National Park Service volunteer highlight: Frank Welles

This National Volunteer Week, April 7-13, 2019, the National Park Service commends volunteer Frank Welles for his remarkable dedication and time spent volunteering with Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Welles is an active sea turtle nest sitter and assists with scheduling other volunteers to provide coverage at each nest.

“There are many exciting reasons for volunteering with the sea turtle program,” said Welles. “On the top of the list is having an opportunity to be directly involved in helping manage and preserve endangered sea turtles. Volunteers spend many hours on the beach at night protecting the baby turtles to help ensure the survival of the species.”

“Frank has been a huge asset to our sea turtle program through the years,” stated Lead Biological Science Technician William Thompson. “He exemplifies an individual who is willing to put in countless hours in all aspects of the program. He ensures his colleagues are well-trained and prepared for most situations. He applies his extensive knowledge of the area, weather forecasting, and sea turtle nesting/stranding biology to make certain the species has the best chance of survival. This program has only improved since he started his volunteer efforts.”

When Welles retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004, he moved to Frisco, North Carolina. He got involved in the sea turtle effort when a cold stunned turtle washed up at his house in 2007. He helps with taking care of turtle nests in the summer and turtle strandings in the winter.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore welcomes volunteers. To view a list of current volunteer opportunities, visit www.volunteer..gov. Or call 252-475-9042 for more information.

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