• Tour Guide/Interpretation • Visitor Information • Fish/Wildlife
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking volunteers to serve as coastal wildlife interpreters for Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Oregon State Parks during the spring and summer of 2018. The volunteer position involves working from Harris Beach 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. Although these rocks and islands are closed to public use above the mean high tide line to protect wildlife, there are many locations along the Oregon coast where visitors can view wildlife nesting on the wildlife refuge rocks and islands. This is the case at Harris Beach State Recreation Area where visitors to the park can view many of the seabirds nesting on Goat Island as well as seals and sea lions that use the island as a haulout.
The volunteer(s) will be responsible for providing interpretation for visitors on the seabirds and marine mammals present on Goat Island. Specifically the volunteer will be stationed on an outdoor (and thus exposed to nature’s elements) overlook at Harris Beach State Recreation Area. This site provides visitors with distant views of Goat Island’s seabird colonies. The volunteer will use binoculars, field guides and spotting scopes 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 will work both Saturday and Sunday (heaviest tourist visitation) and two additional weekdays of his/her choosing. Five hour shifts are common beginning around 9 AM and ending at 2 PM.
Duties will include: 1. Providing interpretation on the seabirds and marine mammals of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge using binoculars, field guides, spotting scopes, an interpretive box and signs. Prior knowledge of seabird and marine mammal ecology is not required; volunteers will receive training and a handbook filled with information on the refuge and its wildlife. 2. Delivering an evening campground program for campers at Harris Beach State Recreation Area on the subject of seabirds or marine mammals once each week. The program is in powerpoint and is provided by the USFWS. A laptop and projector is provided by OPRD. 3. Speaking with visitors about the purpose of the wildlife refuge, answer their wildlife and park related questions, and identify wildlife. 4. Assisting the Park Ranger with the Junior Ranger Program when the program is focused on marine wildlife. 5. Helping protect park and refuge resources and ensure visitor safety by informing visitors of potential safety hazards, conducting programs in a safe and orderly manner, reporting safety hazards and instances of lawbreaking to the Refuge Law Enforcement Officer, and attempting to correct minor infractions through interpretation. Document illegal visits or trespass into closed areas. Volunteers shall not engage in law enforcement.
Requirements for the position include enthusiasm, willingness to work weekends and holidays and the desire and ability to interact with the public in a friendly and professional manner. Refuge staff is located two hours away. Consequently, there is minimal supervision and most communication with staff is through phone calls or email. The position requires the volunteer to spend his/her volunteer hours on an outdoor observation deck that overlooks the seabird colonies, therefore, a tolerance for inclement weather is necessary though work will be canceled if it is raining. Volunteers will be responsible for speaking in front of large groups during campground programs making it necessary for the volunteer to be comfortable with public speaking.
In return for volunteering, Oregon State Parks will provide a free full RV hookup in the B Loop of the campground within the Harris Beach State Recreation Area. The hookup includes water, sewer, and 50 AMP electrical. There is full cell reception in the campground as well as good satellite dish reception; however, wi-fi is not available.
The volunteer must commit to the full interpretive season which begins in mid-May and extends through early to mid-August. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity please contact Dawn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541-867-4550.