VNC Minutes – July 2015

VNC Minutes July 11, 2015

The VNC met in the CNM lunchroom.

Attendees: Gail Geddis, Becky Wieder, Dave Boyer, Kathy Wellbrock, Carroll Stewart, Beth Gramoy, Dan Wieder, Mona Feliz, Gerrie Trussell, and Brian White

Gail called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m.

The minutes from the June 13, 2015 meeting were approved.

Old Business
  • VIP Five Year Plan: Tavio and the VNC are developing a Five Year Plan for volunteers. A draft of the plan has been created but there have been no updates as yet.
  • Report on Interns: The interns we know of are: Alex Warneke, Science Outreach Coordinator; Austin Parker, Natural Resource Management Associate; Melonie Brown, Natural Resource Specialist; Brian Hong, Marine Database Manager; Adam Taylor, Cabrillo Science Fellow; Pauline Geisler, Interim Bonnie 1; Becky Wieder, Interim Bonnie 2; Dan Wieder, Interim Bonnie 3. Drew Smith and Lorraine Kelley are also working at CNM (their titles are unknown to us), and there may be others we have not yet accounted for. We will try to get an update from park staff and find out to whom each intern reports.
New Business
  • The two new volunteers in attendance (Kathy and Carroll) expressed concern about the lack of mentors to help new VIPs figure out where they’d like to work and what they can help with. They asked if seasoned volunteers could act as mentors in each area of the park (this is already being done in the TPERP program; but some volunteers want to work in other areas). Everyone at the meeting agreed that this is vital for the training and retention of our new volunteers. We will pursue the issue with staff.
  • Again regarding new volunteers: They asked if they could have temporary name badges that would allow them to be identified as a ‘volunteer in training’ and would also contain their first name as a way of introducing themselves to both guests and other volunteers. We will ask staff about this as well.
Committee Reports

Whipstaff (Gail, Mike): Gail reported the group will be meeting on August 25, 2015.

Volgistics (Gail): Gail reported we are at our limit for volunteer entries as well as our archived entries. Lonie Brown will cull records when she returns to the park in August, but we may need to look at upgrading our software to allow more entries.

Tidepool Committee (Bonnie; Dan, Becky, Pauline): Becky and Dan reported:

  • The new signs are now in and are being used by TPERP volunteers; one sign indicates when the contact station is closed, and the other sign has changeable magnetic letters, numbers and symbols for posting the day’s low tide.
  • The stickers for the tidepool zone activity have also arrived, and they are in the trailer. There are 12 different tidepool critter stickers that can be used with the zone printout. Individual stickers may also be handed out to children.
  • Inquiries have been made concerning new biomodels for the education table. Carl Gage created our original biomodels, and we have sent him a prioritized list of possible biomodels to add to our table.
  • The laminated guides created by Ranger Emily Floyd are being used by volunteers and visitors. There is an issue with the lending policy: If a volunteer lends a guide to a visitor and then the volunteer’s shift ends before the visitor has returned the guide, there is no place for the visitor to return the guide.
  • The next time we print the laminated guide, the Sculpin should be changed to Wooly Sculpin to correctly reflect the name of the fish in the photo.
  • Dan and Becky will re-send the PDF version of the guide to all volunteers.

Website (Dan): Dan reported:

  • The permit section of the website has been redone (and Emily is now in charge of all permits).
  • We really need to explore having a separate website specifically for volunteers.

E-Binder Reference Manual (Dan W., Dan Z., Beth, Becky): Beth reported the 2016 version should be out in January. It will be reorganized and web based. There will also be a PDF version that can be printed (and will be updated once a year).

Military History: No report. Beth will email the military history volunteers to see if they can send a representative to VNC meetings, and she’ll copy Gail and Becky on the email so they will have the email addresses for the military history group.

Special Events: See latest postings in VIP Voice (

Centennial: Gerrie reported the Centennial shirts are selling fast. There are also Centennial hat & shirt combinations and Centennial pins for sale.

Community Outreach (Bernie): No Report

Internships (Tavio, Keith): See Old Business above

4Rs (Tavio): No report. Gerrie would like guidelines for rewarding volunteers for retention, and for recognizing seasoned volunteers and using them as mentors for new volunteers. The group wondered if there is a way to have triggers in Volgistics to alert staff when volunteers reach certain milestones of service to the park.

VIP Voice/Blog (Dan Z): All VIPs need to go to the site ( and enter their email on the right side menu and then select ‘follow’ to stay up-to-date on new posts. For step-by-step instructions on how to use the VIPVoice, see the end of this document.*

CNMC (Randal): Mona reported:

  • The 4th of July event went very smoothly. It sold out and they are already getting requests for next year. There was one complaint about handicapped parking and they are working to resolve that.
  • The yoga event was also well received and will be repeated.
  • Upcoming events include Moonwalks, Dec. 7th, and Valentine’s Day.
  • The group is looking at grants again.

CNMF (Mike): Gerrie reported:

  • The Foundation is giving Centennial pins to all volunteers. Please see Eileen if you have not yet received your pin.
  • The recent Moonwalk was a big success. There were 145 people in attendance, and Ralph did his Night Sky presentation. Remember, VIPs always get in free to these events (no reservation required).
  • The Foundation is looking for volunteers (and possible staff) for the Visitor Center.
  • Volunteers are needed for the Sunset 5K Event being held on July 25 from 6pm to 9pm at CNM (after the Move to Improve event). Duties include checking people in, manning booths, etc. Contact Gerrie if you’d like to volunteer (
Review Action Items
  • Dan and Becky will re-send the PDF of Emily’s tidepool guide card to volunteers.
  • VNC leaders will contact staff regarding mentors and name tags for new volunteers.
  • Dan and Kathy will explore the possibility of a dedicated volunteer website.
  • Beth will email the Military History volunteers to request reports for the VNC.
  • VNC leaders will check with Tavio about the 4Rs and the Five Year Plan, especially regarding volunteer rewards and milestones.
Review Open Action Items
  • Becky and Setara are still working on the Volunteer Training Manual.
  • Tavio, Emily, Debbie and Keith are to provide updates to VIP job descriptions.
  • All VIPs need to log FY 2015 hours into Volgistics.
  • All volunteers should sign up for VIP Voice.*

*Here is what you need to do in order to sign up for (to follow) the VIP Voice website. By signing up you will receive an email any time something gets posted to the website, including announcements, events, meeting notes, etc. The VIP Voice website is currently the primary source of information for volunteers at Cabrillo National Monument.

To sign up, use the following link:

If the link doesn’t automatically open up your web browser, you need to open your web browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer) and type in the link:

Once the web page opens, you will see three columns below the main picture. In the right column you will see a section titled “Follow Blog via Email”. In this section you will see a box where you can enter your email address, and then you need to click the ‘Follow’ button immediately below it.

That’s all it takes for you to start getting the updates. There is lots of information here for the volunteers so please explore and enjoy.

Next Meeting: August 8, 2015 at 10 a.m. in the CNM lunchroom

Adjournment: 12 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Becky Wieder

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