Blog

New Docent Training this Weekend

  2018-19 WINTER WILDLIFE NEW DOCENT TRAINING AGENDA November 10 Saturday, Red Barn Classroom by the Bear Valley Visitor Area  8:00am – 9:00am– Check in, coffee/tea mingle. Complete NPS volunteer forms. 9:00am – 11:00am – “Whales 101.” Sarah Allen, Ph.D. Science Program Lead, Pacific West Region, National Park Service. 11:00am – 11:15am – Break 11:15am – noon – “Winter Wildlife Overview 101.” Carlo Arreglo, Park Ranger – Winter Wildlife Program Manager and Sean Pickton, Lead Winter Wildlife Docent. Noon –…

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Wow! What a Day! – Blog Post by Faith Fisher

After reading in Sean’s blog that the whale count was 100+ on Saturday, March 17, I wanted to share my experiences. It was a beautiful day at the headlands. Overall the weather was perfect for whale watching, a light breeze, and partly cloudy skies. When I saw two blows off South Beach on my way to the docent meeting at Drakes Beach I hoped it was a sign of more to come. By the time I arrived at my first…

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Humpback Whales and Drones – Blog Post by Sterling Hada

What do marine mammals, specifically humpback whales, and drones have in common? The answer depends on your perspective. If you’re with the National Park Service, likely you hope the two never meet. If, however, you’re a biologist, it’s possible you might use one to study the other. That is exactly what Amy Apprill, an associate scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, is doing. Within the last few years, scientists have found that there exist, on and in humans, colonies of…

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Farewells and Awesome Art

It has been a few weeks since my last post. Apologies. We have said farewell to the adult elephant seals. They are off to forage, looking to gain calories that have been spent during the last few months. The beaches are left with adorable weaners, learning to swim and lounging on the sand. Whale counts are on the rise and today we set another record with 100+ whales, including two Minke whales. With just a few weekends left, each day…

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Growing Interpretive Skills

It is a rainy Thursday here in San Francisco and I am excited to head up to the park tomorrow for a weekend with visitors, docents, park staff, and wildlife. Ron M and I stayed late at Drakes last Sunday and had a ton of visitor contacts between 415p and 545p. I was stationed at the closure sign and at one point found myself giving an interpretive elephant seal talk to 30+ people. There were two sub-adult males about 35…

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The Ken Patrick Crew!

Along with your valuable work as Winter Wildlife docents, there is a partner operation staffed by a hardy crew at the Ken Patrick Visitor Center. They not only sell the tickets that get people onto the shuttles and into your hands at Whales and E seals but they often give visitors their initial glimpse into the world of gray whales and e seals. And they will back you up should you need it! So please get into the KPVC when…

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Drakes Beach – a mid season update

Happy Friday Docents, we’re beyond the midpoint in the season and there have been lots of changes to our process at Drakes. I thought that it would be worth a quick post on WWD activities at Drakes Beach. A HUGE thanks to those of your that have spent time at Drakes over the last month. Law enforcement rangers and Sarah Codde are quite appreciative. Our efforts here are are making a huge difference. The below bullets, should answer a few…

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Wild Winds Can’t Keep Docents Down During President’s Day Weekend!

The howling 60+mph winds made whalewatching difficult (thanks to Karen and Drew for spotting the 7 seen today!) but visitors were treated to docent-led whale programs on Saturday by Frank and by Marta today. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge! Frank captivated people with stories about kayaking with whales surfacing so close to him that he could reach out and infest himself with lice. 😉 Marta had a packed house in the NOAA section of the lighthouse visitor…

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Community Meal at the Lifeboat Station

Hello Docents, my apologies for the dearth of blog posts over the last 1-2 weeks. I wanted to share an experience from last week. After sending the reminder email for the upcoming docent shifts, I received an invitation to dinner at the lifeboat station on Saturday night. Dinner was to be potluck style and I happily signed up for dessert. When I arrived at the lifeboat station, pasta, salad and bread were all being prepared. The coffee table was moved…

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