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

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

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  • 2014 Harbor Seal Pupping Season Closures

    From March 1 through June 30, the park implements closures of certain Tomales Bay beaches and Drakes Estero to water-based recreation to protect harbor seals during the pupping season. Please avoid disturbing seals to ensure a successful pupping season. More »

  • 2014 Winter Shuttle Bus Operations Have Ended

    March 30, 2014, was the last day for the 2014 Winter Shuttle Bus System. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. is open daily from now through late December 2014. More »

  • Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1, 2013

    The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center is open on weekends and holidays when shuttles are operating. More »

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?

Point Reyes Lighthouse

The Point Reyes Lighthouse was completed in 1870, 16 years after Congress initially appropriated funds for its construction. It still stands in its original location, having weathered over 140 years at what is considered to be the windiest, foggiest location on the US west coast. More...