The official website of the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Volunteer at Elkhorn Slough

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Elkhorn Slough!

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR) welcomes the community to its 2016 Volunteer Training Classes. Discover the wonders of the Elkhorn Slough Reserve and learn more about the ecology, and history of the Elkhorn Slough. Classes are open to everyone.

An Introductory training class will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2016 from 9:30am - 4:00pm. This class is for anyone interested in learning more about volunteering at the Reserve, and for those wanting to help with our research, stewardship or other non-public projects. Volunteers with our research and stewardship programs help with wildlife monitoring, habitat restoration, facility maintenance, and administrative support.

Naturalist Training classes will be conducted as a three-part series each Saturday in February 2016 — February 6, 13, & 20, 2016 from 9:30am - 4:00pm. The Naturalist Training series introduces the natural history of the Elkhorn Slough, with information about the geology, plants and animals of the Elkhorn Slough, as well as the cultural history of the area. Participants will also learn how they can support Reserve programs and goals.Naturalist Training sessions are open to all, and required for potential Education Volunteers. Education Volunteers work with school groups and the public, supporting activities on the trail and in our microscope Learning Lab. Advanced Education Training classes are being planned for Spring or Summer 2016.

All classes will be held at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville.  For more information or to receive an application, contact Amanda Ankenbrandt at (831)728-2822.

Volunteering is a Special Way to Help the Elkhorn Slough
What volunteers bring to the Reserve and the Foundation could never be bought. Since the Reserve's early years, volunteers have been instrumental in the success of a wide variety of programs and activities that take place here.  From education and stewardship to helping in the Visitor Center or Greenhouse, volunteering at the Elkhorn Slough helps us meet our goal to conserve and restore this unique landscape while conducting research and education to ensure its ongoing protection. 

Moon Snail at Elkhorn SloughThe Benefits of Volunteering
As a volunteer, you'll learn about the natural history and importance of the Elkhorn Slough. You'll gain a deeper understanding of the environment while developing personal relationships with professionals that share your interest in the environment. You'll also have the opportunity to meet others who share your interest in the slough.

Our Volunteer Naturalist Class will give you the opportunity to  learn in-depth information about the Elkhorn Slough – its history, wildlife, and community.  As you share this knowledge with others you’ll enhance your appreciation for this unique region, as well as those visiting the area for the first time.  And, you might even learn some new skills and sharpen up your current talents.  Along with all this, we think you’ll have lots of fun too.

To see if there is an opportunity for your group to volunteer, please complete our Stewardship Group Volunteer From.

We also have regular volunteer opportunities that are open to everyone. Those events can be found on our calendar. If you want to volunteer at Elkhorn Slough, email us at

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This site is maintained by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation in partnership with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve