Thank you for your interest. Applications for the 2016 season are no longer being accepted as the program has reached capacity. Applications received will be considered for the 2017 season.
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.
- 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.
Volunteers must attend a two-day Harbor Seal Monitoring training in February and/or March 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.
Individuals are encouraged to participate.
Minimum age is 16. Volunteers under 18 must have a signed parental consent form. Please contact us (see below) for more information.
Housing and camping/RV sites are unavailable.