Volunteering

Docents at RoostAno 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 docents lead guided walks through the rookery, sharing this amazing experience with over 50,000 visitors from all over the world.  Throughout the rest of the year, the elephant seals return to shore for molting; during April – November, docents "rove" the wildlife area, meeting visitors and answering questions about the seals, the history of the area, and the plentiful wildlife found within the park. 

Our three month training program (on Tue evenings and/or Sundays) 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 a natural preseve.

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 200-person strong docent corps, many of whom have been a part of the program for over 20 years. Join our family of naturalists and enjoy the many benefits of being a volunteer at Año Nuevo State Park. Training begins in late 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 or to request an application please contact the docent coordinator at 650-879-2032 or email anovolcoordinator@parks.ca.gov

Año Nuevo Volunteers Docent Application