Volunteer: Tule Elk Docent



Tule Elk Docents help strengthen the connection with and foster stewardship of Point Reyes National Seashore among park visitors by helping visitors view, understand, and appreciate tule elk during the rut, or mating season. Docents educate visitors about the history of tule elk in California and in Point Reyes National Seashore and provide general park information and assistance to visitors.


  • Identify suitable tule elk viewing areas at the Tomales Point Trailhead (Pierce Ranch) and along the trail and set up spotting scopes for public viewing
  • Help visitors view, understand, and appreciate the tule elk by interpreting rut behavior and by educating visitors about tule elk natural history
  • Help visitors understand the history of tule elk in California and in Point Reyes National Seashore
  • Provide general park information and assistance to visitors
  • Use interpretive materials to help communicate information
  • Professionally represent the National Park Service by wearing an identifying docent vest and interact with visitors in a friendly, courteous, tactful, and helpful manner
  • Operate a two-way radio to communicate with fellow docents and park staff

Docents must possess an interest and desire to serve others; good oral communication skills; and abilities to interact with a variety of people and to work as part of a team and independently. Docents must also be able to tolerate long periods of standing in changing weather conditions and be able to carry up to 15 pounds of materials a distance of up to 1 mile.

Knowledge of the park and teaching experience is helpful.

Schedule and Time Commitment

Workdays are scheduled for 7.5 hours from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm. Docents are expected to work at least 6 weekend or holiday days from August through October.

New docents must attend a two-day Tule Elk Docent training on July 8 and July 22, 2017.

Benefits to the Volunteer

Benefits to the docents include working in a beautiful park setting; experiencing and learning about Point Reyes National Seashore; receiving training from park managers about the park's tule elk and related resources; and deriving satisfaction in serving and educating a variety of park visitors while helping to protect the park’s tule elk.

Group Type

Individuals are encouraged to participate.

Minimum Age

Minimum age is 16. Volunteers under 18 must have a signed parental consent form. Please contact us (see below) for more information.


Housing and camping/RV sites are unavailable.

Application and Contact Information

Please apply via Volunteer.gov here. For more information, contact Doug Hee at 415-464-5145 or by email.

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Last updated: June 29, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (e.g., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; fire danger information; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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