• Tour Guide/Interpretation • Visitor Information • Fish/Wildlife
Photo Courtesy of FWS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking volunteers to serve as Rocky Shore Interpreters for Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Oregon State Parks during the spring and summer of 2019. The volunteer position involves working at Seal Rock State Recreation Area which overlooks national wildlife refuge lands managed and protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (specifically Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge).
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages six National Wildlife Refuges that span 320 miles of Oregon’s scenic coastline. Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge includes 1,853 rocks, reefs and islands along the Oregon coast that provide habitat for 1.2 million nesting seabirds including Common Murre, Tufted Puffin, Pigeon Guillemot, Black Oystercatcher, Pelagic Cormorant, Brandt’s Cormorant, and Western Gull. Many of these islands are also used by seals and sea lions as resting areas and in some cases as a place to give birth to their pups. Although the individual rocks and islands are closed to public use to protect wildlife, there are many locations along the Oregon coast where visitors can view wildlife nesting on Oregon Islands Refuge from a mainland location or a public beach. Seal Rock State Recreation Area is one of these sites with more than 200,000 annual visitors to the park.
The volunteer(s) will be responsible for providing interpretation to visitors on the seabirds, seals, and rocky intertidal animals inhabiting the rocky shore habitat at Seal Rock. Specifically the volunteer will be working both on the beach and on a viewing deck (and thus exposed to nature’s elements) at Seal Rock State Recreation Site. This site provides visitors with views of a series of rocks and islands with active nesting seabird colonies. The volunteer will use binoculars, field guides and possibly a spotting scope provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to facilitate interpretation for visitors. The volunteer will be expected to work cooperatively with Oregon State Park staff and volunteers.
The interpretive volunteer position requires each volunteer to work a total of 20 hours per week. Volunteer couples can work at the same time to fulfill their individual 20 hour requirement. For work schedules, the volunteer is expected to work four days/week with Saturday and Sunday (heaviest tourist visitation) being mandatory work days to ensure we interact with visitors during the busiest days of the week. Volunteers will also be provided with three consecutive days off each week.
Duties will include: 1. Providing interpretation on the seabirds and marine mammals of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge using binoculars, field guides, and spotting scopes. No prior knowledge of seabirds or marine mammals is required; volunteers will receive training and a handbook filled with information on the refuge, park and its wildlife. 2. Assisting with the junior ranger program once/week. This is only mandatory if Oregon State Parks organizes the event. 3. Speaking with visitors about the purpose of the wildlife refuge, answer their wildlife and park related questions, and identify wildlife including rocky shore invertebrates and marine plants. 4. Help protect park and refuge resources and ensure visitor safety by informing visitors of potential safety hazards, reporting safety hazards and instances of lawbreaking to the Refuge Law Enforcement Officer, and attempting to correct minor infractions through interpretation. Volunteers shall not engage in law enforcement. 5. Visually inspecting the restroom for vandalism or maintenance issues and reporting them immediately to Oregon State Park Ranger. Replacing the toilet paper in restroom if needed. 6. If trash is filled to capacity, volunteer will be tasked with removing full liner and placing in chasse closet and replacing liner in trash can.
We are most interested in volunteers who are enthusiastic about interacting with the general public in a friendly and professional manner; able to work outside on the beach for five hour shifts in weather that ranges from sunny and windy to cold and foggy; and willing to work weekends and holidays with almost no supervision. The position requires the volunteer to spend his/her volunteer hours outdoors; therefore, a tolerance for inclement weather is necessary though work will be canceled if it is stormy and raining heavily. The temperature on the coast in the summer ranges from a low of 50 to highs in the mid-70s. The central coast tends to be cool and foggy in the morning but becomes clear and windy in the middle of the day. Volunteers will be responsible for speaking to 50 to 200+ visitors every day, making it necessary for the volunteer to be comfortable with public speaking. Please keep in mind that volunteer hours will coincide with the daily low tides. This means the volunteer could be working as early as 7:00 AM one day and as late as 8:30 PM the next day. Flexibility and a love of the outdoors is critical for this position.
In return for volunteering, Oregon State Parks will provide a free full RV hookup at South Beach State Park. The hookup will include water, sewer, and a minimum of 30 AMP electrical. There is good cell reception and satellite dish reception within the park. Laundry facilities are available with an orientation provided by OPRD.
The volunteer must commit to the full interpretive season which begins on or about May 15 and extends through Labor Day. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity please contact Dawn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541-867-4550.