Volunteer Activities

Restoration Field Trips
What better way to discover the stunning Sky Islands than to join us on a restoration project? Get involved on the ground and know that your efforts are immediately benefiting water and wildlife. It’s an excellent way to see new places, learn more about our native species and make new friends. There is always a little something for everyone, no matter what your background or interests! We plant pollinator plants and native vegetation, remove invasive species, build water saving features with natural materials, construct wildlife ramps for frogs and other critters to reach water, and much more. Join any trip that sparks your interest: we have day outings, and fun overnight camping trips, too.

Office Volunteers
Want to help conservation of wildlife and wild places, but prefer the comfort of air conditioning and flexible working hours? We have office volunteer opportunities from stuffing mailing envelopes to biological data entry and photo management. Please contact us to see what needs we have that fit your skills and timeframe.

Outreach
If you love talking to people and sharing your love for the plants, animals and wild places of the Sky Islands, volunteering in outreach might be just for you!  Throughout the year, we look for volunteers to help with staffing outreach tables at community events and giving presentations to groups of all ages.

Conservation Photographers
Talented professional or amateur photographers, videographers and artists contribute to our success by providing visual stories of the people, wildlife and places we work with. You can see examples of some of their work in our Species and Landscape Galleries, MABA database, Newsletter and Annual Reports.

Citizen Science

The following day-trip activities require training, a commitment to attend multiple trips to the same location throughout the year, working as part of a team, and some hiking ability. Four-wheel drive vehicles may be needed to access some sites.

Adopt-a-Spring Monitoring
This activity is perfect for volunteers willing to get wet and dirty in search of secret springs and other amazing fountains of life scattered throughout our Sky Islands. You will join a small team and hike in to monitor your adopted spring site on a regular basis, five times a year. Ease of access, hiking distance and difficulty vary depending on each site. Specialized skills in plant and animal identification are a plus, but not necessary. There is no training workshop required for this activity – you learn on the job!

Wildlife Tracking
We are seeking adventurous, eager-to-learn naturalists, to monitor the presence and movement of wildlife by finding their tracks, scat and other sign. After completing four days of field training, volunteers form teams of 3-4 wildlife trackers and adopt a 1.5 mile long survey route.  You may need to walk up to 3 or 4 miles round trip in sandy washes or along dirt roads. Surveys are every six weeks, totaling nine surveys per year.  To accommodate volunteers’ busy lives, teams can schedule their survey within a two-week window.  We offer two training workshops each year, in spring and fall, open to anyone who wishes to learn. Our Wildlife Tracking Workshops teach you how to identify animal tracks and sign and to document what you discover, in addition to learning wildlife camera monitoring and the natural history of native wildlife. Check our calendar of events and keep an eye on our email announcements to learn when the next workshop will take place.

Wildlife Stewards (Wildlife Camera Monitoring)
For the intrepid adventurer! After completing four days of field training, Wildlife Stewards maintain our wildlife cameras in remote areas of the region, six times a year on a regular schedule. They steward their adopted camera sites and data to protect sensitive or endangered species that could be present. Volunteers need to be able to pack 30 pounds to carry in equipment and batteries. This activity may require hiking in steep or rugged terrain, as much as 5 to 10 miles round trip, and often requires a 4-wheel drive or high-clearance vehicle. Wildlife Stewards take the same four-day Wildlife Tracking Workshop training as volunteer wildlife trackers. Check our calendar of events and keep an eye on our email announcements to learn when the next workshop will take place.

The following multi-day activities are led by Sky Island Alliance staff, require camping in remote field conditions, working as part of a team, and some hiking ability. Four-wheel drive vehicles may be needed to access some sites.

Biological Assessments
Whether a week-long science expedition into the remote wilds of Sonora, or a quick weekend trip to a nearby mountain range in Arizona or New Mexico, we occasionally invite knowledgeable volunteers – photographers, scientists, students, citizen scientists and others – on an adventure to document as many species as we can in an area. These “Bio Blitz” assessments help us determine baseline data for future monitoring, and increase scientific knowledge about our region.

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