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New volunteer training Saturday, March 9th

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Seal Sitters will be holding a special training for those wanting to protect marine mammals along the shoreline of West Seattle and the Duwamish River. Unlike most marine mammal stranding networks, we encourage children to participate in Seal Sitters - supervised at all times, of course, by a parent or guardian. We are so proud of our amazing and dedicated volunteers (like JoDean at left) who are on duty rain or shine - we hope you will join us!

A multi-media presentation will illustrate our educational work in the community and the unique challenges of protecting seals and other marine mammals in an urban environment. Included in the training is an overview of NOAA's Northwest Marine Mammal Stranding Network and biology and behavior of seals and other pinnipeds (due to time frame, supplementary sessions will include more marine mammals of Puget Sound). We will also be discussing our upcoming educational outreach project, Year of the Seal, culminated with the installation of a sculpture of a harbor seal mom and pup at Alki Beach. A followup on-the-beach session will be scheduled in the weeks to come.

There will be no training sessions during the height of pupping season (late summer - fall), due to time constraints on volunteers. However, there will be another training opportunity in May if you cannot attend this date. For additional questions and info or to be placed on a contact list for future training opportunities, please email us.

When: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Time: 10am-12pm
Where: Alki Congregational United Church, 6115 SW Hinds St (map it)

SESSION IS FILLED.
We have reached capacity for the training thanks to a tremendous response from potential volunteers.
To be placed on a contact list for future training opportunities, please email us.


Busy weekend for educational outreach

Seal Sitters held a training at the Alki Bathhouse on Saturday for new volunteers. The morning session consisted of a talk with slides and video, outlining the work that the marine mammal stranding network does as well as the biology of seals and sea lions. Following a short break, the volunteers were exposed to the different challenges that they might encounter on the beach - pups on stairwells, open beach, and underneath sea walls. We want to welcome our new volunteers! You should have received your introductory emails and internet links as well as your first online calendar. If you have not, make sure you contact us. Special thanks to Tully’s Coffee on Alki for another generous donation of coffee to keep our audience awake early on a Saturday!

On Sunday, we participated in the annual Alki Summer Streets event featuring vendors and music. Despite the cold and rain throughout the day, Seal Sitters talked to 122 people about seal pups and the marine mammals of Puget Sound. Thanks to all the volunteers who braved the cold and distributed educational materials.

Clever mention of Seal Sitters in Seattle Magazine

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The May issue of Seattle Magazine has a mention of Seal Sitters in the tongue-in-cheek column Seatlleopia, comparing Seattle to Portland. As far as the frostbitten fingers go, it will indeed be nice to do some seal-sitting duty in warmer weather for a change. Of course, warmer weather means bigger crowds and increases the challenges of pups finding a quiet place to rest. Seal Sitters is gearing up for the impending seal pupping season - there is still space open for our May 19th training if you’d like to help out.

Thanks to Kate and Seattle Magazine!






New volunteer combo training session May 19th

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Seal Sitters will hold our final training of the year on Saturday, May 19th at the Alki Bathhouse (2701 Alki Avenue SW, next to Statue of Liberty on the beach). From 10am-12:00pm, there will be a talk and A/V presentation. After a 30 minute break, there will be a followup on-the-beach training session lasting approximately an hour. Due to the demands of volunteer time protecting animals during pupping season, there will be no further trainings this year.

Pupping season in South Puget Sound begins in mid-June in area rookeries, where pups are born and nursed for 4-6 weeks. We don’t usually begin seeing pups on West Seattle beaches until early July with the peak of our season in September and October. All of the pups we have been seeing the past few months are weaned pups from last season. Please mark your calendar for the training event and RSVP if you would like to attend.

Pupping season has begun on the outer coast of Oregon and Washington. If you visit coastal areas, you may encounter a pup alone on the beach. Please observe from a distance and keep people and dogs away. This is a very dangerous time of year for newborn pups - if people or dogs cause disruption in a rookery or around a pup alone on the beach, a mother may abandon her young. If you have concerns about the health or safety of a pup, please call the stranding network for that area. Never remove a pup from the beach - it is against Federal Law (the Marine Mammal Protection Act). If you don’t have access to the internet from your phone, you can always call the Seal Sitters hotline at 206-905-SEAL (7325) for the appropriate contact information of the proper stranding response team.

We look forward to seeing you on the 19th- please RSVP here. We encourage children (such as Noemi and Etienne above) to join Seal Sitters - it is a very empowering experience for a child to be able to protect marine mammals and learn about our fragile marine ecosystem.

May volunteer training date set

Seal Sitters will hold our last training of the year on Saturday, May 19th from 10am-12:30ish. The location of the event will be announced at a later date. Pupping season in South Puget Sound begins in mid-June in area rookeries, where pups are born and nursed for 4-6 weeks. We don’t usually begin seeing pups on West Seattle beaches until early July with the peak of our season in September and October. All of the pups we have been seeing the past few months are weaned pups from last season. Please mark your calendar and check back for updates. RSVP if you would like to attend the training.

Pupping season has begun on the outer coast of Washington. If you visit coastal areas, you may encounter a pup alone on the beach. Please observe from a distance and keep people and dogs away. If you have concerns about the health or safety of the pup, please call the stranding network for that area. If you don’t have access to the internet from your phone, you can always call the Seal Sitters hotline at 206-905-SEAL (7325) for the appropriate number.

New volunteers anxious to help protect marine mammals

Thanks to everyone who participated in our new volunteer training held March 3rd at Camp Long. Additionally, many thanks to Parks’ Sheila Brown for the use of the space and to Tully’s on Alki for the donation of their fantastic coffee. Fifty-two additional enthusiastic people are now trained to help keep the marine mammals of Puget Sound safe. There will be a followup on-the-beach training for those volunteers scheduled soon. Did you miss this training? If so, we will be offering our final training opportunity in May for the upcoming pupping season (Aug-Oct) and hope you will be able to join us. Please check back for updates.

New volunteer training set for March 3rd

Seal Sitters will hold a training for new volunteers on Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 10am-12:30ish. The event will be held at beautiful Camp Long in West Seattle, 5200 35th Ave SW (just south of Dawson- map it). This session will be a special training for those wanting to respond to and protect marine mammals on the beaches of West Seattle and along the Duwamish River. A multi-media presentation by SS lead investigator Robin Lindsey will illustrate our educational work in the community and the particular challenges of protecting seals and seal pups in an urban environment. Zoologist and SS education and science advisor Buzz Shaw will discuss the biology and behavior of seals and other pinnipeds of Puget Sound. A followup on-the-beach training will be scheduled in the weeks to come. There will be no training sessions during the summer or height of pupping season due to time and staff constraints; however, there will be a new volunteer training in late May if you can’t make this date. Contact us if you have any questions.

Space permitting, we encourage current volunteers to feel free to come in for a “tune up” - and we could always use a helping hand with setup and breakdown. Please rsvp as seating is limited to 60.

For more information about volunteering, please visit our website.

Seal Sitters new volunteer training set for July 10

     
Seal Sitters is pleased to announce another training session for new volunteers.The event is scheduled for Sunday, July 10th from 2 - 4 pm at beautiful Camp Long in West Seattle, 5200 35th Ave SW (just south of Dawson- map it). We’ll be discussing the workings of the NW Marine Mammal Stranding Network and protocol for responding to marine mammals on shore, seal and sea lion biology, life in a harbor seal rookery and the challenges posed when pups (and adults) visit our largely urban beaches. We will have a followup on-the-beach session before the end of July for all new volunteers who have completed this intake and training.


If you are interested in attending, please rsvp as we cannot exceed the room capacity of approximately 70 people. Current volunteers are welcome to attend as well, space permitting, and we can always use a hand with setup, breakdown, etc. We look forward to seeing you there!

Great turnout for training event

Thanks to everyone who came to Seal Sitters’ training last night - over 70 people attended. Thanks, also, to the Admiral Branch Library for providing such a great meeting space and to the staff for being so understanding as we ran a bit late. We have a fantastic group of dedicated volunteers and are excited to have even more join us in our quest to help protect “Spud” and his buds.

Marine mammal stranding training begins in May

Dates have been set for two training events:

     
SESSION ONE:
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the Seattle Aquarium (1483 Alaskan Way).
This will be an open region-wide training by Kristin Wilkinson, NOAA stranding expert, in hopes of expanding a volunteer base trained to respond to marine mammals on the beach from South Puget Sound to Snohomish County. If you are interested in responding to marine mammals in areas outside of West Seattle, we suggest you attend this session. Learn about marine mammals in your area and how to report and respond to marine mammal strandings. Seal Sitters will be represented at the event and all are welcome to attend. Questions about this training? Please contact Kristin.

SESSION TWO:
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010, from 6 - 7:30 pm at the West Seattle Admiral branch of the Seattle Library (2306 42nd Ave SW, West Seattle).
This session will be a special training for those wanting to volunteer for Seal Sitters in West Seattle. A multi-media presentation with photos by first responder Robin Lindsey will illustrate our educational work in the community and the particular challenges of protecting seals and seal pups in an urban environment. Zoologist and education and science advisor Buzz Shaw will discuss biology and behavior of seals and other marine mammals of Puget Sound. Learn how to report and respond to strandings. Seating limited to 70 with some standing capacity. Contact us if you have any questions and keep an eye on the blog for updates regarding participants. RSVP here for the West Seattle session.
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