Friends of the Elephant Seal recruiting new docents
Six-week training program includes independent study assignments and virtual online sessions
– Friends of the Elephant Seal (FES) is recruiting new docents/guides to help visitors understand the life of the northern elephant seals that visit the beach at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. FES is a cooperating association with the California State Parks.
Piedras Blancas is the largest mainland rookery for these amazing animals. Seals visit the beach to give birth and breed, rest, and molt. The rest of the year they migrate long distances, diving deep and long to find food. FES docents help visitors understand which seals are on the beach, why they are there, and what is going on in their complicated and fascinating lives.
Being an FES docent or guide is one of the Central Coast’s best opportunities for outdoor public service. Docents are easily recognizable in their bright blue jackets. FES provides professional-quality training and extensive reference materials about the seals and other coastal wildlife. Experienced docents help novices get started with confidence.
Researchers are always making new discoveries about these seals’ deep-sea lives. FES docents are among the first to learn about current research findings.
FES will offer a Fall training class to prepare new docents to meet the public as informal educators and wildlife interpreters. The six-week training program will include independent study assignments and virtual online sessions, as well as live sessions. An in-person training session is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22, in Morro Bay, with three in-person mentoring sessions to be scheduled individually between Oct. 3 and Oct. 21. Independent study and virtual training sessions begin in September. The application deadline is Aug. 15, 2022.
FES docents are friendly, outgoing guides at the Elephant Seal Viewing Area in San Simeon. They share the fascinating life history of the northern elephant seal at the Piedras Blancas rookery with visitors from around the world. The best reward for their service is meeting the public and providing information that helps them to appreciate the intrinsic value and beauty of these unique seals and their ocean habitat. Docents serve three or four 3-hour shifts a month, scheduled either in the morning or afternoon.
Help the public understand and enjoy the amazing wildlife and habitat along the Central California Coast. Go to https://elephantseal.org/become-a-docent/ and fill out an application. For questions, call (805) 924-1628. Volunteers must be 18 or older.