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Volunteering

Docents at Roost
Ano Nuevo Tour



A True jewel of the California coastline and home to a  large Elephant Seal rookery, Año Nuevo State Park offers an uncommon and remarkable wildlife experience.  Every winter, over 5,000 Elephant seals, the largest marine mammals to come ashore, find their way to the park to give birth and mate along the shoreline. During this time, our docent naturalists lead guided walks through the rookery, sharing this amazing experience with over 50,000 visitors from all over the world.  Elephant seals return to the shores of Año Nuevo for molting in the spring and summer months. Docents during this time are stationed at the wildlife overlooks and enjoy meeting visitors as they explore the park. They answer questions about the seals, the history of the area, and the plentiful wildlife found within Año Nuevo. 

Our three month training program (most Sundays in the fall) is one of the most comprehensive within the California State Parks system.  We pull in resident experts to teach classes on a variety of subjects including elephant seals, other marine mammals, the history of Año Nuevo Island, Ohlone Indians, birds and terrestrial animals, geology, and more. Training is also provided on interpretive techinques for educating visitors and logistical skills on working inside the coastal natural preserve.

2014 Año Nuevo Training Class Outline

Throughout the year, the Ano Nuevo Docent Program also provides enrichment events such as research lectures, visits to other parks, and special subject-matter hikes within the park. We are proud to have a 160-person strong docent corps, many of whom have been a part of the program for over 15 years. Join our family of naturalists and enjoy the many benefits of being a volunteer at Año Nuevo State Park. Training begins in mid September.

Año Nuevo State Park is located on State Route 1, approximately 40 minutes south of Half Moon Bay and 30 miles north of Santa Cruz. 

For more information contact the docent coordinator at 650-879-2032 or email anovolcoordinator@parks.ca.gov

Año Nuevo Docent Application

*UPDATE - The Año Nuevo Docent Class for Fall 2014 is now full. However, we are still accepting applications for our waiting list. All new applications received will be put towards our Fall 2015 Docent Training Class.