will be given training during cage deliveries. By selecting this option on the form, you will be added to our database and contacted in April-early May for the next season. If you have any questions about participating in the OC program please contact our Oyster Conservation Coordinator Brianna Group.

    Spat Counting Volunteers: Once in July and once in September we have our spat counting week event. Volunteers meet at the UNH Jackson Estuarine Laboratory with the Oyster Conservation Coordinator to count and measure young oysters (spat) at the beginning and end of the season. By selecting this option on the form you will be notified of the dates for each event and directed to Nature Groupie to register for the event once posted. 

    Dive deeper into the Oyster Conservationist Program and learn why we care about oysters and volunteers!

Workdays

  • Many hands make light work.

    And time flies when you’re having fun! Join other conservation-minded volunteers for a full or half day of hands-on outdoor work removing invasive species, clearing trail, or improving preserve infrastructure.

    All volunteer workdays are announced in Volunteer for Nature News, a monthly e-newsletter from your TNC volunteer coordinators. Sign up through the Volunteer Interest Form.

Additional Resources

  • Iris and Rose volunteer planting American elm trees at the Ballou Farm in Swanzey, New Hampshire

    Contact Your Volunteer Team!

    We're here for you! Have more questions we haven't answered yet? Give us a shout! Call us at our North Conway Office at (603) 356-8833, our Great Bay Office at (603) 659-2678 or email us.

  • Explore the Places We Protect

    The Nature Conservancy owns and manages 29 preserves across the Granite State. Get to know them and plan your visit. Explore

  • Lubberland Creek is a  tidal creek that flows through the salt marsh at Lubberland Creek Preserve into Great Bay in Newmarket, New Hampshire

    Where We Work

    Check out a map of our project areas throughout New Hampshire. View