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Project Based Volunteer Opportunities

Photo by Allison Dush

Long Term and Recurring Volunteer Opportunities

This page lists opportunities to earn volunteer hours that don't necessarily fit well on our online calendar. Our partners need Certified Master Naturalists to support their efforts to conserve Nebraska’s natural legacy. They have provided us with their needs, and they encourage volunteers to reach out to them. 

If you know of additional opportunities that should be listed on this page, please contact us at 402-937-8601 or

Water Quality Testing with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

This program is a collaboration between the Department of Civil Engineering at UNL, the Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and GC Resolve. 

Good water quality is important to the health of the public. In communities surrounded by agriculture, there is potential for contamination of water resources by manure and fertilizer application. Nitrates and phosphates are plant nutrients needed for improved growth, but excesses of these nutrients cause adverse impacts on water resources. Excess plant nutrients also pose a health risk to those who depend on these water resources. The goal of our program is to measure levels of plant nutrients present in well water, rivers, and streams within the Elkhorn and Lower Platte River basins.

The University of Nebraska will provide all testing materials and training to volunteers.

For more information, click here.

The Nature Conservancy at Platte River Prairies

Looking for A Longer-term commitment? Need to build experience for a career in conservation? Looking for a summer get-away that allows you to give back to the world? Want to increase your knowledge of prairie ecology or natural history?

If you answered 'yes!' to any of these questions, consider volunteering with The Nature Conservancy at the Platte River Prairies in Nebraska! We are looking for a few dedicated people who are willing to give a month or more of their time between May and October each year. You can assist us with seed harvesting, native plant nursery work, invasive species control, fence repair and maintenance, research data collection, and inventory/monitoring of plant and animal populations. In most cases, we can provide housing during your stay, so your primary expenses would be limited to travel to our prairies and food.

We can tailor your experience to fit your individual needs and preferences. If you're a student looking for practical job experience, we will make sure you get hands-on practice with a wide variety of tools and techniques and can network with our partner organizations. If you're more interested in some components of our work than others, we'll do what we can to accommodate that. We can also help set up individual research or other projects if you want something more in-depth, or need something like that for college credit.

Anyone interested in volunteering with us can contact Mardell Jasnowski at (402) 694-4191 for more information. We will ask for a resume and references, and will sort through applicants to find a slate of volunteers who match up well with our needs and capacity to provide a good experience for both parties. There is no deadline for applications - we will begin evaluating them as they come in.

Naturalists in the Park Program

Nebraska Game and Parks has a dozen or so paid Naturalists on staff around the state. Several are also certified Nebraska Master Naturalists. Some work seasonally and others work year round. They all could use your help as volunteers whether for a few hours or a whole season. The variety of of activities you could help with in great locations around Nebraska is endless! Below is a list of contacts across the state:

 - Two Rivers SRA– (402) 359-5165
 - Zach Kelley E.T. Mahoney SP -
 - Adam Johns: Platte River SP–
 - Doug Wells: Platte River SP–
 - Bobbi Holm: Fremont State Lakes & Fort Atkinson SHP-
 - Maria Korver: Ponca SP–
  - Amanda Filipi: Wildcat Hills SRA & Fort Robinson SP–
 - Heidi Swanson, Lake McConaughy Interpretive Center: (308) 284-8800

Ian Nicholson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary

To learn about the volunteer application process, please click here.

Visitor Center Assistant:

Are you interested in spending a relaxing day at Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary?

Essential Functions:
 - Availability on a Sunday afternoon from 12:30-4:30
 - Volunteer needs to be able to run cash register with training and use of cheat sheets
 - Talk to people from all over the country and world
 - Ability to work alone

Contact: Cody -
Telephone: 308-468-5282

Volunteer Discovery Leader for Rowe Sanctuary's School Programs: Do you enjoy working with children and have time to volunteer during the weekday? Being a discovery leader at Rowe Sanctuary is easy and fun. We provide the training and all you have to bring is your enthusiasm for being outdoors and a willingness to help children make their own discoveries in nature. All of our field trips are facilitated and our Discovery Leaders explore right alongside children. Ideally we like to have one Discovery Leader for every eight children. Programs vary in length.

Contact: Cody at or Beka at

Telephone: 308-468-5282

Wildcat Hills Nature Center

Volunteer Wish List for the Wildcat Hills Nature Center Education Department:

Environmental Education/Interpretation Programs:
Help present educational program, teach sessions, topic-based presentations. Normally during weekdays (specific times/dates can be provided to those interested).

Environmental Education/Interpretation Resources:
Help fabricate, design, and build interpretation/environmental education resources

Park Resource Management
Help with park management, trail maintenance, habitat restoration, pollinator garden, etc.

Contact: Amanda Filipi, Education Specialist
Telephone: 308-436-3777

The Crane Trust

The Crane Trust is a non-profit dedicated to protecting and maintaining migratory bird habitat on the Platte River. We love our volunteers! The majority of the work gets put in throughout March when the cranes are here and we are all very busy.

Crane Tour Guide:
Our blinds are run by volunteers who get up early or come after dinner to play a video to our guests and lead them into the blinds for a magical experience watching thousands of sandhill cranes come in or leave the roost on the Platte River. Guides will get information about cranes and training on use of the Visitor Center. Who wouldn't want to get to go in the blinds for free? But this is not always for the faint of heart. Sometimes you have to play 'cop' so the guests have a good experience, and walking to and from the blind is required (10 minutes each way at a slow pace). Warm clothes necessary.

Visitor Center Volunteer
Looking for an indoor way to contribute? We have greeters who just say "hello," guide guests around the VC, and provide driving route or blind tour information. Gift shop assistance is great! It really helps to have someone there to tidy up or answer questions. Checking out is really easy with our new computer system! We also have a volunteer-run snack bar.

Maintenance and Clean-up
Like working with your hands? Trained on machinery? Just want to keep active? We always need help mowing trails, doing trash removal, washing windows, and odd maintenance jobs around our offices.

If any of these sound like a dream come true, please fill out our volunteer application form here or contact the Crane Trust Volunteer Coordinator at 308-382-1820

Volunteer at Cedar Point Biological Station

Cedar Point Biological Station (CPBS) / NMN Volunteer Opportunities for Summer

What’s going on at CPBS?  The core season is roughly May to August with a few events in the fall. Fall events include Labor Day week and UNL Fall Break (10-17 Oct).  We are open but at a lower capacity the rest of the year.  CPBS will host 10 UNL courses, several week long educational events, and about a dozen Artists in Residence, each for one to two weeks. CPBS will also host 20 to 30 researchers and interns over various times in the season as well. We even host a one week long Nebraska Master Naturalist training event.  The offer here is hang, fully integrate into the CPBS community, with people here to do field research and experiential learning while you volunteer and help Cedar Point be even more.  For any and all volunteers, CPBS will provide food and housing in season, housing and kitchen access out of season.  A week at CPBS might cover all the NMN volunteer and training time you need for the year too. Depends who is here presenting a seminar etc. We are adjacent to Lake Mac, so come out, help CPBS and spend some time on the lake as well.

What could you do at CPBS - almost anything.  A few examples: We have one budding project that is a collaborative of resident artists and Master Naturalists creating a permanent dye garden; mostly native plants.  CPBS shares a prairie dog town with Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (Central) and we are working through long-term management issues and efforts to maintain that town.  Physical help putting up fence and barrier near the P-dog town is very much needed. The site also hosts a number of burrowing owls.  We have 15 plus miles of trail all of which need work.  We have an active redcedar removal program; join the summer 2018 habitat management interns for a week and help them improve our prairie. Help us create a Friends of CPBS.  Help us write grant proposals.  Help us work on better documenting the history of CPBS.  Closer to citizen science, help us curate and add to the herbarium and the insect collection.  This list approaches endless, so come and do what most fascinates you.

Contact Jon Garbisch, a fellow Master Naturalist and the associate director.

402-472-5977 Lincoln    308-284-6501 Ogallala    912-222-9407 Cell or Email:   

Our Impact to Date Since 2010

  • Trained Master Naturalists


  • Volunteer Hours


  • Projects


  • Impact Value


  • Pioneers Park
    Pioneers Park
  • CPBS
  • Nebraska Wildlife Rehab
    Nebraska Wildlife Rehab
  • Wildcat Hills Nature Center
    Wildcat Hills Nature Center
  • Prairie Plains Resource Institue
    Prairie Plains Resource Institue
  • Bird Conservancy of The Rockies
    Bird Conservancy of The Rockies
  • UN State Museum
    UN State Museum
  • Hastings Museum
    Hastings Museum
  • Riverside Discovery Center
    Riverside Discovery Center
  • Prairie Loft
    Prairie Loft
  • Nebraska Wildlife Federation
    Nebraska Wildlife Federation
  • Glacier Creek Prairie Preserve
    Glacier Creek Prairie Preserve
  • Nebraska Invasive Species Program
    Nebraska Invasive Species Program
  • Audubon Society of Omaha
    Audubon Society of Omaha
  • Edgerton Explorit Center.
    Edgerton Explorit Center.
  • Claire M Hubbard Foundation
    Claire M Hubbard Foundation
  • Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District
    Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District
© 2021 Nebraska Master Naturalist Foundation

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