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Ducks fly over rough water on the Bay of Green Bay.

Volunteer Opportunities for Students

Volunteering is a great way to try out research and field activities in field biology and environmental science, and a great way to acquire skills and "out-of-the-classroom" experience to build a strong resume. Several of our students have said they got their dream job because they had volunteered with a field and lab research project. All of the programs listed below have opportunities for students to participate. Some of the projects also invite community members to get involved as well. This page will be updated as opportunities arise, so check back for new listings.

Current Opportunities

  • Natural Areas Land Management (Multiple locations)
    • Contact Natural Areas Ecologist Bobbie Webster for more information.
  • Cofrin Arboretum
    • Snake Surveys This is a long-term project that will continue into the fall and begin again in the spring and summer with an opportunity to apply for funding to conduct independent research. Contact Lindsey Bender at for more information
  • Native Grassland Biofuel Project
    • Dr. Dornbush has has numerous volunteer opportunities available to work on a native grassland biofuel project. Interested students should email with the subject heading, “Research Opportunity,” as well as a brief statement of interest, current majors and minors, UWGB GPA, and student status (e.g. sophomore).
  • LowerFox River Watershed Program
    • Coordinator Annette Pelegrin is looking for students, especially those interested in K-12 education, to help high school teachers on field trips and to help manage and summarise data.
  • GIS projects
    • GIS technician has "shovel ready" projects for interested students or community members including scanning of aerial photographs and GIS mapping projects.

Project Descriptions

Native Grassland Biofuel Project

Dr. Matt Dornbush has numerous volunteer opportunities available to work on a native grassland biofuel project.  The project consists of a 16 acre experiment spread over two farms examining the potential for native grasslands (four replicated species combinations) to serve as a viable alternative energy crop and a mechanism for improving local ecosystem services in NE Wisconsin.  Ecosystems services investigated include harvestable yield, belowground production and soil C storage, as well impacts in landscape water and nutrient retention. Students will gain experience in both laboratory and the field research, gaining highly marketable skills in soil and plant analysis techniques, as well exposure to experimental design and research principles.  Interested students should email with the subject heading, “Research Opportunity,” as well as a brief statement of interest, current majors and minors, UWGB GPA, and student status (e.g. sophomore).

Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program

The LFRWMP is a collaborative education and stream monitoring program focused on identifying nonpoint source pollution within the Fox River watershed. Teams of high school students and teachers gain hands-on experience in assessing the health of aquatic ecosystems by performing a variety of monitoring activities in selected watersheds of the Lower Fox Basin. This program has opportunities for students majoring in the sciences and/or high school education. A variety of projects are available from analyzing data to assisting teachers in the field. Students can volunteer or apply for internships. Contact Annette Pelegrin for more information. 920-465-5031 or

Point au Sable Natural Area

Point au Sable is a UW--Green Bay natural area located on a prominent peninsula along the east shore of Lower Green Bay. It is one of the few unmodified estuarine wetlands in the entire Lake Michigan ecosystem. Each spring and fall, thousands of migratory waterfowl, gulls, terns, shorebirds, and passerines pass through Point au Sable on their way south. Recent studies have documented over 200 bird species on or near Point au Sable during a single year. Like many areas, we have an ongoing battle fighting invasive plant species. We are just beginning a 3 year restoration project at the site. Students interested in invasive plant control and ecological restoration are welcome to volunteer on invasive plant removal crews this fall. Contact Josh Martinez at 920-465-2030 or

Cofrin Memorial Arboretum

The Cofrin Memorial Arboretum forms a natural boundary of 290 acres encircling the UW Green Bay campus and providing ready access for recreation, field trips, and research projects. The purpose of the Arboretum is to restore and preserve some of Wisconsin's native ecological communities and to provide a place where people can enjoy and appreciate nature. Emphasis is placed on the protection, enrichment, and development of native Wisconsin plant communities and areas of special ecological significance. Forests, prairies, ponds, and creeks represent some of the major communities thriving in the Arboretum. The Arboretum also contributes significantly to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay environment, making it one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States. We have opportunities for volunteers to help with invasive plant removal, a possible controlled burn, and trail maintenance this fall. There may be opportunities for well qualified students to work on ongoing research projects including snake monitoring, plant surveys, bird surveys, or other research projects. Contact Josh Martinez at 920-465-2030 or

Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot Project

The 25 hectare Wabikon Plot is part of a global network of forest research plots committed to the study of tropical and temperate forest function and diversity. This multi-institutional network, coordinated by the Smithonsian Institution, comprises more than forty forest research plots across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. In the plot all free-standing trees with a diameter at breast height of at least 1 cm are tagged, measured, identified to species, and are recensused approximately every five years. Because each of the over 40 plots around the world follow the same methodology, scientists can directly compare data collected from different forests around the world and detect patterns that would otherwise be impossible to recognize. There are volunteer opportunities for well qualified students to assist graduate students and faculty to make observations in the plot. Students should have taken ecology or other field courses. For more information contact

GIS Mapping Projects

Geospatial technology is a collective term for disciplines that use spatial referencing to facilitate compilation, manipulation, interpretation and display of data. "Spatial" in this case means location relative to the earth's surface - it's not about rocket ships and black holes. Remote sensing, photogrammetry and geographic information systems (GIS) are just a few examples of disciplines that fall under the geospatial technology umbrella. Students with strong quantitative skills should contact Mike Stievfater at 920-465-5029 or


Other Organizations

Baird Creek Preservation Foundation

This non-profit organization exists to assist the City of Green Bay in acquiring land in the Baird Creek Parkway and to help enhance the Parkway’s value as an ecological, recreational, and educational resource for Northeastern Wisconsin. Their goal is to preserve a natural woodland in our Green Bay metropolitan area. They accept student volunteers and interns to work on a variety of projects including restoration and land management, invasive plant control, marketing, promotion, and education. Contact the director Maureen Meinhardt at for more information.

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary

he Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is a beautiful 700 acre urban wildlife refuge featuring live animal exhibits, educational displays, miles of hiking/skiing trails and various wildlife viewing opportunities. It is the largest park in the Green Bay Park system and home to the second largest wildlife rehabilitation program in Wisconsin, caring for more than 4,500 orphaned and injured animals annually. They have a number of volunteer opportunities available. Visit for more information.

Friends of Toft Point

The friends of Toft Point was organized to support the management plan of the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, to help preserve the flora and fauna of this property and to help educate visitors about the natural history and the Toft family history of this State Natural Area and National Natural Landmark. This all-volunteer group does trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, and act as docents to provide information for visitors to the site. Contact for more information or download their membership brochure.