• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

Volunteer: Harbor Seal Monitoring

Thank you for your interest. Applications for the 2014 season are no longer being accepted as the program has reached capacity. Applications received will be considered for the 2015 season.

Overview
The Harbor Seal Monitoring volunteer contributes to the long-term monitoring of harbor seals which will aid in protecting seal colonies and assessing the health of the marine ecosystem.

Duties

  • Hike off-trail and in rugged terrain to various harbor seal monitoring sites to observe, collect and report data on seal numbers, behaviors, and disturbances
  • Use binoculars and a spotting scope to observe seals

Volunteers must be able to work independently, use binoculars and make detailed observations and notes. Volunteers must also have the interest and ability to hike off-trail and in rugged terrain.

Volunteers must be able to hike distances anywhere from 1 to 9 miles with up to 10 pounds of optical equipment and extra clothing and be able to tolerate sun, wind, fog, and cold. Volunteers may be exposed to poison oak and ticks.

Volunteers must also use own vehicle to transport to and from survey sites and provide own weather appropriate clothing, including rain gear and hiking boots.

Schedule and Time Commitment
Volunteers work 6 to 8 hours per day and commit to a minimum of 2 survey days per month during any day of the week for a total of 10 survey days from February through July.

Training
Volunteers must attend a two-day Harbor Seal Monitoring training on February 22 and March 8, 2014, and field training with a mentor.

Benefits to the Volunteer
Volunteers have the opportunity to observe harbor seals in less-frequented areas in Point Reyes National Seashore. Volunteers receive training in conducting surveys and education about harbor seals, marine mammals, marine ecosystems and the park. Volunteers also enjoy the satisfaction of contributing to the research and protection of marine ecosystems.

Group Type
Individuals are encouraged to participate.

Minimum Age
Minimum age is 16. Volunteers under 18 must have a signed parental consent form. Please contact us (see below) for more information.

Accommodations
Housing and camping/RV sites are unavailable.

Application and Contact Information
Please apply under the Current Opportunities listing. For more information, contact Sarah Codde at 415-464-5210 or by email.

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Did You Know?

Dorsal view of a gray whale breaching. Photo by Merrill Gosho/NOAA.

The Endangered Species Act turned 40 on December 28, 2013. 99 percent of the plants and animals protected by the ESA have been saved from extinction, including the bald eagle, brown pelican, gray whale, and peregrine falcon, all of which can be seen at Point Reyes. More...