• Tour Guide/Interpretation • Visitor Information
Photo Courtesy of NPS
Visitor Services Volunteers in Big Cypress National Preserve assist with staffing two to three visitor centers by providing orientation, information, and outreach for area visitors in person, by phone, email, and through community outreach. Volunteers also provide learning opportunities for park visitors through informal interactions and presenting formal 15 minute talks about park resources such as alligators and manatees. This involves researching, creating, and presenting these programs as needed. Volunteers will also conduct informal interpretive roving. Roving contacts are in the preserve resource and help provide orientation and information about the preserve.
Volunteers will also assist park rangers in group management on interpretive swamp walks. This includes walking through mid-calf to waist deep water on uneven ground. There may be the possibility of biting insects. Assisting park rangers in group management on interpretive canoe tours is also part of this opportunity. This requires being out for 2 - 2 1/2 hours paddling a canoe, using your hands to pull yourself along in tree tunnels, and getting in the bottom of a canoe to go under a low bridge. Heavy lifting is also required to move canoes from storage to the river and back into storage.
Each day is different with varying schedules to cover programs and staff visitor centers. The volunteer will provide an opportunity to help people from around the world enjoy the preserve and learn about the beautiful resources of Big Cypress. Two week training on presentation skills, resource knowledge, and safety will be provided. This is a fun, rewarding position which allows creativity, flexibility and opportunities for personal growth.
Requirements: Single individuals must volunteer a minimum of 32 hours per week and couples volunteer 24 hours each. Typically these hours will be fulfilled by working four eight hour days for single individuals. Couples volunteer either three eight hour days or four six hour days. When scheduled to work on special events the hours may be longer. Volunteers will typically have the same days off weekly and working weekends and holidays will be required. December 25th is the only holiday that volunteers will have off as the visitor centers are closed.
Volunteers will be required to drive government vehicles.
Volunteers may have the opportunity to assist other branches with special projects, visit other agencies in the area, and may have other training opportunities.
Volunteers must attend training starting in early fall. Selection Priority is given to those volunteers that commit to the full term of October 30th through April 29th.
Skills: Must have enthusiasm for working with people. Must be able to work as a team with co-workers of different ages. Knowledge of natural science. Good communication skills. Public speaking skills. Flexibility. Good physical condition. Ability to paddle a canoe. Competent in computer use including email and word processing.
Compensation: There is no housing available. We will provide R.V. spaces with full hook ups in our volunteer campgrounds in exchange for a minimum of 24 hours of volunteering per person for a couple or 32 hour per week for a single individual. R.V. must be fully contained. Laundry facilities, a pool, and weight room are also available.
Area: Big Cypress headquarters is located in sunny South Florida on Highway 41 just thirty miles east of Naples and seventy miles west of Miami. A personal vehicle is required to get around on your off time. Temperatures during the winter months are usually in the 80s during the day and 50s to 70s at night. Everglades City is the closest town with a small grocery, convenience stores, gas stations, and restaurants. The fishing is great!
How to Apply: Fill out the on-line application and send your resume including references that may be contacted to: Laurie Humphrey, Big Cypress National Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail E., Ochopee, FL 34141 or call 239-695-1214, email: Laurie_humphrey@nps.gov
HOUSING & AMENITIES Type: Trailer/RV Pads Description: We will provide an R.V. pad with full hook ups in our volunteer campground in exchange for a minimum of 24 hours of work per person for a couple or 32 hour per week for a single person. R.V. must be fully contained. Laundry facilities, a pool and weight room are also available.