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NEFSC Ecosystems Surveys Branch

How to Volunteer for a Survey

Ecosystems Surveys Branch

National Marine Fisheries Service
Northeast Fisheries Science Center
166 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543

A few easy steps toward volunteering on a survey!

Volunteers must:

1. Be at least 18 years of age.

2. Submit a volunteer questionnaire with the dates you are available to participate. Confirmation of cruise
participation will be sent within three weeks of the requested departure date or earlier when possible.

The Volunteer Questionnaire must be sent to:

Katherine Sowers Email: katherine.sowers@noaa.gov
NOAA Fisheries, 166 Water Street Fax: 508-495-2115
Woods Hole, MA 02543 Phone: 508-495-2342

3. All foreign nationals without a permanent residence card must receive an additional foreign national security clearance to board a NOAA vessel. Please allow at least 6 weeks for processing.

4. Once you receive confirmation that you are scheduled for a cruise, submit a NOAA Health Services Questionnaire directly to the Health Services Office. This pertains to the fall and spring bottom trawl surveys only.

As noted on the form, you must have a negative TB skin test (taken within 12 months of your cruise dates).

Additionally, you must have a current tetanus shot (received within the last 10 years). If either is out of date, you will need to obtain them at your expense. If you have a new TB test or Tetanus shot scheduled, please note the date on your medical form, rather than leaving it blank.

Medical clearance must be completed and confirmed two weeks prior to the scheduled departure date. Please contact the health services office for the status of your medical clearance.

The NOAA Health Services Questionnaire must be sent to:
NOAA Health Services office
FAX: 757-441-3760
Phone: 757-441-6320
Email questions

5. Bring a valid passport (not needed for all legs of all cruises).

The required forms are available on the Ecosystems Surveys Branch website in the forms link of the Cruise Volunteer Information section.

We need the help of every scientist and volunteer that sails. Please be aware that we work twelve-hour shifts, which means that you may be standing on your feet for twelve hours. During the clam and scallop surveys, the work includes shoveling of substrate and lifting rocks and heavy baskets. Therefore, please only sign-up for a cruise if you are serious about making the commitment. If there is an emergency, or you anticipate that you will not be able to participate on a cruise that you are scheduled for, please contact me immediately.

Get helpful information for volunteers on what will be expected with regard to participation, what a volunteer may expect while at sea, and what to bring on the survey..

Find out why the surveys are conducted.

Read the cruise schedule.

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