As a Duke Forest volunteer, you are directly involved in improving the Forest and helping us to carry out our teaching and research mission. Our active volunteer program is based around some engaging and rewarding long-term volunteer programs that directly assist our staff and the Forest. While we have limited capacity to host one-off volunteer events on the Forest and while we usually cannot accommodate requests from outside groups wanting to volunteer, you are still welcome to inquire.
To be considered for volunteering, please Subscribe to our e-LOG newsletter and select “Volunteering”. You will be included in our volunteer specific emails in addition to our general emails. All general volunteer events are on an ad hoc basis, and you can find out about them by subscribing to our newsletter.
Trail Maintenance & Forest Management – Put Your Back into It The Forest contains many miles of walking paths. These trails provide researchers and educators with easy access routes into the forest interior while also providing enhanced hiking and nature viewing opportunities to recreational users. Volunteers are needed to cut back encroaching vegetation, install water bars and stabilize trails. These general opportunities are announced a couple times per year via our newsletter for those who select “Volunteering” as their Additional Interest.
Field Trip Leader – Walk and Talk on the Wild Side Particularly knowledgeable volunteers could help by leading interpretive tours on the weekends to educate citizens about the Duke Forest’s research and teaching mission while also explaining the ecology, history and management of the Forest. A background in botany, ecology or forestry is helpful, but is not required. Please contact us if this is an interest.
❯ Specialized Volunteer Programs
For each of these opportunities, an application, special permission, training, additional information, and confirmation from Duke Forest staff is a prerequisite.
Community Scientists – For the Scientists at Heart We need a dedicated team of community scientists to help us collect data that will increase our understanding of the biodiversity and natural resources in the Duke Forest. To learn more about our Herpetofauna Community Science Program or other community science partner projects click here.
Forest Stewards – Our Constant Advocates With 7,000+ acres, we need more eyes on the ground to keep the Forest in optimum condition for its teaching, research, and stewardship missions. If you love to hike and wouldn’t bat an eye at educating others about the importance of the Duke Forest, learn more here.
Volunteer Photography Corps – Our Poplar Paparazzi We are always in need of great photographs to express the beauty and value of the Duke Forest. Volunteers are needed to help us document the Forest’s changing seasons and wildlife. If you are a hobbyist or professional photographer willing to share your pictures of the Forest in order to benefit the telling of its story, please click here to learn more about the Volunteer Photography Corps.