Discover the animals and plants that live at the edge of our world and the underwater world of the Salish Sea alongside visitors to the beach. Beach Naturalists help visitors learn to care for the unique and fragile ecosystem of the Rosario tide pools.
As one of the Foundation’s most successful programs, the Rosario Beach Naturalist Program is designed to promote interpretation and conservation at tide pools and beaches in our area. The Naturalists are a group of trained volunteers working with the Foundation’s AmeriCorp volunteer. For those interested, qualifications include those who enjoy being on the beach, are passionate about marine education, and who like people. They serve as stewards and educators at the Rosario Tide Pools.
To become a Beach Naturalist, volunteers must attend free training that takes place at Deception Pass State Park’s West Beach Shelter in March and April. Volunteers learn about Deception Pass State Park, tide pools, tides and currents, inter-tidal invertebrates, coastal ecology and processes, marine mammals, story of the Maiden, interpretation, environmental education and more!
Naturalists taking the training are expected to volunteer throughout the summer at the Rosario Tide Pools.
This program has expanded over the last couple of years to include unpaid internship opportunities. Students from Skagit Valley College’s Environmental Sciences Program and Western Washington University have begun to expand our capabilities.
If you are interested in learning more about how to become at Beach Naturalist, please contact Deception Pass Interpretive Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 675-3767 ext. 231.
SAMPLE TRAINING DAYS (for 2019):
Wednesday, 3/20, 6-8pm Welcome & Intro, Movie Viewing: Maiden of Deception Pass
Wednesday, 3/27, 6-8pm Interpretation & Working with Youth presented by Interpretive Specialist Joy Kacoroski
Wednesday, 4/3, 6-8pm Marine Invertebrates presented by Dr. Brian Bingham, WWU Environmental Sciences Professor, Policies and Regulations presented by Ranger Bryce Watkinson and Interpretive Specialist Joy Kacoroski
Wednesday 4/10, 6-8pm Marine Algae presented by AmeriCorps Lauren Hagen, School Programming presented by Interpretive Specialist Joy Kacoroski
Mentor Day: 4/20, 10-3pm Get your feet wet and learn together! Experienced Beach Naturalists pair with new volunteers to show you the ropes.
Graduation: 4/27, 10-2pm Celebrate graduating with a boat tour – courtesy of Deception Pass Tours and a Potluck to follow at Rosario Beach.
Now that you’ve finished your training and are ready to volunteer
…it’s time to start having fun educating visitors at the Tide Pools
For Group Visits and Field Trips: Having Naturalists assist with group visits and field trips is extremely helpful and a lot of fun. If you would like to be involved in group visits, click on the link below and sign up. The spot will list the description of the program and Deception Pass Interpretive Services will be in contact for a briefing on the specific group’s plans and educational requirements.
For Low Tide Days: Simply go to the Beach Naturalist office, grab your Naturalist gear and educational tools, and set up shop. For those who are signed up for the Identification Table, set up at the picnic table located to the left of the trail down to the tide pools. For those who signed up for Tide Pool Exploration, bring materials down to the beach to set up. Naturalists provide visitors with the opportunity to develop a meaningful connection to the resource through answering questions and pointing out interesting finds. When you’re done, make sure to put everything away in the Beach Naturalist office and fill out your volunteer time sheet.
To view a calendar of the upcoming low tide days and sign up to educate visitors, click on the link below! Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be able to view a weekly calendar of times where coverage is needed on the beach.
Welcome to our Library of Information!
Tide Pool Resources
- BN Field Guide Marine Algae
- BN Field Guide Marine Invertebrates
- BN Marine Animals of the Rocky Intertidal Zone
- The Maiden of Deception Pass
Working with Youth
- Videos Relevant to Tides and Tide Pools
(This is a Word Document with links to open relevant videos to reference.)
Also available are relevant Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and Magic School Bus episodes. These are available on Netflix and YouTube.