• Tour Guide/Interpretation • Visitor Information
Description of Duties: This volunteer position supports the mainland Outdoor Santa Barbara Visitor Center by providing information and orientation services for park visitors. Volunteers in this position will often staff the small visitor center on their own. The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, located below the visitor center, will have staff available to assist if needed. The Outdoor Santa Barbara Visitor Center is an interagency visitor center managed by the National Park Service, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and the city of Santa Barbara.
The visitor center information specialist answers a multitude of questions about park resources and visitor opportunities. These questions may involve information about cultural, natural, and human history, geology, park regulations, and transportation, as well as camping, boating, and a variety of other recreational opportunities available in the park. This position also provides visitors with information concerning local points of interest, other county, state, and national parks, and various California attractions.
This position requires the volunteer to answer telephone and mail inquiries, operate some audio-visual equipment, and stock park brochures. Collateral duties may be assigned as necessary, depending on volunteer interest. The volunteer is expected to read all updated materials provided by park staff ,in order to stay current on park resource issues and visitor center operations.
This is, at minimum, a part-time position, which requires four and a half hours of duty time per week. Volunteer shifts can occur on any day of the week, as needed by the park. The initial training period can last from two to three months, and the volunteer must be willing to commit to at least one entire year in this position.
Volunteers are expected to be at the visitor center on time for their scheduled shift. If the volunteer is unable to work, they are expected to contact their supervisor as soon as possible, and arrange for another volunteer to cover their designated shift. Exceptions to this include family and personal emergencies or illness. If the volunteer is unable to arrange for a substitute, they must notify their designated supervisor as soon as possible. Volunteers may be asked to act as a substitute on a shift other than their normal shift, to fill in for absent volunteers.
Work Conditions: This position is situated at the 4th floor Outdoor Santa Barbara Visitor Center. The majority of the work occurs indoors, within the interior of the visitor center, but roving interpretation may occur on the balcony. Typical duties may require periods of standing, bending, lifting, sitting, or walking.
While in uniform, volunteers are legally considered representatives of the park and must adhere to all NPS policies. Volunteers may only wear their uniform when engaged in official duties.
Volunteers must follow the park media policy and procedures. All media requests for information and interviews must be forwarded to the park’s public information officer.
In accordance with Department of Interior ethics regulations, volunteers, if engaged in teaching, speaking or writing as an outside activity, may not use or permit the use of their official title or position to promote the activity.
Knowledge/Skills/Experience:The volunteer needs: 1) to acquire a working knowledge of the cultural and natural history and resources of the Channel Islands; 2) to be able to use available brochures, handouts, files, bookstore, and library resources to provide information to visitors; 3) to communicate effectively and relate to persons of all ethnicities, social and economic backgrounds, and age groups.