Community Science Volunteer Opportunities

Visit our Get Involved page to see available volunteer opportunities. 

Visit our Clean, Ocean, and Access pages to find out the impact you can make as a community scientist! 

Clean

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge Flexible Cleanups As a Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge Cleanup Volunteer, you will be provided with supplies and assigned to a stretch of the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge shoreline to participate in a cleanup at least once a month. The day and time of the cleanup are flexible. These cleanups are recommended for individuals or small groups of people. For each of your cleanups, we ask that you fill out this cover sheet, and this tally sheet to document the debris you collected. Please submit your cover sheets and tally sheets here. Click here to see available opportunities.

Flexible Cleanups – As a Flexible Individual Cleanup Volunteer, you will be provided with supplies to perform cleanups on a flexible basis. These are our most flexible cleanups because they can be performed on a flexible basis (at least once a month) at any time and location of your choosing. These cleanups are recommended for individuals or small groups of people, and they are great for families and kids! For each of your cleanups, we ask that you fill out this tally sheet to document the debris you collect. Please submit your tally sheets here. Click here to see available opportunities.

Partner Cleanups As a Partner Cleanup Volunteer, you will host your own regularly scheduled cleanups (at least once a month) at a location or locations of your choosing. This is a great opportunity for neighborhoods, businesses, schools, and other groups to become environmental stewards! This will involve recruiting volunteers, communicating with your volunteers, as well as planning and running your cleanups. We will provide you with all the supplies you will need and can help you with your first cleanup. We ask that you notify us at least a week in advance of your cleanups so that we can help with trash removal if necessary. Please fill out this cover sheet for each of your cleanups and have your volunteers fill out these tally sheets to document the debris they collect.  Please submit your cover sheets and tally sheets here. Click here to see available opportunities. Are you looking to make an impact with less of a commitment? Visit our get involved page to sign-up for one of our weekly summer AFTER5 cleanups, or one of our weekend core cleanups!

For the procedural guidelines of our Clean Program click here.

Ocean

Ocean- Coastal: Weekly Water Sampling for Bacterial Analysis

Weekly Water Sampling

Water Sampler – As a water sampler, you would collect one to two water samples at 1 of our 13 testing locations shown on the map below in Middletown or Newport every Thursday morning throughout the entire year. You would take this sample between 6-7 a.m. and then drop it off at the drop-off location in Newport. The commitment for this volunteer job is half an hour every Thursday morning between 6-7 a.m. No previous experience is required, and we will provide you with all the supplies and training you will need. The only requirements are a driver’s license, a car, and the ability to collect a water sample. We prefer at least a six-month commitment to this volunteer job. Click here to see available opportunities.

Backup Water Samplers – As a backup water sampler, you will be responsible for collecting any samples that were not able to be collected by the main water samplers. The hours for this volunteer job are on a need basis and will vary from week to week. When you are needed, you will be reached out to and told which location(s) you need to collect samples from. You will then go collect these samples and bring them to the drop off location in Newport. The only requirements are a driver’s license, a car, and the ability to collect a water sample. The commitment for this volunteer job is between 30 minutes to an hour on Thursday mornings when there is a need for a backup sample or samples to be taken. Click here to see available opportunities.

Maidford River Water Sampling Team The Maidford River Water Sampling Team requires a group of 2-4 individuals to collect a water sample at 4 locations along the Maidford River every Saturday morning throughout the entire year. You would take these 4 samples and then drop them off to the cooler outside the Clean Ocean Access office. The commitment for this volunteer job is 2 hours every Saturday morning. No previous experience is required, and we will provide you with all the supplies and training you will need. The only requirements are a driver’s license, a car, and the ability to collect a water sample. We prefer at least a six-month commitment to this volunteer job. Click here to see available opportunities.

Water Sample Driver – As the Water Sample Driver, you would drive the water samples from the drop-off location in Newport to the Rhode Island Department of Health in Providence every Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. You would also drop 4 of the samples at the Clean Ocean Access office in Middletown. The commitment for this volunteer job is about 2 hours every Thursday morning between 8:30-10:30 a.m. This is a great opportunity for someone who might be traveling to Providence. A driver’s license and car are required for this volunteer job. We prefer at least a six-month commitment to this job. Click here to see available opportunities.

Backup Water Sample Driver – As the backup water sample driver, it is your responsibility to fill in for the main driver on weeks that they are unable to drive. The hours for this volunteer job are on a need basis and will vary from week to week. On a week that you are needed to drive, you would drive the water samples from the drop-off location in Newport to the Rhode Island Department of Health in Providence every Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. You would also drop 4 of the samples at the Clean ocean Access office in Middletown. The commitment for this volunteer job is about 2 hours on Thursday mornings between 8:30-10:30 a.m. when a backup driver is needed. A driver’s license and car are required for this volunteer job. We prefer at least a six-month commitment. Click here to see available opportunities.

Bacterial Source Tracking Tester – As the Bacterial Source Tracking (BST) Tester, you would perform four simple laboratory tests in our office on four of our water samples each Monday afternoon. These including testing for chlorine, ammonia, surfactants, and specific conductance. The commitment for this volunteer job is 1 hour every Monday at any time after between 12-5 p.m. No previous experience is required, and we will provide you with all the supplies and training you will need. Click here to see available opportunities.

Ocean Watershed: Weekly Water Sampling for Nutrient
Analysis

Maidford River Water Sampling Team – The Maidford River Water Sampling Team requires a group of 2-4 individuals to collect a water sample at 4 locations along the Maidford River every Saturday morning throughout the entire year shown on the map below. You would take these 4 samples and then drop them off to the cooler outside the Clean Ocean Access office. The commitment for this volunteer job is 2 hours every Saturday morning. No previous experience is required, and we will provide you with all the supplies and training you will need. The only requirements are a driver’s license, a car, and the ability to collect a water sample. We prefer at least a six-month commitment to this volunteer job. Click here to see available opportunities.

Bailey Brook Water Sampling Team The Bailey Brook Water Sampling Team requires a group of 2-4 individuals to collect a water sample at 4 locations along Bailey Brook every Saturday morning throughout the entire year shown on the map below. You would take these 4 samples and then drop them off to the cooler outside the Clean Ocean Access office. The commitment for this volunteer job is 2 hours every Saturday morning. No previous experience is required, and we will provide you with all the supplies and training you will need. The only requirements are a driver’s license, a car, and the ability to collect a water sample. We prefer at least a six-month commitment to this volunteer job. Click here to see available opportunities. 

Watershed Nutrient Analyst – As the Watershed Nutrient Analyst, you would perform a series of simple laboratory tests in our office on eight water samples each Monday afternoon. The commitment for this volunteer job is 1 hour every Monday at any time before 5 p.m. No previous experience is required, and we will provide you with all the supplies and training you will need. Click here to see available opportunities.

For the procedural guidelines of our Ocean Program click here.

For procedural guidelines of our Watershed Program click here.

Access

Access Monitors – This is a flexible volunteer opportunity in which each volunteer is assigned to monitor one or more of our 50 public shoreline access points across Aquidneck Island on a monthly basis. This involves visiting your assigned public access point(s) once a month and filling out a short online survey. The day and time you visit your assigned location each month is flexible, but what town your access point is located in will determine when you have to submit your monthly survey by (Newport- end of the first week of each month, Middletown- end of the second week of each month, Portsmouth- end of the third week of each month). The commitment for this volunteer job is 1 hour each month, and the only requirement is that you are able to get to your assigned access point once a month each month. We prefer at least a six-month commitment to this volunteer job. Click here to see available opportunities.

For the procedural guidelines of our Access Program click here.

Healthy Soils Healthy Seas Rhode Island Community Scientists

The HSHSRI Community Scientist Program offers members of the HSHSRI (Healthy Soils Healthy Seas Rhode Island) Project the opportunity to get more involved! Not a member of the HSHSRI Project? Click here and start diverting your food scraps today! Already composting and want to get more involved? Email Kaitlyn here. Community Scientists help the HSHSRI project collect important data by measuring the amount of compost, recycling, and trash they produce each week! Why does Clean Ocean Access need to know? Well, data and the scientific method are crucial to having a holistic understanding of the impact the HSHSRI project is having and measuring how successful we are in diverting waste from the landfill. We need to be able to show quantifiable results to our community and to our funders. By taking this data, you are helping us fulfill a fundamental aspect of the project and provide real and accurate results! All new Community Scientists are required to attend a 45-minute info session. Current community scientists should click here to submit data.

Paperwork/ Forms 

Access monitoring form

Clean tally sheet

Sachuest cover sheet

Water sampling survey

Cover sheet for partner cleanups