Horn Point Laboratory

Volunteer Opportunities

Horn Point employee Debbie Hinkle (second from left) poses with some of the lab's most dedicated volunteers (from left), Ginger Durkin, Toni Turkopuls, and Barbara Boyd.

Horn Point Laboratory provides a unique volunteer experience for individuals and groups, who like the outdoors, care about the bay, want to increase their knowledge about our Chesapeake environment, like to use their skills to help others, and want to be a member of a congenial and welcoming community.

Our volunteer program matches potential volunteers with opportunities on the campus. We are proud to offer a wide variety of volunteer positions that support the unique work of our marine scientists.

For more about these volunteer opportunities, contact Linda Starling, coordinator of volunteers, at starling@umces.edu or 410-221-8381.

Our volunteers are terrific contributors to the lab’s ability to identify the causes of Bay pollution and solutions for restoration.

Linda Starling
Horn Point Volunteer Coordinator

How to help

Administrative/Lab assistance
Volunteers may be needed to assist individual faculty and their research teams with clerical tasks. Some examples of lab work may include weighing and grinding samples, sectioning sample cores, and if possible, simple analysis. Volunteers are asked to commit to weekly, biweekly or monthly hours. Lab work is only available during weekday business hours. Availability is limited to the number of positions made available by faculty.

Educational programs
Volunteers who are interested in offering environment- or science-related educational programs to the community are encouraged to contact us.

Fieldwork can be muddy, messy, buggy, and uncomfortable, but fun, too. Volunteers help collect samples that are later tested in the lab. A variety of samples and data are collected, including groundwater and soil gas sampling, sediment sampling, storm sampling, and oyster surveys.

Gardeners are needed to maintain and develop existing landscapes around the Wideon Pavilion.

Volunteer for a special event

Horn Point Laboratory is always looking for help when it hosts special events.

  • Annual Open House: Planning for and assisting with special events, such as our Annual Horn Point Laboratory Open House and our Open House Preview Evening.
  • Trail Clean-Up: Horn Point has extensive trails that need regular maintenance. At times during the year, we organize Trail Clean-up Days. This is a great opportunity to bring the entire family to experience and help out the beautiful Horn Point nature trails. Specific dates to be announced.
  • Earth Day Clean Up: Every Earth Day, faculty, staff and students collect roadside debris from outside of the Horn Point Laboratory along Horns Point Road. Join us in this annual initiative to create a cleaner environment in Dorchester County and for Horn Point Laboratory.

Why volunteer?

There are many benefits to volunteering at Horn Point Laboratory.

  • Contribute to the community
  • Explore the Chesapeake Bay and its life
  • Learn about exciting research firsthand from the experts
  • Be a part of Bay restoration
  • Help make a Horn Point a nice place to visit and explore for others
  • Get to know our faculty
  • Make new friends
  • Attend seminars and lectures
  • Receive HPL newsletter

You can also help Horn Point as a donor. Learn how to support our research efforts.