Become a Volunteer

There are many opportunities for you to get involved with the Reserve. Below are descriptions of the different volunteer positions that are currently available. We are also willing to work with you on an individual basis if you have a certain skill you think would be helpful to the Reserve.

Citizen Science

The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve supports the involvement of citizen scientists in our research. The City of Rockport’s committee for Water Quality Issues is spearheading an exciting new water quality monitoring project in Little Bay, Rockport, Texas. This project is designed to monitor spatial and temporal variations in salinity and turbidity, which are two of the factors known to impact seagrass growth and reproduction. Seagrasses play an integral role in the productivity and health of the bay, and we want to take the steps to protect them. We do not require previous monitoring experience, volunteers will be provided with training so they can collect consistent water quality data using various types of sampling equipment around Little Bay. Join us in the effort to keep our bays and estuaries healthy, sign up as a volunteer today!

For more information about the project click HERE

Field Experience 

The Mission Aransas Reserve is fortunate to be housed at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute where scientific research takes place. One of our very own graduate students needs your help. We are currently recruiting volunteers to assist with field work (seining) in our local waters. The study focuses on Atlantic Tarpon's physiology and behavior, specifically looking at their habitat preferences and behaviors post-catch. Please note that field work can be physically demanding at times. Volunteers will need to be able to stand for periods of time, walk through mud, lift and pull at least 50lbs, be able to swim, handle a variety of weather conditions, and be willing to get a little dirty! Volunteers must provide their own closed toed shoes that have hard rubber bottoms, a water bottle, towel, and wear a bathing suit under clothing. Please contact Adriana Reza for more information. 

Special Event Photographer

Please help us capture all of the education, training, research, and stewardship activities taking place at the Reserve. If you have an eye and a passion for photography, join Reserve staff for various outings and events to help us preserve the moments. Volunteer photographers are generally needed at least once or twice per month. Use of your own equipment is a plus, but we can provide a camera if needed. Pictures will be used on the Reserve’s social media sites (Flickr and Facebook) and for other outreach purposes. Come help us capture some picture perfect memories!

Amos Rehabilitation Keep (ARK)

Care for injured coastal wildlife. This job is rewarding but tough. If you love coastal critters and don’t mind cleaning cages, doing laundry, and cutting up fish then the ARK is the place for you.

Friends of the ARK (FOTA)

The Animal Rehabilitation Keep is supported by Friends of the ARK. Friends of the ARK, Inc. is a non-profit Texas corporation organized exclusively for the prevention of cruelty to animals. The purpose of FOTA is to raise funds for the rescue of injured, sick and abused wildlife that will be rehabilitated, maintained and released back to their natural wildlife habitat or other licensed facility. They also raise public awareness through educational outreach programs.

Would you like to join Friends of the ARK, and help to support injured and sick marine wildlife? Please visit the FOTA website or email: 

Wetlands Education Center

Become a docent in our Wetlands Education Center in Port Aransas, TX, and lead tours through the salt marsh. You should be comfortable speaking to crowds and have a passion for learning about the details of the Mission-Aransas Estuary.

Bay Education Center

Become a greeter at the Bay Education Center in Rockport TX. The Bay Education Center houses an exhibit room along with Science on a Sphere. If you like talking to people and sharing your knowledge of the estuary through technology then sign up today!

Invasive Species Control

If you're not afraid of working hard and getting dirty, volunteer to help the stewardship program remove invasive plants from the Reserve. Help us fight the battle against Brazilian peppertrees, Chinaberry trees, Water lettuce, and other invasive and aggressive plants. 

Special Event Staff

This could entail trash pickups, festivals, education and outreach events, or adopting a part of the Reserve. These opportunities do not need a weekly commitment and are normally weekend events that could be located anywhere in the Coastal Bend.

Volunteer Forms

Volunteer Application

Volunteer Emergency Card

One Event Volunteer Form

Annual Renewal Form

How to get a UT EID. Click HERE

Code of Conduct

UT Learn (compliance trianings) Click HERE

Volunteer Training Manuals

R/V Katy Volunteer Training Manual

Bay Education Center Volunteer Training Manual

Wetlands Education Center Volunteer Training Manual



Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Clean-Up


An educator leading a tour of the Wetlands Education Center



Seining for TarponSeining for Tarpon in the field




Working with live sea turtles is one of the many rewarding tasks at the Amos Rehabilitation Keep



        Volunteers helping to plant native species in the Wetlands Education Center