Sean Pickton

Docent Safety Reminders

Hello docents, just a quick note to say that the safety of the volunteers at Point Reyes National Seashore is a top priority. Here are some reminders to help to ensure that we remain safe during our time in the park. If you or others with whom you are volunteering ever feel unsafe, cease all activities immediately, assess the situation, and determine the best next steps. Maintain situational awareness. We are in a dynamic environment. Weather, tides, seals, vehicles, ticks,…

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New Location & Time for the Morning Meeting – 930am @ Drakes Beach

Hello docents, thanks to each of you, we’re off to an awesome start this season. I wanted to send a mid-season email with a significant upcoming change. Increasing resources on Drakes Beach – we’ve had a number of challenges at Drakes this year with people entering the closure, getting too close to seals and dog encounters. Carlo and I have decided to focus more docents on this location to help to mitigate these events. Because there are typically seals on the…

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The US government has officially shut down – all WWD shifts and activities are suspended

Winter Wildlife Docents, as of midnight (EST) there is a lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) volunteers (VIPs) are not allowed to serve. VIPs are considered part of the workforce, representing the National Park Service, in support of our mission. During a shutdown the normal protections and liability coverage are suspended VIPs will follow the same schedule as furloughed NPS employees, and must follow the same restrictions as NPS employees. This includes not accessing closed federal buildings and…

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Dye-tagging bulls and SA 4s

You may have heard Carlo or Sarah reference a bull on a particular beach with a letter and a number. For example, the alpha on Drakes has been D1. Park scientists dye-marks some bulls and SA 4s early in the season so that they can track intra-park movement of these animals. The animals are marked with a non-toxic and temporary dye just above the rear flippers. The letter represents the beach where the animal was marked, D=Drakes, S=South Beach, G=Gus’…

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Drakes Beach (temporary) closure – Jan 13 through Mar 15

Please be aware that the closure, on Drakes Beach, SW of KPVC starts this weekend. The below comes from the NPS website. Drakes Beach Temporary Beach Closure – January 13 through March 15, 2018 A temporary closure of Drakes Beach starting approximately ¼ mile southwest of the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center and continuing south to the current permanent elephant seal closure is in effect to better protect elephant seals from disturbance during the pupping season when they are exceptionally…

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Docent Dinner – Saturday, March 31st

There have been a few questions about the timing for end-of-the-season dinner. The dinner will be held on Saturday, March 31st. Next week we’ll send out an invite so that we can get an accurate count. Additional information will be coming soon.

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Breaching whales and gorgeous sunsets – a brief recap of weekend #2

As you’ve likely seen in email, one of the highlights of this last weekend was breaching whales. Sunday morning had been a bit slow on the whale observation platform, both the whale count and the visitor count were lower than on Saturday. Just after the afternoon shift arrived, a whale breached a handful of times well off the north side of the observation platform. Perhaps it was Joey that brought great whale karma as this happened within seconds of her…

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Visitors with dogs – clearing up any confusion

If you encounter a visitor with a dog, there are only two questions that you may legally ask: “Is that a service animal?”, and if so, you may ask, “What task has the animal been trained to perform?” Below is an outline explaining some of the different scenarios, which may play out when encountering a visitor with a dog. If you encounter a dog in a prohibited area and it is obvious to you that the dog is a service…

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Opening weekend!!

It is 12:30p on a beautiful, sunny and calm New Year’s Day. I am writing this post from the Lighthouse office and can’t wait to get back out to the observation platform. We have had a fantastic opening weekend. Weather and wildlife have cooperated. Each of the docents have been excited for the start of the season and are thrilled to be in this wonderful place helping visitors to learn about whales, elephant seals, birds and the history of Point…

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