Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Docent Deadline Aug. 15

Written by Estero Bay News

July 30, 2021

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 amazing 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 is one of the Central Coast’s best opportunities for outdoor public service. As a docent, you are easily recognizable in your bright blue jacket. FES provides professional-quality training and extensive materials for docents to answer questions about the seals and 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 among the first to learn about them.

FES will offer Fall training sessions to prepare new docents to meet the public as informal educators. Training will include virtual independent study as well as live sessions, Covid status permitting. Live training sessions are set for Saturdays, October 9 and 23 with mentoring to be scheduled between those dates. Independent study will start in early September; application deadline is August 15.

Docents are friendly, outgoing guides who work independently with visitors. They share the fascinating life story of the northern elephant seal at the Piedras Blancas rookery with visitors from around the world. The best reward is meeting the public and providing information that helps each one appreciate the value and beauty of these seals and their ocean home. Docents serve three or four 3-hour shifts a month, scheduled in the morning, afternoon or, in the summer, early evening.

Be part of the effort to help the general public enjoy wildlife and learn about the Central Coast’s amazing creatures. Go to https://elephantseal.org/become-a-docent/ and fill out an application. Questions? Call 805-924-1628. Must be 18 or older.

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