Help Us Create A More Equitable Health System

We've partnered with The Color of Care documentary from Executive Producer Oprah Winfrey -- streaming now on the Smithsonian Channel. Learn more below and find ways to get involved today.
Read More

Volunteer Interpretive Docent

Save to Favorites

ORGANIZATION: Coastal Discovery Center


Volunteer Docent Job Description and Expectations

For Summer Season 2022 (June- Labor Day)

Position: Coastal Discovery Center Docent
Supervisor: Coastal Discovery Center Volunteer Program Coordinator, Sophia Barwegen


Office Phone: (805) 927-2145
Location: Coastal Discovery Center located with W.R. Hearst Memorial State Park, Highway 1, San Simeon, CA 93452


  • ● An interest in the natural world (especially marine environments), educating, and a general enthusiasm for environmental conservation

  • ● Enjoy interacting with the public and being a proactive team member, including being both dependable and responsible

  • ● Some prior knowledge of marine biology, oceanography, and environmental conservation is desired, but not necessary

○ A Coastal Discovery Center Docent must be willing to spend the time and effort to learn the appropriate material (this will be provided via the virtual docent training program)

● Physically able to interpret exhibits (indoors, outdoors, or both) for four hour shifts

Requirements: our team of Coastal Discovery Center docents are to be representatives of NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and must maintain a professional appearance and demeanor at all times. Other requirements include:

  • ● Minimum of 16 years of age

  • ● Communicate via email and phone

  • ● Receive and follow directions from the Volunteer Program Coordinator

  • ● Be able to work at least 2 four-hour shifts per month when the Coastal Discovery Center

    is open (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)

    • ○ Morning Shift: 10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    • ○ Evening Shift: 2:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

  • ● Learn and follow safety and emergency procedures

  • ● Volunteers also may be asked to assist with tours, visiting school groups, exhibit and

    program development opportunities, and public events

    Essential Duties: Volunteer duties include interpreting the exhibits at the Coastal Discovery, directing the public to nearby points of interest, staffing the information table, conducting regular exhibit upkeep, and assisting with future program development.

Benefits: Volunteers will gain knowledge about marine biology, oceanography, and environmental conservation in connection to the various exhibits. Being a docent also includes invitations to special events and our volunteer appreciation programs.

Training: For this summer, all of the training will be completed in a hybrid format: following a 16 module online training which includes educational readings, videos, and assessment quizzes as well as on the job training. Continuing education and hands-on experience will be available through enrichment classes. Any additional education will be provided by Coastal Discovery Center Staff.

Dress Code: Clean, well maintained slacks or blue jeans, a Sanctuary polo shirt or plain colored t-shirt with name tag. No other logo wear items may be worn on duty.

2 Shifts

  • 10:30 AM to 02:00 PM
    This is our morning shift.
  • 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM
    This is our afternoon shift
More Shifts

More opportunities with Coastal Discovery Center

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

About Coastal Discovery Center


California 1, San Simeon Road, San Simeon, CA 93452, US

Mission Statement

Welcome to the Coastal Discovery Center, a joint venture between Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and California State Parks. Located on beautiful San Simeon Bay, the Coastal Discovery Center celebrates the connection between land and sea. The Center offers interactive exhibits and education programs which highlight the cultural and natural history of San Simeon, California State Parks and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The interface of land and sea is unique here, drawing people for its rich bounty, economic opportunity, recreation and inspiration. Protecting these special places preserves them for use and enjoyment for generations to come.


The Coastal Discovery Center is open to the public Fridays through Sundays and is staffed by docents. These trained volunteers provide information to some of the 6 million tourists who travel north or south along this National Scenic Byway section of Highway 1 each year. Docents answer questions about local activities such as visiting the historic Hearst Castle, observing northern elephant seals during their pupping and breeding season, visiting the Piedras Blancas Light Station, and viewing wildlife on offshore rocks and in lush kelp forests.

Docents go through a comprehensive training program to learn about local history as well as the natural and cultural resources in the area. Docent activities include greeting visitors in the Coastal Discovery Center, leading history walks along San Simeon Pier, participating in our annual fair and/or becoming involved in educational programs for school groups during the week days.


Education & Literacy
Community, Education & Literacy, Environment


We'll work with your schedule.
This opportunity has 2 shifts


Coastal Discovery CenterCA-1 & Slo San Simeon RdSan Simeon, CA 93452



  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental Science
  • People Skills




  • Must be at least 16
  • Orientation or Training
  • We are currently requiring two 3.5 hour shifts a month working on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Report this opportunity