If I could sum up this week in one word, it would be WET. Luckily, Yaquina is still beautiful on rainy days and the rain doesn’t stop people from enjoying the outdoors. This week I spent my time learning the ropes of Yaquina Head, starting with basic protocol and rules to working the interpretive center front desk and tide pool procedures and education.
Learning about the tide pools was lots of fun! I started off by going over how to set the proper perimeter for visitors at Cobble Beach, where the tide pools are found. This is determined by the presence of wildlife, as well as tides. We basically lay out signs to guide the public about where they should and shouldn’t be walking. In addition, we pick up trash we find while we lay out the signs. Then we set up an education table at the entrance of the beach and briefly give a little background on the tide pools to visitors. We go over safety measures and of course the many critters they can find there! And let me tell you, even in the pouring rain, visitors will search as long as possible to find the critters, especially the sea stars!
The front desk was also lots of fun! Yaquina Head is known for its famous lighthouse, famous because it is still fully functional and it’s the tallest in the state! The most important part of working the front desk is scheduling lighthouse tours. They are in high demand and they fill up pretty quickly, so it’s important to do an efficient job at scheduling. Other desk duties include informing the public about the park’s many attractions and informing them about the exhibits found in the interpretive center.
Another part of my training was familiarizing myself with the park and exploring it. I also got the opportunity to familiarize myself with Newport itself, when I began my shorebird surveys.
I had a lot of guidance from the park rangers and volunteers in my training. Everyone was so patient with me and was always willing to answer all of my many questions. Here’s hoping for another great week and a little more sunshine!