Description of Duties: Volunteer preservation maintenance workers assist park maintenance or preservation staff with building maintenance projects to preserve historic sites in the national park. These projects include:
Facility Maintenance Operations: Assists the park maintenance or preservation staff and works independently in the performance of maintenance projects on island facilities. Work performed to include general building maintenance; building stabilization; providing utility services; equipment maintenance; road and airstrip repair. Projects will require the use of minor skills in carpentry, painting, plumbing, mechanical engineering, landscape and orchard maintenance.
Resource Management Projects: Works with historic preservation staff assisting on special projects as needed. During these types of work projects, the volunteer will be supervised by the historic preservation specialists or other maintenance staff.
Time Commitment: Minimum 6-month commitment. Transportation between the islands and the mainland will take 1-3 hours each way, depending on which island is the destination. Volunteer will work one 8-day tour each month. Volunteer may be required to stay on the island for up to one tour of duty (Tuesday to Tuesday, or similar schedule).
Work Conditions: Work will be performed in a remote island setting. Work duties will primarily be conducted on Santa Cruz Island and Santa Rosa Island, and other Channel Islands as needed. The volunteer will be required to travel within the park. Travel to the islands will be via park or concessionaire boat or by plane. Volunteers may be subjected to inclement weather, rough seas, high winds and motion sickness. Island temperatures range from approximately 40-85 degrees. Work projects can be in uneven terrain and on steep slopes. Appropriate clothing and footwear should be worn particular to work project. Personal protective equipment will be provided by the park. The volunteer will be using a variety of hand tools and power tools. Volunteers may be doing hard physical labor and should be able to lift at least 20-30 pounds. Each volunteer should determine their personal skills and abilities pertaining to their assigned tasks. Every worker has the responsibility to themselves and their co-workers to work within safe limits. Volunteers will stay in assigned park housing, as available, or camping in a backcountry setting.
Volunteers may only wear their VIP uniform when engaged in official duties. Consuming alcohol while on duty is not permitted.
Knowledge/Skills/Experience: Volunteers should have previous experience that relates to the skills required by the project.
Training: Volunteer will receive training for specific job duties as needed by the supervisor, or from other park staff assigned by the supervisor. When working on Maintenance & Resource Management special projects, volunteer will be provided training particular to the specific job duties assigned. Safety issues and concerns will be addressed to inform and train the volunteer regarding important skills necessary to the nature of the job. You will receive an orientation and safety briefing about the park, the project, and the boat, plane, or helicopter. You must realize your own abilities and accept full responsibility for working safely.
Equipment: All project equipment and tools will be provided. Volunteer will be responsible for wearing appropriate attire including sturdy work boots. Volunteer will bring their own food and water. All personal protective equipment will be provided.
Supervision: You will be supervised by park staff.
Evaluation: The Park reserves the right to do a background check on any volunteer. Volunteers will be informally evaluated based on the quality and reliability of their work, on their ability to work as part of a team, and on their willingness and ability to learn new skills and apply them. The Preservation Specialist or project supervisor will provide evaluation of the volunteer’s performance.
Safety: Volunteers who preserve and protect the special resources of the Channel Islands are one of the national park’s most important assets, and the park is concerned about your safety. Safety is a part of each work day; no job is so urgent that it cannot be done safely. You will receive a thorough orientation and will be trained on how to safely perform assigned work, including the operation and use of any equipment. It is your responsibility to meet with your supervisor to become fully briefed on the following concerns:
Boating: All volunteers traveling on NPS boats must complete a boating self-assessment annually, watch the online boating safety videos and thoroughly read the Boat Transportation Guide. Each transportation morning, volunteers must arrive at least 45 minutes early to check in and attend the Captain’s safety briefing. Captains have the right to prevent any individual or group from boarding or leaving the vessel. Failure to follow a direct order from the Captain or designated crew will result in suspension for the individual or group from traveling on park boats. Please report all accidents and any close calls to the Captain. Please see the Boat Transportation Guide provided by your supervisor for more information.
By signing the Boating Self-Assessment, you are confirming that you have received and understood the information provided in the Boat Transportation Guide and boating safety videos.
In case of injury or illness: Injuries or illnesses contracted while working as a volunteer must be reported to your supervisor immediately. If your supervisor is not available, please report your injury or illness to the park’s Volunteer Coordinator.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) has been found on park islands; however, no human cases of the virus have ever been reported. HPS is a rare, but frequently fatal, illness currently being diagnosed in many parts of the country, including California. By taking the right precautions, you can minimize the risk of becoming infected with this rodent-borne virus. Working in the park is considered to be a minimal-risk activity for HPS.
You are required to read the Superintendent’s March 20, 2008 memorandum regarding the presence of HPS in the Channel Islands National Park, as well as the two articles attached to the superintendent’s memorandum. You must sign and return the certificate of receipt that is attached to the memorandum to confirm you have received and understood this information.
Ticks and preventing the transmission of Lyme disease: Ticks are found on the Channel Islands; however, Lyme disease has not been found on the park islands, and it is rare anywhere in southern California. Since ticks are very small and can easily hide under clothing, consider wearing light-colored clothing and long pants/sleeves to make it easier to spot ticks. You should check your entire body thoroughly at the end of the day.
Toxic plants: Poison oak is found on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands. Poison oak can be identified by its clusters of three shiny leaflets. Refer to written resources to become familiar with this toxic plant. People, especially those with existing allergies, may be sensitive when handling or in contact with certain vegetation and may have skin irritations. Please report any incidents of this nature to your project supervisor.
Wasps, bees and other insects: Volunteers should be especially cautious when encountering stinging or biting insects given the remote nature of the islands. Volunteers with a history of reactions to insects should bring the necessary medicine to counteract any adverse reaction.
Bedbugs are becoming increasingly common in our area. There is potential for them to infest the islands and boats through bedding, clothing, luggage, or other gear. When traveling to and from the islands and on boats we recommend that backpacks, suitcases, and other gear be placed in trash bags and sealed. This will prevent any cross contamination of gear while it is in mega bags, cargo areas, or boat cabins. Inspect your homes, gear, and island quarters regularly. If you detect bedbugs or signs of them at the islands or on the boats, notify your supervisor immediately. Additional information is available in the attached Public Health Information Sheet from the National Park Service. Details and methodology on detection and eradication can be found at: www.bedbugcentral.com.
Fire safety: The remote location of the Channel Islands requires all volunteers to use extreme caution to avoid igniting a fire. For some volunteer jobs, such as island drivers, this can include not parking a vehicle in tall grass; for those using power tools you must follow standard protocols (Job Hazard Analysis or JHA) to reduce fire risk. If you have questions or concerns, please consult with your supervisor.
HOUSING & AMENITIES Type: Bunk House Description: Housing available only while working on the islands. You must provide your own food and bedding.