The Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute is dependent on committed, enthusiastic volunteers and interns. You can assist in a variety of ways, from cage cleaning and animal care to helping educate school children. The Institute offers on-site educational programs to visiting groups who complete group service projects. Each volunteer plays an important part in environmental stewardship and caring for our native animals.
The Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute offers summer clinical experience to college students interested in Wildlife Rehabilitation. The two course sequence begins in May and ends in late July, and is worth up to 12 semester hours of credit.
Here students get hands on experience working with a diverse group of birds and small mammals (mostly birds). They have the opportunity to spend some of their time working with Joann Lackey, DVM at the Avery Animal Hospital and Corrie Williams an ASU Biologist, following juvenile Saw-whet Owls through the rhododendron on Grandfather and Roan Mountains with radio-telemetry equipment. At the Institute everyone works as a team and rotate through the various positions, and participate in the same animal care and educational activities. The past four summers have been a very positive experience for all of the interns that have participated in our Summer Intern Program.
The Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute requires that all Interns take the Wildlife Rehabilitation Class, the required book is $30.00 and there is no charge for the class itself. During the internship they will be expected to keep a journal, and write a report about their experience to turn into their Intern Advisor at the end of their Internship.
A Rabies Pre-exposure Immunization is highly recommended but not required.
ALL STUDENTS MUST BE UP-TO-DATE ON THEIR TETANUS SHOTS!!
The Students who chose to do an Internship at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute will work hard and gain an incredible amount of hands-on experience. The days are long, beginning at 7:00 a.m. and ending sometimes at 9:00 p.m., and later if an emergency arises. Because of the long work day the team members try to give each other breaks throughout the day. When the Interns arrive in June, things will be rolling at full speed, and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Class will enable them to jump right in with some basic knowledge.
The Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute provides the Interns with housing on Gingercake near the Institute to save on travel time that students would otherwise have to incur. The Institute covers the cost of rent for the "Intern House" and the students are expected to pay for their utilities and food. If the students are staying with a "Host Family" they must remember that this is costly for the host, and may be expected to help pay for housing and/or food. Because the Institute is located in a very rural environment "wheels" are very helpful, although not required, and will help to prevent the dreaded "Cabin Fever."
Eating, sleeping, swimming at Upper Creek Falls, watching movies, or running errands. Given our unique location there are many other things to do!