• Conservation Education • Tour Guide/Interpretation • Visitor Information • Fish/Wildlife
Photo Courtesy of NOAA
Like strolling along the beach? Make a difference while enjoying it!
We have a Sanctuary Shore Naturalist volunteer position that might be made for you. Shore Naturalists engage the public by introducing the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and sharing about humpback whales and their breeding environment in Hawai‘i.
Naturalists also learn about and describe local wildlife such as sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals, reef fish, dolphins, and whales that can be seen often along sanctuary shorelines on Maui or by using binoculars and spotting scopes. Information and natural interpretation is provided along beaches, beach walk trails, and beach access locations. Training is included without charge.
Volunteers promote sanctuary activities, respectful wildlife viewing and important beach going practices to foster understanding, appreciation and stewardship of Hawai‘i’s unique beach environment, marine sanctuary resources and oceans worldwide.
Sanctuary Shore Naturalist volunteers commit to two or more two and a half hour shifts each month, and are scheduled in teams of two or more. Initially, volunteers complete the sanctuary’s Visitor Center Docent training program to learn about the sanctuary system and local marine wildlife. Also, on-going participation in training about safety, natural interpretation, humpback whales, sea turtles, monk seals, dolphins, fish, shorebirds, marine debris, nearby points of interest, and other shoreline topics is expected, with sessions lasting one to two hours, once each month. There is no charge to volunteers for training. Volunteers collect contact data and submit short activity reports to the Supervisor or Lead Coordinating Volunteer.
Volunteers need to enjoy interacting with the public and being proactive members of a team. They must be dependable, responsible, and vigilant of beach and ocean conditions which may
affect the safety of the public and fellow volunteers. Other volunteer qualifications include:
An interest in the natural world and enthusiasm for protecting the environment.
Extensive knowledge of marine science is notnecessary, however, volunteers must be willing and able to spend the time and effort necessary to learn the material.
Ability to walk and stand on sand, beach walk trails, or uneven beach access areas during a two and a half hour shift.
Sanctuary Shore Naturalists must complete the sanctuary’s Visitor Center Docent training program which provides initial sanctuary and wildlife basics. Prior or concurrent participation is acceptable.
Duties include learning to interpret wildlife, informing the public about the sanctuary, and providing a positive interaction aimed at reducing disturbance of protected marine life.
Volunteers are not enforcement personnel and should not view themselves as such.
Shifts include planning with team members, preparing and meeting on time, accounting for and handling equipment appropriately, interacting positively with beach goers and ocean users along sanctuary shorelines, keeping count of interactions, and submitting data, a short shift report and volunteer hours after each shift in a timely manner using forms or computer technology.
Volunteers are representatives of NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the State of Hawai‘i. They must maintain a professional appearance, attitude and demeanor at all times.
Other requirements include:
Minimum 18 years of age and US citizen.
Ability to walk and stand on beaches, beach walk trails, and beach access areas for about 2.5 hours at a time.
Willingness to safely follow directions from the coordinator or shift leaders.
Communicate via email.
Consideration of team and personal safety along with helpful, courteous, educational interaction towards beach goers and ocean users is essential.
Successful completion of a sanctuary volunteer application, interview, background check, Visitor Center Docent training, Sanctuary Shore Naturalist training, and on-going monthly training.
Volunteers are required to attend multiple training sessions that cover topics to become an effective Visitor Center Docent and Sanctuary Shore Naturalist. Classroom or lecture instruction, Visitor Center training and on-shore practical training will be provided by sanctuary staff, mentor volunteers, and other qualified individuals.
Equipment and Clothing
The sanctuary will provide sanctuary logo wear, name tag, binoculars, beach scope and stand, tote bag, and other equipment as needed. Volunteers will provide appropriate beach clothing, foot wear, reef-safe sunscreen, cell phone, reusable water bottle and snacks for themselves.
Schedules will be developed and shared each week. Days and locations will vary based on weather, target areas and team availability. Shift times will be 9:00 -11:00 AM and 11:00 - 1:00 PM. Please plan to arrive early to gather all equipment and review beach and ocean conditions.
Benefits to volunteers include gaining knowledge about marine biology, local wildlife, shoreline ecology, oceans, culture, and natural history. Spend time along beautiful beaches and share your passion for the natural world with others.
HOUSING & AMENITIES Description: Housing not provided.