Docents on the Bluff

Interpreting Elephant Seal Behavior

Each day you will find knowledgeable docents in their blue jackets who are available to talk with you about what the elephant seals are doing, educate you on what’s happening at the rookery, and provide guidelines and tips for your visit. Check our calendar for special family events.

School Groups

Bring your students to the rookery.

Volunteers from the Friends of the Elephant Seal, in collaboration with California State Parks, welcome thousands of children every year to participate in our school groups program at the Piedras Blancas Rookery. Schools, scouts, community programs and other organizations serving children are eligible to schedule this program.

university research

University Research

Colony Observations

Cal Poly researchers, under the direction of Dr. Heather Liwanag, Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, began pilot research on the Piedras Blancas northern elephant seal colony in 2017-2018.

become an intern


Hands-On Experience

The William J. Goodger Memorial internship is an exciting opportunity for students who are interested in increasing their hands-on experience and knowledge of marine mammal behavior and related research.

community science

Community Science

Collaborate With Elephant Seal Scientists

Our Friends of the Elephant Seal Community Science team contributes to data collection, dissemination and interpretation of scientific knowledge. You may see them looking for flipper tags and short-term dye marks, doing radio surveys or counting seals.

speakers bureau

Speakers Bureau

Presentations By Docents

The Speakers Bureau for the Friends of the Elephant Seal organization provides free presentations about elephant seals to service organizations, clubs, libraries and annual gatherings of statewide groups, reaching hundreds of individuals each year.

speakers bureau

Group Tours

Guided interpretive Rookery Tours

Request a dedicated docent/guide to provide a tour for your community organization, tour group or large family group.  Recommended for groups >10 individuals. Complimentary docent-guided tours are a benefit for our Members at the Best Friend and Best Friend for Life levels and Business partners at the Corporate Beachmaster and Corporate Voyager levels. 

speakers bureau

B.A.R.K. Ranger

For Dog Moms and Dog Dads

Beaches and parks in the San Simeon area are exciting places for pets to visit with their families.  Both locals and visitors enjoy the gorgeous scenery, abundant wildlife, beaches, breaking waves and breath-taking sunsets. Learn the B.A.R.K. principles so you and your pet can have a safe and fun visit anytime you go to a park or beach.

Get the Latest News & Updates


Friends of the Elephant Seal is a 501(c) (3) non- profit corporation, relying on grants, sponsorships, memberships and your donations. Your charitable contribution supports our programs.

Sign Up for E-mail Updates

Be among the first to receive updates, photos, events and more about the Piedras Blancas northern elephant seal colony. The Friends of the Elephant Seal does not share your personal information with outside advertisers or other organizations.

Follow Us

Follow Friends of the Elephant Seal on our social channels for up-to-the-minute updates and images from the rookery.

Friends of the Elephant Seal is a cooperating association with California State Parks.

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