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Volunteer for Extension

Put your passion to work.
Create a stronger Minnesota.
Learn about the latest research and share it with others.
Bring new skills to your job, home and community.

4-H youth development

Support kids in developing essential skills for success, like problem solving, decision making and communicating. Volunteers work in 4-H clubs, after-school programs, community settings and camping programs.

"4-H curriculum and training gave me the framework and tools I needed to successfully guide youth in their projects."

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Aquatic Invasive Species detectors and trackers

AIS Detectors and Trackers include professional AIS managers as well as citizen scientist volunteers. Detectors learn skills to confidently recognize and report early infestations, and trackers are trained to collect data through monitoring population and water chemistry changes in coordination with AIS management and research projects.

Extension partners with the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center to organize these programs statewide.

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Cooking Matters® Minnesota

Volunteers include local chefs, classroom assistants, shoppers and translators who help teach families how to create healthy, delicious meals on a limited budget.

Participants increase their confidence, learn how to navigate the grocery store, make healthy food choices and cook food in a way their family will want to eat.

"Learning how to cook and shop is critical to health, well-being and family life. If I can help people master some basics, it will help improve lives."

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Forest Pest First Detectors

emerald ash borer

First Detectors are trained to quickly detect and diagnose early infestations of emerald ash borer and other devastating pests, so that state and federal agencies can control the spread.

This program is a joint venture between Extension, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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Master Gardener

Deliver horticulture education in schools, community gardens, youth programs, senior centers and other community locations. Volunteers contribute a minimum level of service required to maintain certification.

"I helped create a community garden so senior citizens could grow food on what used to be vacant land."

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Master Naturalist

Be a steward of our environment and teach skills to others. Participate in projects like habitat restoration and research related to Minnesota's natural resources. Volunteers contribute a minimum level of service required to maintain certification.

This program is a joint effort of Extension and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

"I started with helping to rejuvenate a butterfly garden. Then it just opened up a whole new world."

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Minnesota Bee Atlas

Minnesota Bee Atlas volunteers help scientists study native bees by following standardized protocols. Many simply keep their eyes open for bees and share photos of bees in action. Knowing more about which bees live where in Minnesota helps us understand more about the threats faced by native pollinators.

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Wasp Watchers

Citizen scientists help in the early detection of emerald ash borer (EAB) with the help of a native, harmless, beetle-hunting wasp called the smoky winged beetle bandit. Volunteers monitor the nesting sites of these wasps to see if they are capturing EAB.

“Together, this wasp and Wasp Watchers can help us fight emerald ash borer.”

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Other opportunities

Contact Extension in your county for information about other opportunities to volunteer for Extension in your local area.

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