Volunteer Information

Whitney Docent Program

The Whitney Lab accepts VOLUNTEERS & INTERNS!

The Whitney Lab is an amazing place, with a suite of scientific experts from around the world that work on cutting edge projects which may yield insight into the health, biological, and conservation issues of today!

To be considered eligible to volunteer at the Whitney Laboratory you must:

  • Be 18 years of age (sometimes exceptions can be made)
  • Have a good attitude
  • Be reliable and have transportation to/from the lab
  • Certain departments require more experience, see below

 

1.  The Education Department –  trained volunteers guide K-6th grade students through a series of learning stations in our elementary education programs (Day at Whitney Program or Travel Zoo).  Volunteers also assist with our summer camp programs for elementary and middle school children, help represent the lab at off-site outreach or on-site public events, help lead tours of the lab and/or specific facilities, and perform husbandry tasks to care for and maintain animal collections and their housing. 

If interested in becoming an INTERN with the Education Department, please submit application materials 3 months in advance of the semester you’d like to pursue credit.

Learn more and see photos of our education programs in action!   K-12 Education Programs at Whitney Lab

The PERKS of being a volunteer at the Whitney Lab in the Education Department:

  • Making a difference in the lives of thousands of children ~ for many this could be the experience that ignites their interest in science and marine life!
  • In-person training provided on all aspects of program or task operation
  • Invitation to annual Appreciation Dinner
  • The opportunity to work alongside people with like interests and develop new friendships
  • Invitation to special education lectures on a variety of marine and scientific topics
  • Invitation to education volunteer field trips

PROCESS TO BECOME A WHITNEY VOLUNTEER in the Education Department:

Please complete the two forms at the bottom of this page, then mail to the following address:

Whitney Lab    Attention:  Education Department: Volunteering    9505 Oceanshore Blvd.  St. Augustine, FL  32080

We will inform you when we receive your materials, and you will be contacted by our Volunteer Coordinator to inform you if we have an open position that fits your experience or whether we’ll put you on our waiting list.  When we have openings, we ALWAYS search our waiting list prior to soliciting help via public avenues. 

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2.  Volunteering with The Sea Turtle Hospital – volunteers help with a wide array of activities in the Sea Turtle Hospital, doing everything from providing daily care for sick and injured turtles (feeding, medicine), animal husbandry (maintaining/cleaning tanks, prepping food, etc.), helping transport turtles between rescue and hospital site, and helping rescue turtles from outdoor areas.  Volunteers also represent the turtle hospital at outreach events.  Please visit this link for more information on the turtle program:

The PERKS of being a volunteer at the Whitney Lab in the Sea Turtle  Hospital:

  • Help nurture amazing endangered reptiles so they can be released back to the wild where they belong
  • Develop skills in animal husbandry
  • Develop relationships with wildlife professionals and volunteers
  • Invitation to participate in special sea turtle programs or events
  • Invitation to annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

PROCESS TO BECOME A WHITNEY VOLUNTEER in the Sea Turtle Hospital:

Please complete the two forms at the bottom of this page, then mail to the following address:

Whitney Lab    Attention:  Sea Turtle Hospital; Volunteering    9505 Oceanshore Blvd.  St. Augustine, FL  32080

We will inform you when we receive your materials, and you will be contacted by our Volunteer Coordinator to inform you if we have an open position that fits your experience or whether we’ll put you on our waiting list.  When we have openings, we ALWAYS search our waiting list prior to soliciting help via public avenues.

Sea Turtle Hospital Page:   Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney Lab

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3.  The Research Lab – volunteers help with tasks ranging from performing scientific experiments, collecting data in the field, preparing and processing samples, collecting specimens, and performing husbandry tasks to care for and maintain animal collections and their housing.

The PERKS of being a volunteer at the Whitney Lab in the Research Lab:

  • Building self-esteem and self-confidence in a university setting
  • Exploring career opportunities by being exposed to a variety of science staff and projects
  • Broadening skill sets and knowledge related to basic research
  • Help contribute time and effort to long-term research which may yield answers to important scientific questions
  • Develop professional contacts for future recommendation

PROCESS TO BECOME A WHITNEY VOLUNTEER in the Research Lab:

  • Please complete the two forms at the bottom of this page, then scan them and turn them into a PDF.
  • Visit the following link and study the faculty members and their research:   Faculty at Whitney Lab  After reviewing this information,determine which faculty member you might like to volunteer to help.
  • Compile a summary of experience / CV, and turn into a PDF.
  • Write a letter of interest as to why you want to volunteer with the selected faculty member and turn into a PDF.
  • Submit all of these materials to the specific faculty member you’re interested in working with (email addresses found on their individual web pages).

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REQUIRED FORMS TO BE COMPLETED TO VOLUNTEER AT THE WHITNEY LAB:
UF Record of Volunteer Service
VOLUNTEER APPLICATION.Whitney Lab

OPEN INTERNSHIP: SEA TURTLE HOSPITAL AT UF WHITNEY LAB SUMMER INTERNSHIP

The Sea Turtle Hospital at UF Whitney lab is now accepting Sea Turtle Husbandry and Education Program Intern applications. The application deadline is April 15, 2017. Please note this internship is non-compensatory and intern housing is not provided by the Sea Turtle Hospital at UF Whitney Lab.

The Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney Lab is a sea turtle rehabilitation, education, and research facility located in St. Augustine, Florida. Our hospital mostly cares for juvenile green sea turtles afflicted with Fibropapillomatosis. We are a very small and new facility and rely on volunteers and interns to assist in our daily tasks.

This internship is geared for those interested in helping us grow our program. Interns are required to help in the daily care of patients including tank cleaning, life support system maintenance, and food preparation. Interns may also be called upon to assist in medical procedures and educational programs/outreach.

During the course of their internship, interns are required to complete a project which is of interest to them but also benefits the hospital.

What you will learn:

  1. Sea turtle husbandry skills
  2. Basic life support system maintenance skills
  3. Sea turtle life history
  4. Public speaking and environmental education skills

Duties:

  • Assist with dead and live stranding response of sea turtles. This includes assisting in necropsies, data/sample collection, animal disposal, and clean-up.
  • Assist staff with daily administrative tasks including office/gift shop organization, answering phones, taking messages, and data entry.
  • Assist in daily care of patients undergoing rehabilitation by preparing meals, feeding, cleaning (mopping floors, washing laundry, siphoning tanks, washing dishes, etc.), tank repairs, and other tasks as assigned.
  • Assist with public outreach and educational events.
  • Assist with sea turtle camp by preparing activities and crafts. You will also be responsible for teaching some of the lessons.
  • Assist volunteers with their daily tasks and assist with training new volunteers.
  • Develop and complete an independent, staff approved, project and 15 minute presentation for staff and volunteers. Project should be of interest to the intern, but must beneficial for the hospital.

What we require:

  1. You must be a rising senior enrolled in a college or university and at least 18 years of age.
  2. You must be in good physical condition and able to lift over 40 pounds and stand/work for several hours a day in northern Florida heat and humidity/other adverse conditions.
  3. A valid US driver’s license.
  4. Ability to use Microsoft programs such as word, excel, powerpoint, etc.
  5. Able to work independently as well as part of a team.
  6. Self-motivated, articulate, mature, reliable, responsible and able to take as well as give directions. Applicants should also be friendly and outgoing as they will be working with volunteers and members of the general public.

A complete Sea Turtle Hospital at UF Whitney Lab Intern application packet must include the following components:

  • Cover letter
  • 2 letters of recommendation (one must be from an academic instructor)
  • Statement of intent: 1 page describing how you intend to use the internship experience to assist in career or academic goals.
  • Resume
  • College transcript(s)

Details:

Internship dates are flexible depending on students’ class schedules. Preferably internships will occur from mid-May to August. Interns are required to work 3-4 days per week depending on the hospital’s schedule.

This position is unpaid.

Housing is not provided.

To apply, please send cover letter, resume, and three letters of recommendation to Catherine Eastman at cbeastman@whitney.ufl.edu.

Do not call to check on the status of your application, we will let applicants know via email when the decision process is complete and a decision has been made.

Download PDF of Internship Description