How great would it be to spend some of your free time this winter helping educate visitors to Point Reyes National Seashore on elephant seals and gray whales? If you live near the California seashore, you could have such a job, albeit on a volunteer basis.
The seashore currently is recruiting and accepting applications for Winter Wildlife Docent Volunteers for the coming winter. Winter Wildlife Docents help strengthen the connection with and foster stewardship of the national seashore among park visitors by helping visitors view, understand, and appreciate elephant seals and gray whales during their respective mating and migration seasons. Docents also work to educate visitors on the ongoing management and research issues relating to northern elephant seals in Point Reyes National Seashore and provide general park information and assistance to visitors.
Winter Wildlife Docents work at the Lighthouse, Chimney Rock, and Drakes Beach areas of Point Reyes National Seashore on weekends and holidays from January through April, 2012.
Training is scheduled for November 19 and December 10-11 at the national seashore. Individuals 16 years and older are encouraged to apply.
Benefits to the docents include training and education about northern elephant seals, gray whales and related park resources; satisfaction in promoting awareness and protection of northern elephant seals and gray whales; and experience in communicating with and helping park visitors in a national park setting.
Essential qualities of Winter Wildlife Docents include: interest and desire to serve others; good oral communication skills; and abilities to interact with a variety of people and to work as part of a team and independently. Docents must also be able to spend a majority of the time standing, walking, and/or hiking; tolerate sun, wind, fog, and cold; and carry up to 15 pounds of teaching materials a distance of up to one-fifth mile.
Point Reyes National Seashore is located one hour north of San Francisco on the Marin coast and encompasses more than 71,000 acres, including 32,000 acres of wilderness area. More than 2.5 million people visit the park annually. Estuaries, windswept beaches, coastal grasslands, salt marshes, and coniferous forests create a haven of 80 miles of unspoiled and undeveloped coastline. Abundant recreational opportunities include 147 miles of hiking trails, backcountry campgrounds, and numerous beaches.