4.8: Volunteer to be Victorious - Biology

There are countless people and organizations working around the world at this moment to help protect coral reef ecosystems. According to the 2018 Volunteering in America report found that 77.34 million adults (30.3 percent) volunteered through an organization last year. There are so many different environmental organizations one can volunteer with and below is a list of just a few that involve coral reef projects.

Organizations and information from their websites:

Name:International Volunteer Head Quarters (IVHQ)

Mission: Our mission is to change the face of volunteer travel. Established in 2007, we have grown to become the world’s leading volunteer travel company, working in over 40 destinations around the world and placing thousands of volunteers abroad every year.

We believe in a future where any traveler, anywhere in the world is empowered to make a meaningful difference in the community they are visiting, and we take pride in making this happen.

We’re focused on providing affordable volunteer travel experiences that are responsible, safe and high quality. Our programs heighten global awareness and cultural understanding through the skills and expertise taken by volunteers to their host communities, and through the experiences and lessons that volunteers take back to their own countries and cultures.

Price: Fees from $1010 for 1 week

Time Commitment: 1-4 weeks

Tasks you would do!:

Volunteers on the Marine Conservation project in Australia have the opportunity to join a variety of important conservation efforts focused on the protection of Great Barrier Reef ecosystem.

When volunteering in Australia, you will work in collaboration with a number of oceanographic organizations to gather vital raw data and support the protection of the Great Barrier Reef through a range of initiatives, including:

Reef Monitoring – This portion of the Marine Conservation project involves snorkeling within an assigned area to collect data on the species living in the Great Barrier Reef. You do not require any previous reef surveying experience to participate, as you will be trained in the methodology of in-water surveying during your program orientation. A full-length lycra suit will be supplied and volunteers are just required to bring their own snorkel and waterproof watch.

Name: GVI

Mission: 20 years later, GVI has engaged over 35,000 participants, set up 600 community partnerships, and currently runs 21 programs in 13 countries worldwide. Richard and Ben’s vision to not only facilitate global citizenship and leadership skills in young adults, but to allow them to have a truly positive impact on local communities and environment is very much alive.

Price: $4,965, $6,125, $7,285, $9,605

Time Commitment: 4, 6, 8, 12 weeks

Tasks you would do!: Travel to the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean as a member of an expedition and work on critical marine conservation projects amongst the beautiful islands of the Seychelles.

You will contribute towards various conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data to the local government on coral reef research, fish, and invertebrate surveys and assist with the development of an environmental education and awareness program as well as marine plastic pollution cleanups and surveys.

You will spend the majority of your time on this expedition scuba diving and as such you need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent. For non-divers wishing to attend, we can recommend local dive centers that will help you qualify before your intended start date.

Name: Earth Watch

Mission: Earthwatch engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.

Price: $1550

Time Commitment: 5+ days

Tasks you would do!: On this expedition, participants can get involved through scuba or snorkel activities. You will assist researchers in making baseline measurements of environmental conditions, actively removing algae, deploying coral recruitment (settlement) tiles, and assessing fish and invertebrate diversity and abundance. By joining this expedition, you’ll be at the forefront of active reef restoration science. You will assist researchers in experiments that aim to develop best practice methods for removing this macroalgae and allowing coral to regrow. You will be directly involved in filling in the gaps that will enable reef managers to make evidence-based decisions about active interventions that support the recovery of the Great Barrier Reef, and reefs all over the world.


Mission: Operation Wallacea is a network of academics from European and North American universities, who design and implement biodiversity and conservation management research expeditions.

Research is supported by students who join the programme, to strengthen their CV or resume or collect data for a dissertation or thesis. Academics benefit from funding for high quality fieldwork enabling them to publish papers in peer reviewed journals. This model enables the collection of large temporal and spatial datasets used for assessing the effectiveness of conservation management interventions.

Price: $5,925.00 ($2,370.00)

Time Commitment: 8 weeks

Tasks you would do!: IVHQ’s affordable Sea Turtle and Marine Conservation volunteer projects offer international volunteers with the opportunity to provide vital support to ocean conservation organizations around the world that are focused on the protection of fragile ecosystems and threatened marine species.

Benefits of Volunteering

With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it is true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering does not have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.

Just a few benefits of volunteering are listed below

  1. Connects you to others
  2. Good for your mind and body
  3. Advance your career
  4. Brings fun and fulfillment to your life
  5. Doing things you would not do otherwise

The information in this chapter in thanks to content contributions by Audrey Boraski.

Volunteer Opportunities

Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Hundreds of community volunteers have become environmental stewards of Onondaga Lake since the formation of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps in summer 2012. The Corps is an expanding organization of community volunteers who are contributing to restoration projects that are creating or improving wildlife habitat in the Onondaga Lake watershed. The Corps seeks to inspire future stewards of Onondaga Lake and its watershed through a hands-on, experience-based program that offers citizens and organizations the opportunity to participate in activities that help restore and sustain Onondaga Lake and its value as an Important Bird Area.

If you are interested in volunteering, or for information on upcoming events and past projects, contact Montezuma Audubon Center Director Chris Lajewski, 315.365.3588, [email protected]

The Montezuma Alliance for the Restoration of Species and Habitats (MARSH!) is part of a larger effort to restore, protect, and enhance wildlife habitat within the 50,000-acre Montezuma Wetlands Complex. The MARSH! program would not exist were it not for the strong coalition of partners and dedicated volunteers. MARSH! supports the habitat restoration efforts of the USFWS, NYSDEC, and Montezuma Audubon Center and activities are held approximately four times a month from April through October that are comprised of habitat monitoring, native vegetation plantings, invasive species removal, wildlife surveys and native seed collecting in grassland, forest, and wetland habitats. Contact Chris Lajewski, 315.365.3588, [email protected] for more information.

Volunteer Opportunities in Upstate New York

Lake Ontario Piping Plover Monitoring-Piping Plovers were observed at Sandy Island Beach State Park and Lakeview Wildlife Management Area in 2015 and we are hoping they will continue to return. Those were the first sightings of a plover on the Lake Ontario in NY in decades! The Great Lakes population of the Piping Plover is federally endangered and most of the population breeds in Michigan. Piping Plovers haven&rsquot nested on Lake Ontario in NY since 1984 so having them back in this part of NY during breeding season is incredibly exciting.

We are looking for scouters to go out weekly during the spring months and see if birds have returned to the shore. If plovers return, we will may need volunteers to help monitor them throughout the summer. We welcome volunteers who can help out one day or multiple days! Volunteers play a critical role in conservation by helping to ensure disturbance is at a minimum. We will provide a training and brochures that you can share with beach visitors. Access to the sites varies by site and might involve a long walk on the beach or a boat so volunteers need to be comfortable with those forms of transport.

If you are interested in this opportunity for the spring volunteering, please email our Director of Conservation Jillian Liner at [email protected]

Volunteer Opportunities in New York City

For the Birds! Program of NYC

For the Birds! is an environmental education program that teaches awareness and appreciation of nature through the study of birds. During a 4, 8 or 16 week session, public and private school students in elementary, middle and high school learn about their natural environment through classroom lessons, outdoor field trips, and a conservation project designed to improve bird habitat in the local community. For the Birds! exposes students, usually for the first time, to the idea that their own neighborhoods provide valuable habitat to birds and other urban wildlife.

Thanks to our strong volunteer corps, For the Birds! is taught in all five boroughs and has been a flagship environmental education program of Audubon New York for nearly two decades. We would love to continue building our program with the help of our dedicated volunteers!

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Rich Santangelo, For the Birds! Education Program Manager at [email protected] or 212-979-3077.

Volunteer Opportunities on Long Island-

Coastal Stewardship

Each spring, we host a series of hands-on volunteer events to help protect beach-nesting and migratory coastal bird species. Volunteers have the opportunity to help install symbolic fencing around piping plover nesting habitat, join beach clean-ups, build wooden shelters for nesting terns, and travel to and help locate and GPS tern nests on Great Gull Island. Events take place on select weekends from March through June. Please email [email protected] or call (516) 922-3200 for more information and to sign up to volunteer for our spring events.

Be a Good Egg Outreach Program

&ldquoBe a Good Egg&rdquo is an outreach initiative that strives to reduce human disturbance threats to Piping Plovers and other beach-nesting bird species. We host &ldquoon the beach&rdquo outreach events on weekends in June and July, during which we table at the entrances of priority Long Island beaches and encourage beach-goers to share the shore birds. We provide visitors with pamphlets and brochures about beach-nesting bird biology, our conservation work, and information on how to reduce disturbances to birds. Then, we ask beach-goers to sign our &ldquoBe a Good Egg&rdquo pledge and therefore agree to stay out of fenced-off nesting areas, keep trash off the beach, and to keep dogs off of nesting beaches.

Please email [email protected] or call (516) 922-3200 for more information and to sign up to volunteer for this exciting outreach program. Prior to these outreach events, we&rsquoll ask new volunteers to complete a brief online training webinar.

Photo: Kerri Dikun

Contribute to Our Conservation Success

You play an important role in our mission to protect birds & the habitats they need to survive.

Zoom+ A Blue-spotted salamander. © George Cevera


Geographic Area: Various Sites in Northern New Jersey

Time of year: March-April

Time commitment: 4-hour evening shifts plus training (usually 4 nights a year)

Duties: Volunteers needed to help move amphibians cross busy roadways in the evening and collect data.

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation has been partnering with NJ&rsquos Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) since 2002 to protect early-spring breeding amphibians like the wood frog, spotted salamander, Jefferson salamander, and spring peeper during their annual migration. On peak nights each Spring, we work with a fleet of incredible volunteers to hustle amphibians across the road at rescue sites, collect data on the numbers and species seen, measure the impacts of vehicular traffic, and document additional amphibian crossings for future protection. A lovely article in the New York Times (April 2009) described our group as &ldquochaperones to an amphibian dance.&rdquo

Contact: Allegra Mitchell at 908-852-2576 ext. 122

Zoom+ A Piping plover. © Robert Lin


Geographic Area: Various Sites in 4 Coastal Counties &ndash Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, Cape May

Time of year: March and April

Time commitment: One time on the weekend

Duties: Beach Nesting Bird Project needs volunteers to assist with erecting protective fence at coastal nesting sites for piping plover, least terns, and black skimmers. Fencing projects are usually done on weekends in late March and April (schedule usually available in February). The sites vary although there are some in all four coastal counties (Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, Cape May).

Contact: [email protected] at 609.628.0401 (e-mail preferred).

Zoom+ A red knot in breeding plumage along the Delaware Bay. © Bill Dalton

If you enjoy bird watching, the bay and safely interacting (social distancing) with people then this opportunity might be for you!

Part-time Shorebird Stewards are needed to protect critical shorebird beaches along the Delaware Bayshore. These include Villas beaches north to Reed&rsquos Beach in Cape May County and Fortescue in Cumberland County.

Shorebird stewards support beach closures by being present at closed beaches during shorebird season to ensure that resting and foraging shorebirds are not disturbed. This job includes educating beach visitors as to why the beaches are closed and the importance of the beaches to horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds.

All stewards will be instructed on maintaining social distancing and adhering to all recommended practices for safety and personal protection.

Dates: May 9th through May 25th.

Hours: Stewards can choose the days they are available. Hours worked can be 4-8 hrs per day.

Stipend: Paid stipend

Positions filled for 2021 season

Zoom+ Two-week-old kestrel chicks in a nestbox. © MacKenzie Hall


Geographic Area: 3 Project Areas &ndash Clinton Area (Hunterdon, Somerset Counties) Amwell Valley Area (Hunterdon, Mercer, Somerset Counties) Assunpink Area (Mercer, Monmouth Counties)

Time of Year: Spring (April, May, June, July)

Time Commitment: 3-5 hours every 2 weeks during the breeding season

Duties: Monitor a set of nestboxes to determine use and productivity by American kestrels. Volunteers will be assigned a group of boxes (between 12 and 20) to monitor every 12-15 days. Boxes are affixed to utility poles, trees, or buildings approximately 10-15 feet off the ground. Volunteers will need to have access to a vehicle capable of carrying a 16-foot aluminum ladder. Volunteers will climb ladder and observe boxes to determine occupancy of box by kestrels (or other wildlife species). Volunteers may need to add bedding, remove bedding, and/or destroy starling eggs. Data must be submitted online within 48 hours of nestbox checks.

Contact: Bill Pitts at 856-629-5783


Geographic Area: Trenton, NJ

Time of Year: Year-round

Time Commitment: 1 day a week for at least 4 hours

Duties: We always need help in our office. We seek a volunteer who can commit 1-day a week to help with light office work: mailings, administration, merchandise fulfillment etc. We can offer flexible hours within the regular workday. Computer skills are necessary. Our main office is located in Trenton. Parking privileges included.

Our main office at 609.984.6012

Zoom+ Magnolia warbler. © Bill Dalton


The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a long-term, large-scale, international avian monitoring program to track the status and trends of North American bird populations. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program provides coordination for the BBS in New Jersey. Each survey route is 24.5 miles long with stops at 0.5-mile intervals. Surveys are conducted on a single day, usually during the first half of June. At each stop, a 3-minute point count of all birds seen and heard is conducted. Once analyzed, BBS data provide an index of population abundance that can be used to estimate population trends and relative abundances at various geographic scales.

What are the requirements for participation?
  • Access to suitable transportation to complete a survey.
  • Good hearing and eyesight.
  • The ability to identify all breeding birds in the area by sight and sound. Knowledge of bird songs is extremely important, because most birds counted on these surveys are singing males.
  • New BBS participants must also successfully complete the BBS Methodology Training Program before their data will be used in any BBS analyses.

Although scouting the route before the run is usually a good idea, it is not a requirement, so becoming an observer requires that you commit to only one morning each June. The data are most useful when the same observer runs the route for several years, so we encourage people to make a commitment to run their routes for at least the three consecutive years, preferably longer. Most observers in New Jersey, except those with very rural routes find that the routes are best run on weekends to avoid excess traffic noise and Sunday is usually best.

For more information on the North American BBS, go to:

Currently the following New Jersey routes are in need of observers: 011 Holmansville (N. Ocean Co to Somerset Co), 018 Midvale (Passaic Co), 022 Dover (Morris Co), 023 Pottersville (Border of Hunterdon & Somerset Co), 026 Cranbury (W Middlesec & Monmouth Co), and 132 Spraguetown (S. Ocean and Burlington Co). Click here to view a map of general route locations.

If you are interested in becoming an observer, please contact:

Sharon Petzinger, N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife

Phone: 908.638.5102
Fax: 908.638.6639

Zoom+ Ben Wurst mans a CWF table at an event at Forsythe NWR in Oceanville. © Kevin Holcomb


Geographic Area: Hunterdon County area

Time of Year: Women & Wildlife event in March Golf event in May

Time Commitment: Minimum of one half day for an event

Duties: Volunteers needed to help in the execution of our two main fundraising events: Women and Wildlife Awards and Art Show and our Annual Golf Outing. Special event volunteers serve on an "event-by-event" basis. Volunteer duties include set-up, breakdown, registration, and other event duties.

Contact: Liz Silvernail at 609.292.3707

Zoom+ From May - August hundreds of terrapins cross Great Bay Blvd. Slow down and allow them to cross or help in the direction they are traveling. © Ben Wurst


Geographic Area: Various roads in southern Ocean County

Time of year: mid-May through July

Time commitment: Any amount of time you can spare. Weekends are when more patrols are needed.

Duties: Volunteers are needed to help conduct road patrols in coastal areas where nesting female terrapins enter roadways.

Volunteers help educate the public about terrapins, our conservation efforts, and their threats in the environment. They record sightings of terrapins along Great Bay Blvd and other roads in suitable habitat. Data will be used to identify other road kill hot-spots. Volunteers also help terrapins safely cross roads. You can also collect injured and/or road-killed terrapins for egg harvesting and transportation to a local hatchery at the Tuckerton Seaport. Volunteers can also help maintain the terrapin fence along Great Bay Blvd.

For More Information:

- To Volunteer for the Citizen Science Program - Larissa Smith or 609.628.0402

Middle School Courses

Middle School Courses

Teaching Assignment or Content Courses Required Credit Hours *PACT Exam
MS Math/Math Enrichment/Math Numeracy Lab 6-8 12 combined hours of ELA, SS, Math, and Science Core Subjects 4-8 or Math 4-8
MS Science 6-8 MS 12 combined hours of ELA, SS, Math, and Science Core Subjects 4-8 or Science 4-8
MS Social Studies 6-8 MS 12 combined hours of ELA, SS, Math, and Science Core Subjects 4-8 or Social Studies 4-8
MS English/Reading Intervention 6-8 MS 12 combined hours of ELA, SS, Math, and Science Core Subjects 4-8 or ELAR 4-8
Special Education All grades 12 combined hours of Math and Reading (English/Literature) Special Education EC-12

Volunteer in the Galapagos Islands

Just 600 miles west of Ecuador pop up the wonderful Galapagos Islands, formed over the last hundreds of thousands of years due to regular volcanic eruptions that continue today. Only 5 of the 50+ islands in the chain are inhabited, and each are being faced with unique challenges. The islands are quickly becoming over populated and the increased tourism is negatively affecting the islands’ natural resources.

Even before Charles Darwin, a Spanish pirate named Diego de Rivadeneira dubbed the Galapagos “Las Islas Encantadas” (the Enchanted Islands). Between the islands’ ample endemic wildlife and rare species, volcanic peaks, and gorgeous landscapes, you may find a short-term volunteer trip here is not enough!

Program Types

While there are a few different options for the types of programs you can volunteer for in the Galapagos Islands, most people head that way to help in conservation efforts, as the islands’ current ecosystem is in critical need of attention. The Galapagos is one of the natural wonders of the modern world and volunteers’ work will contribute greatly to the survival of these beautiful islands.


Due to the recent severe degradation of the Galapagos wildlife, volunteers are needed to participate in conservation work this type of volunteering can vary from replanting native species to the island to for reproduction purposes or working directly with animals, such as sea turtles and sea lions, to help maintain the population and keeping sea turtles safe, or working with sea lion conservation efforts. Volunteers would be responsible for contributing to the planting of new crops and helping with general maintenance of these biological reserves.


While volunteering in the Galapagos, you can opt to help out at a community day care or nursery center. These organizations exist to aid both disadvantaged children and their mothers, especially those who have suffered from domestic violence. Volunteers contribute in keeping the facilities in good care and helping serve meals (some of these nursery centers help over 100 people daily). Volunteers are also needed to have fun with the children and lead activities. Your efforts will make a positive impact on the lives of people for whom poverty is faced everyday.

Teaching English

Many public schools do not have the resources available to teach its students proper English. Most of these classes are multilingual, so if you are a Spanish-speaking volunteer, you will also have ample opportunity to use your language skills in the field! The Galapagos Islands’ educational facilities are very basic, and the availability of quality teachers is low. Volunteers are needed in Galapagos to work alongside local teachers in an effort to help children improve their conversation skills, and provide creative language lessons to students.

Planning Your Trip

Volunteering Tips

Whether you are in the middle of a career break, at the onset of your next big move, or just feeling called to take a step away from your current life in search of more meaning, a volunteer abroad experience is a worthwhile investment of your time and energy. Most individuals walk away from their program feeling having gained new practical skills and lessons that will make them armed for life’s tougher hurdles down the road.

If you have always been enchanted by these islands and desire to know them in a deeper way than from your cruise ship deck, a volunteer abroad program in Galapagos will make a great fit for you. Tap into your inner explorer and head out into the Pacific for an adventure of a lifetime!

Health and Safety of Volunteers in the Galapagos Islands

Routine shots are recommended for all volunteers in the Galapagos Islands. Be sure to visit your doctor between 4-8 weeks before your begin your trip. While there, be mindful of the water you are consuming and avoid using tap water at all times in possible (even when brushing your teeth!) No one wants to be hugging the toilet bowl instead of enjoying the island life, after all.

Crime is not a large problem in the Galapagos, though it is always recommended to be mindful of your belongings to avoid being pickpocketed. The greater danger lies in your proximity to wildlife be respectful of animals, especially those with their young - swimming too close to the seal colony does not bode well for bulls with their harems. Sharks are generally not a problem around the islands but always take caution.

DNA repair enhancement by a combined supplement of carotenoids, nicotinamide, and zinc

Four volunteers were involved for 5 weeks of a baseline period, followed by 7 weeks of a combined supplementation of nicotinamide, zinc, and carotenoids (Nicoplex). Blood sampling and bioassays were carried out every week during the evaluation period. The supplementation of Nicoplex resulted in statistically significant increased resistance to DNA single-strand breaks induced by H2O2 (DNA retained on filter % from 46.7 +/- 1.9 to 59.4 +/- 4.3 p < 0.01), increased DNA repair 60 min after induction of damage (DNA retained on filter % from 74.6 +/- 4.8 to 88.3 +/- 4.2 p < 0.01), elevated poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) activity (p < 0.05), and an increased proliferative response to phytohemagglutinin (PHA) (p < 0.05) when compared with the levels before supplementation. However, when the same subjects were supplemented with nicotinamide, zinc, and carotenoids together with another 17 nutrients or minerals, there were no changes in DNA damage, DNA repair, or proliferative response to PHA. Through the use of a rat model, DNA repair of splenocytes 3 h after 12 Gy whole-body irradiation was significantly enhanced in rats supplemented with Nicoplex for 6 weeks (p < 0.05) and 8 weeks (p < 0.01). Comparison of Nicoplex and its components administered separately revealed that there was an additive effect on DNA repair for both single- and double-strand breaks (both p < 0.05). On the basis of the results, it is hypothesized that the enhanced effect of combined supplement of nicotinamide, zinc, and carotenoids on DNA repair depends on their diversified mechanisms of action while multinutrient supplementation may compromise the effects by inhibitory interactions including uptake and absorption.

Wildlife Caregiver

Provide care to wildlife patients, including preparing food, administering medications, and treating injuries. Wildlife Caregivers must also perform hospital maintenance and cleaning tasks.

This position is ideal for people who care about animals and have an interest in wildlife biology or veterinary medicine. Please keep in mind that while caregiving can be very rewarding, it can also be physically and emotionally challenging as we sometimes deal with animals in sad and distressing situations. Please also note that it involves both indoor and outdoor work, in all weather conditions.


  • At least 18 years of age
  • MARS membership
  • Criminal record check
  • Driver's abstract
  • Photo release form
  • Proof of current tetanus vaccination

Wildlife Caregivers must be able to commit at least 16 hours per month in 4-8 hour shifts between 9am and 5pm.

Ambassador Caregiver

Assist the Wildlife Caregivers and Ambassador Handlers with the feeding, cleaning, maintenance, and enrichment of our ambassador birds (birds kept in captivity who are unable to be released back into the wild). Ambassador Caregivers ensure that our ambassador birds lead comfortable and interesting lives.

This position is ideal for people who care about animals, but would prefer not to work with wildlife in recovery. Please note that it involves mostly outdoor work, in all weather conditions.


  • At least 18 years of age
  • MARS membership
  • Criminal record check
  • Proof of current tetanus vaccination

Ambassador Caregivers must be able to commit at least 16 hours per month in 4-8 hour shifts between 9am and 5pm.

Housekeeping Volunteer

Assist with hospital maintenance and cleaning, including tending laundry, washing dishes, scrubbing kennels, sweeping, mopping, and disinfecting surfaces. Housekeeping Volunteers may also help with food preparation and enrichment for the animals if desired.

This position is ideal for people who enjoy cleaning and organizing, but would prefer no direct contact with wildlife.


  • At least 18 years of age
  • MARS membership
  • Criminal record check
  • Photo release form
  • Proof of current tetanus vaccination

Housekeeping Volunteers must be able to commit at least 16 hours per month in 4-8 hour shifts between 9am and 5pm.

Seasonal Forage Harvester

Harvest live vegetation clippings for the deer fawns to eat as they are weaned off of bottle feedings. This position is vital to the successful rehabilitation of the fawns. A list of appropriate vegetation and collection sites is provided. Forage Harvesters normally use their own vehicles, but the MARS vehicle may be used for deliveries on occasion if the volunteer submits a driver's abstract and Criminal Record Check.

This position is ideal for people who care about animals and want to spend time with their family outdoors. There is no direct contact with the fawns, but they may be viewed when the forage is dropped off.


Seasonal Forage Harvesters must be able to bring at least 1 harvest per week from June to October.

Transport Volunteer

Respond to requests to pick up and retrieve wildlife and supplies in the Comox Valley or other island communities and remote areas. Transport Volunteers normally use their own vehicles, but the MARS vehicle may be used on occasion if the volunteer submits a driver's abstract.

This position is ideal for people who care about animals, but can’t commit to a full shift in the hospital.


Transport Volunteers must be able to transport animals or supplies at least twice a month.

First Level of Review

Initial peer review meetings are administered by either the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) or one of the NIH ICs with funding authority as specified in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA).

Each FOA specifies all of the review criteria and considerations that will be used in the evaluation of applications submitted for that FOA. Requests for Applications (RFAs) and certain Program Announcements may include additional review criteria and considerations. Other types of funding opportunities (e.g., for construction or fellowship applications) may use different review criteria and considerations (See the Review Criteria at a Glance). Unless the FOA specifies otherwise, standard NIH review procedures will be followed, including the NIH scoring system described in NOT-OD-09-024.

Peer review meetings are announced in the Federal Register. The meetings are closed to the public, although some meetings may have an open session the Federal Register provides the details of each meeting.

A. Peer Review Roles and Meeting Overview

Scientific Review Officer:

Each SRG is led by a Scientific Review Officer (SRO). The SRO is an NIH extramural staff scientist and the designated federal official responsible for ensuring that each application receives an objective and fair initial peer review, and that all applicable laws, regulations, and policies are followed.

  • Analyze the content of each application, and check for completeness.
  • Document and manage conflicts of interest.
  • Recruit qualified reviewers based on scientific and technical qualifications and other considerations, including:
    1. Authority in their scientific field
    2. Dedication to high quality, fair, and objective reviews
    3. Ability to work collegially in a group setting
    4. Experience in research grant review
    5. Balanced representation
  • Assign applications to reviewers for critique preparation and assignment of individual criterion scores.
  • Attend and oversee administrative and regulatory aspects of peer review meetings.
  • Prepare summary statements for all applications reviewed.

SRG Members

  • Serves as moderator of the discussion of scientific and technical merit of the applications under review.
  • Also serves as a peer reviewer for the meeting.
  • Declare Conflicts of Interest with specific applications following NIH guidance
    • For details, see the Managing Conflict of Interest in NIH Peer Review of Grants and Contracts page

    Other NIH Staff

    • Federal officials who have need-to-know or pertinent related responsibilities are permitted to attend closed review meetings.
    • NIH Institute/Center staff or other federal staff members wishing to attend an SRG meeting must have advance approval from the responsible SRO. These individuals may provide programmatic or grants management input at the SRO's discretion.
    • Must maintain the integrity of the peer review process by not contacting reviewers to influence the outcome of the review not sending information directly to a reviewer and not accessing information related to the review. There are consequences to any of these actions (See Integrity and Confidentiality in NIH Peer Review).

    B. Peer Review Criteria and Considerations

    Review Criteria for Research Grants and Cooperative Agreements (for criteria for other types of grants, like training grants, please see Review Criteria at a Glance)

    The mission of the NIH is to support science in pursuit of knowledge about the biology and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce illness and disability. Applications submitted in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

    Overall Impact: Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria, and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

    Scored Review Criteria

    • Significance
    • Investigator(s)
    • Innovation
    • Approach
    • Environment
    • Study Timeline (specific to applications involving clinical trials)
    • Protections for Human Subjects
    • Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
    • Vertebrate Animals
    • Biohazards
    • Resubmission
    • Renewal
    • Revision
    • Applications from Foreign Organizations
    • Select Agent
    • Resource Sharing Plans
    • Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources
    • Budget and Period Support

    C. Scoring

    The NIH utilizes a 9-point rating scale (1 = exceptional 9 = poor) for all applications the same scale is used for overall impact scores and for criterion scores (Scoring Guidance).
    Before the SRG meeting, each reviewer assigned to an application gives a separate score for each of (at least) five review criteria (i.e., Significance, Investigator(s), Innovation, Approach, and Environment for research grants and cooperative agreements see Review Criteria at a Glance). For all applications the individual scores of the assigned reviewers and discussant(s) for these criteria are reported to the applicant.

    In addition, each reviewer assigned to an application gives a preliminary overall impact score for that application. In many review meetings, the preliminary scores are used to determine which applications will be discussed in full at the meeting. For each application that is discussed at the meeting, a final impact score is given by each eligible committee member (without conflicts of interest) including the assigned reviewers. Each member's score reflects his/her evaluation of the overall impact that the project is likely to have on the research field(s) involved.

    The final overall impact score for each discussed application is determined by calculating the mean score from all the eligible members' final impact scores, and multiplying the average by 10 the final overall impact score is reported on the summary statement. Thus, the final overall impact scores range from 10 (high impact) through 90 (low impact). Numerical impact scores are not reported for applications that are not discussed (ND), which may be reported as ++ on the face page of the summary statement and typically rank in the bottom half of the applications.

    Applicants just receiving their scores or summary statements should consult our Next Steps page for detailed guidance. Applicants seeking advice beyond that available online may want to contact the NIH Program Official listed at the top of the summary statement.

    An application may be designated Not Recommended for Further Consideration (NRFC) by the SRG if it lacks significant and substantial merit presents serious ethical problems in the protection of human subjects from research risks or presents serious ethical problems in the use of vertebrate animals, biohazards, and/or select agents. Applications designated as NRFC do not proceed to the second level of peer review (National Advisory Council/Board) because they cannot be funded.

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    Characteristics of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae and Contact to Animals in Estonia

    We have attempted to define the prevalence and risk factors of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-Enterobacteriaceae) carriage, and to characterize antimicrobial susceptibility, beta-lactamase genes, and major types of isolated strains in volunteers, with a specific focus on humans in contact with animals. Samples were collected from 207 volunteers (veterinarians, pig farmers, dog owners, etc.) and cultured on selective agar. Clonal relationships of the isolated ESBL-Enterobacteriaceae were determined by whole genome sequencing and multi-locus sequence typing. Beta-lactamases were detected using a homology search. Subjects filled in questionnaires analyzed by univariate and multiple logistic regression. Colonization with ESBL-Enterobacteriaceae was found in fecal samples of 14 individuals (6.8% 95%CI: 3.75-11.09%). In multiple regression analysis, working as a pig farmer was a significant risk factor for ESBL-Enterobacteriaceae carriage (OR 4.8 95%CI 1.2-19.1). The only species isolated was Escherichia coli that distributed into 11 sequence types. All ESBL-Enterobacteriaceae isolates were of CTX-M genotype, with the blaCTX-M-1 being the most prevalent and more common in pig farmers than in other groups. Despite the generally low prevalence of ESBL-Enterobacteriaceae in Estonia, the pig farmers may still pose a threat to transfer resistant microorganisms. The clinical relevance of predominant blaCTX-M-1 carrying E. coli is still unclear and needs further studies.

    Keywords: CTX-M ESBL Escherichia coli healthy volunteer one health whole genome sequencing.

    Conflict of interest statement

    None to declare. The funder had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.

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