Do you enjoy exploring with children in the outdoors? How about helping them to discover and appreciate their natural environment? If you get excited investigating the beach, riding in a boat on the bay, peering under docks and rocks for animal life, or bird watching from the pier, the Berkeley Marina Volunteer Program could be for you! For some docents it could be a whole new career in teaching environmental education. Many volunteers are now working in fantastic jobs after participating in this program. Retired individuals find this gives them a community of friends and the opportunity to do something they enjoy. All you need are the desire to teach and a love for kids and the outdoors.
The Bay Interpretive Training or BayIT, established in 1985, is designed to train volunteers to assist naturalists in teaching the ecology of the San Francisco Bay to adults as well as children ages 5 years to 18 years. The environmental education programs include low tide walks, research and sailing programs, Summer Marine Biology and Boating programs. These programs are unique in the central East Bay and have taught more than 125,850 children and adults in the past 29 years. Training sessions cover such topics as: Quacks, Quakes and Conquistadors; The Bay Today; Straw Bale Buildings; How To Have Fun Teaching Children Creatively; Fins, Scales and Gills; Feathered Friends; Blubber and Flukes; Seashore Secrets; Mud Glorious Mud; Bay Scientist- ME?; Animals With No Eyeballs; Waste in our Watershed; Sailing Take Me Away!; and Working on a Boat on the Bay. Each session includes hands-on experience and then application techniques, in our indoor labs and outside in each of the local estuarine environments: rocky shore, intertidal zone, dock, pier and open water. Microscopes connected to a large screen allow close viewing of the smallest of the Bay’s creatures. The 180 gallon local lake and Bay aquariums make these environments come alive. Learn how to teach about “green” building. Our office and visitors’ center is made out of straw bales. This environmentally sensitive building has passive and active solar, a windmill and utilizes recycled wood products.
The training takes place in the Shorebird Park Nature Center, 160 University Ave. at the Berkeley Marina on Thursday and Friday mornings 9:00am-12:00pm, starting on Oct 10, 2014 and continuing until August. A 14 hour per month commitment is required.
Training is on-going and new volunteers are encouraged at any time. Details and applications are available online.