Calling NYC area citizen science volunteers!

Summer 2019 will be our 21st year conducting research on the diamondback terrapins nesting at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens.  This is serious science-we have an excellent publication record based on this work (see  But we also do a lot of environmental education along the way. The site is readily available via public transportation, car, or bicycle.

This project regularly involves 50-70 volunteers aged 17+ years old, undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, and up.  Once the nesting season starts in June we are in the field 7 days/week, dawn-dusk, so there are lots of opportunities to fit around everyone’s schedule.  People typically volunteer to get experience working with wildlife, to get research experience, and sometimes to carry out projects that earn them college credits.  Some college undergraduates have done such great projects that they resulted in presentations at scientific meetings and published papers in scientific journals.  Students who put in a solid summer of work also can count on a strong recommendation letter from me, which can be valuable for admissions to advanced programs.

If you would benefit from an experience like this, please visit and learn more about the project.

There’s no formal application, email me (, I will retain your email and contact you by mid-May and start arranging scheduling for June and July.

Dr. Russell Burke

Professor, Biology

Hofstra University