Prospective Volunteers


Prospective Volunteers

 Why should I become a Beach COMBERS Volunteer?

  • Participate in local resource management
  • Gain skills and knowledge in science and natural history by becoming a Citizen Scientist
  • Practice stewardship of your local beaches
  • Join a group of dedicated citizens!

Participate in Field Work

BeachCOMBERS volunteers work in pairs to sample pre-defined beach segments once a month. Volunteers must possess skill in identifying live and dead marine birds and mammals, often decomposed or scavenged. Volunteers receive training on how to survey a segment of beach, identify marine birds and mammals, and document observations. Beach segments are approximately 5 km in length and surveys take an average of 4 hours to complete. Volunteers must be willing and able to walk long stretches of sandy, uneven terrain, often remote from human services. This requires a reliable commitment, but is extremely rewarding for those involved.

Attend a training lecture to learn about:

  • Purpose of program and its importance
  • Short-term and long-term program goals
  • Review of similar programs
  • Role of volunteers
  • Sampling design and methods
  • Data form descriptions
  • Proper completion of data forms
  • Toe clipping methods
  • Natural history of local marine birds
  • Description of designated beaches
  • Seabird Identification
    • Slides of major orders and families
    • Study skins of local species at MLML
  • Marine mammal and sea turtle identification
    • Slides of local marine mammals
    • Skulls and dentition of marine mammals
    • Study skins of local pinnipeds
  • Beach assignments and pairings
  • Distribution of sampling equipment

Supplies Provided to Participants

  • Clipboard
  • Tape Measure
  • Clippers
  • Waterproof Sharpie pen
  • Beached Marine Bird and Mammal Guide
  • Hemp rope to mark pinnipeds
  • Pencils
  • Bird identification guide (National Geographic)
  • Plastic trash bags (for fresh carcasses)
  • Clean gloves
  • Rubber gloves
  • Collection Permit