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Outreach at OSBS

As part of our outreach goal, OSBS provides opportunities for life-long learning about the natural world to the broader community of north Florida through volunteer opportunities and group tours. We also provide talks to groups who are interested in learning about OSBS and its mission.


Since the Station's inception, volunteers have provided an important role in enhancing OSBS's mission. Volunteering at OSBS provides an opportunity to work in areas such as resource management, science, and environmental education/interpretation. A volunteer is a person who performs work for under a current, signed UF Volunteer Application and Volunteer Agreement, and provides this service free of charge. If you are interested in volunteering at the Station, please contact the station and ask for Andy Rappe.

Current Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Prescribed Fire Volunteer (seasonal)
  • Land Management Volunteer
  • Facilities Landscaping Volunteer
  • Weekend Volunteer Coordinator
  • Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (need to have good bird identification skills)
  • Research Volunteer (based on researcher request for help)
  • Assist with tours and outreach events
  • Building and equipment maintenance
  • Conservation Work Campers

Land Management Internship 


  • Acquire experience with real-world land management
  • Develop professional connections
  • Gain valuable experience and skills with land management tools and equipment


Land Management Interns are an important component of the station’s conservation, research, and education operations.  The Ordway-Swisher Biological Station provides many opportunities to apply your skills as well as develop new ones. The successful intern will perform a wide variety of important jobs for the station’s operation and maintenance. These tasks may include:

  • Assist station staff with monitoring and GPS tasks as needed
  • Assist in preparation of burn units
  • Operate tractors for mowing (experience or training required)
  • Operate UTVs for clearing or trimming roads
  • Participate in invasive species management tasks
  • Restore areas containing refuse (old fencing, dumpsites, road shoulders etc.)


This position requires use of rakes, shovels, loppers, brush cutters, and power tools. Any heavy equipment work will require demonstration of experience or training by OSBS staff. This work requires physical exertion and/or muscular strain, frequent overhead lifting, bending and dragging of debris. Individuals interested in this work must demonstrate good physical fitness. Transportation to and from the station is also required. 


Limited to 8 hours per week (during business hours on a weekday). The specific day of the week is flexible.  The internship will run from mid-May to mid-August 2019. 


  • Successful background screening may be required
  • Successful medical assessment may be required
  • Work well with others and follow directions
  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing
  • Demonstrate the ability to operate equipment safely
  • Valid driver’s license and safe driving record
  • Demonstrate the safe operation of a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV)


  • Unpaid
  • OSBS hat and shirt
  • S-130/S-190 Basic Wildland Fire training provided (mid-August)

Please send a resume and a short paragraph explaining why you are interested in this internship and what you hope to gain to nburmester@ufl.edu.

Conservation Work Campers

The Station began a new outreach program in 2013 identified as Conservation Work Campers (CWC). The program provides a free full-hookup campsite at the OSBS campground in return for 16 hours of volunteer work per week. A minimum of 3 months commitment is required. Volunteers participate in a number of projects that support the management and conservation of the Station. Examples of projects include:

  • Preparing management units for prescribed fire
  • Landscaping & mowing of facilities
  • Trail and road trimming and clearing
  • Basic carpentry projects
  • Assist in removal of trash and refuse from habitats
  • Tractor mowing of trails
  • Assist in the removal of exotic-invasive plant species
  • Assist staff on outreach tours
  • Facilities maintenance

If you are interested in the Conservation Camper program, please contact the station and ask for Andy Rappe.

Tour Visits

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OSBS provides interpretive and informational tours about the Station for organized groups. These tours provide an opportunity to understand the facilities mission and focus and see some of Florida’s unique habitats and wildlife. The tours are usually limited to 25 visitors and involve a slow and relaxing ride through OSBS in our tour wagon along with stops at unique spots for a short walks to discuss points of interest. Tours for topics such as research, habitat management, birding, and local flora are also available. If your organization is interested in visiting OSBS for a tour, please contact the Station for more information.

In the near future OSBS is planning to have a spring and fall series of tours for the general public. Please keep visiting this page for more information.

Copyright 2000-2019, Ordway-Swisher Biological Station
Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Contact UsContent Last Revised: December 31st, 2015