As most of you already know, volunteer opportunities during the winter months are few and far between. We do work with a few experienced volunteers in the visitor center at Paradise; a few volunteers help out in our curatorial library and greenhouse; work continues through the winter in our curriculum-based education program; and a dedicated team of volunteers conducts ski patrol through the Washington Ski Touring Club.
That said, some of the long-term volunteer opportunities for next summer are already posted on our Volunteer Opportunities page, and more will be coming soon. I just updated the list. Here's a quick summary of what's currently available:
- Geoscientists-in-Parks: Every summer, Mount Rainier hires at least one and sometimes as many as three interns through the Geologic Society of America's Geoscientists-in-Parks program. We typically hire one intern to provide interpretive programs on geologic themes at Sunrise, and another at Paradise. Last summer we also hired a GIP intern who helped with our geomorphology research program at Longmire. The advertisement period for these positions was scheduled to open today, and while I don't see anything posted yet, they should appear soon. The application period is brief and competition is stiff, so watch the website and get ready to apply if you're a college student studying geology. (If you aren't, surely you know someone who is, right? Let them know about this great opportunity!)
- Nordic Patrol: The Washington Ski Touring Club is the best opportunity to volunteer at Mount Rainier during the winter months. Visit their website for more information on how you can participate. Volunteers help us with trail marking and visitor assistance throughout the winter.
- Student Conservation Association Internships: Announcements will be posted soon for internships starting next summer. Watch the Student Conservation Association's webpage for announcements including interpretive rangers, revegetation assistants, biology interns, and backcountry patrol interns, among many others. In addition, we hope to work again next summer with Conservation Leadership Corps teams of high school students recruited locally. Visit the SCA website for information on how to get involved with these teams.
- CPR and First Aid Trainier: The park is in short supply of local individuals to help train staff and volunteers in the skills of CPR and first aid, mostly during the late spring when our seasonal staff comes on board.
- Meadow Rover: We won't be roving meadows again until next June. Still, we're already accepting applications! Learn more about the program here, and plan to join us in Tacoma for the spring Meadow Rover's Brunch on May 9 for an early orientation.
- Campground Host: Believe it or not, this listing is for Summer 2010. Host positions at Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh are incredibly popular, and competition for them is intense, especially now that earlier restrictions on pet ownership have been relaxed. All of the positions for 2009 have already been filled; however, any applications submitted now will be kept on file for 12 months, and will be reviewed in September when we begin hiring for the 2010 season.
- Volunteer Program Assistant: Depending on budget, we hope to hire a volunteer program assistant for five to seven months during the summer of 2009. This individual will help develop, expand, and implement the volunteer program, with special emphasis on developing new volunteer opportunities, working with park supervisors and program managers to develop strategies for working with volunteers, and working with park partners to support the program through recruitment and fundraising.
- Longmire Campground Manager: The Longmire Campground is now up and running for use by volunteers! We'll hire a campground manager from May through September to coordinate it, including building platform tents in the spring and taking them down in the fall; scheduling use by volunteers; and maintaining the new bathrooms and showers. This individual will also help with general office work and data entry.