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Friends of the Elephant Seal seeking docents 

elephant seals

Piedras Blancas is the largest mainland rookery for these animals. Seals visit the beach to give birth and breed, to rest, and to molt.

Deadline to apply to become a docent is March 21

Friends of the Elephant Seal (FES) is recruiting new docents/ guides to help visitors at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Viewing Area understand the life of the northern elephant seals that visit this beach. FES is a cooperating association with the California State Parks.

Piedras Blancas is the largest mainland rookery for these animals. Seals visit the beach to give birth and breed, to rest, and to 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 training & extensive materials for docents to answer questions about the seals & other coastal wildlife. Experienced docents help novices get started. Researchers are always making new discoveries about these seals’ deep-sea lives. FES docents have the opportunity to be the first to learn about them.

FES will offer Spring training sessions to prepare new docents to meet the public as informal educators. Training will include virtual independent study online as well as live sessions. Live training sessions are set for Saturdays, May 7 and 21, in Morro Bay, with in-person mentoring to be scheduled between and after those dates. Independent study will start in April; the application deadline is March 21.

Docents are friendly, outgoing guides who work independently with visitors. They share the life story of the northern elephant seal at the Piedras Blancas rookery with visitors from around the world. Docents serve three or four 3-hour shifts a month, scheduled in the morning, afternoon, or, in the summer, early evening.

Go to hftps://elephantseal.org/become-a-docent/ to fill out an application.

For questions, call the Friends of the Elephant Seal Office at (805) 924-1628, or contact Dr. Kathleen Curtis, president and board liaison for communications at (915) 490-4295. Docents must be 18 or older.

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