Volunteer Opportunities

Note: Some of these opportunities may not be available at any given time due to certain conditions at the park. Always check with the Volunteer Manager for current opportunities.

Visitor Center

Welcome and orient visitors to the Monument. Answer questions about the park, San Diego County, and the National Park Service. Assist with Ranger-led programs and general Visitor Center operations.

Living History / Interpretive

Bring history alive by portraying a persona of the three epochs interpreted in the park: 16th Century Spain and the New World, 19th Century Lighthouse era, and WWII Coastal Defense. Interact with visitors and enlighten them to Cabrillo’s rich history.

Community Outreach

Represent Cabrillo National Monument and bring the Mission of the NPS to your local community. Present artifacts, lead activities, provide information or staff a booth. Bring Cabrillo National Monument into your community today!

TPERP Volunteer

Tidepool Protection, Education, and Restoration Program. Ensure that visitors respect the protected and sensitive environment of the rocky intertidal, educate visitors about its marine and shorebird life and geological aspects. Located either in the tidepool area and/or at the interpretive table adjacent to the tidepool area.

Tidepool Monitoring

Measure the size and frequency of key marine species, including setting up transects for algae (seaweeds), and taking photos in specifically sized plots of mussels, rockweed and two types of barnacles. The recorded data is used to monitor the health of the marine species populations.

Shorebird Monitoring

Count shorebirds and people in the three areas of the Cabrillo tidepools and record sea and weather conditions for one-hour periods. The data is used with the tidepool monitoring data to determine how birds may be affecting the tidepools and how people may be affecting the number of birds eating in the tidepools.

Greenhouse/Landscaping Maintenance Volunteer

Primary duty will to be to regularly water and monitor native vegetation around the Visitors Center.
Periodically assist with vegetation restoration projects around the park

Weed Warrior

Removing invasive non-native vegetation from the native habitat. Locating and collecting data about non-native species.

Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR)

As a member of a nationally recognized group of individuals who locate and identify invasive plant species, volunteer will survey for, report, and verify the presence of a non-native species before the sounding population becomes established or spreads.


Work may include carpentry, painting, landscaping, custodial, plumbing, electric and/or any basic trades.


Gain practical experience and an intimate understanding of the operation and management procedures of a National Park Service unit. The intern works within several divisions and is involved with a variety of work projects. Get your hands dirty with Rangers in the field and provide customer service to the over one million annual visitors. There are various activities that meet the need for most intern students. Discover Cabrillo’s wonderful natural and cultural resources. Working as an intern doing the kind of work you may be considering for a career can help you better gauge your own skills and desires, make valuable contacts, and even consider new options. Each intern position is uniquely matched to you and the area of the park where you wish to work.

Lighthouse Information Station

Enjoy gorgeous views as you volunteer at the Lighthouse Information Station and introduce visitors to the unique history of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Come be a part of this exciting opportunity to work in one of San Diego’s most iconic landmarks.

Social Media Assistant

Help maintain CNM social and digital platforms as instructed by Park Mentor. This includes, but is not limited to: daily posting of park information and pictures, visitor interaction, and maintenance of media contacts. Other opportunities include creating visually impacting video and graphic content from park outlets (natural resources, living history, events, and regular park happenings).

Lighthouse Garden Volunteer

Help maintain the Old Lighthouse Garden by weeding, watering and planting seeds. Interact with visitors and invite them into the garden to taste seasonal produce. Also help with proper upkeep and maintenance of garden supplies and water hose. Also interact with visitors about the life at the Lighthouse circa 1887.

Volunteer of the Day (VOD)

The Volunteer of the Day (VOD) position was established to assist volunteers, staff and the public, serving as a resource for information, a facilitator for processes, a go-to person for help with tasks, and a source of support for all. The most important part of this position is simply being there—as a friendly face and a helpful presence for everyone. The VOD reports to and works under the guidance of the VIP Program Manager.

Trails and Rails Docent

Welcome aboard! The National Park Service and Amtrak look forward to having VIP’S onboard with the Trails & Rails program to help present educational programs to Amtrak passengers. Cabrillo National Monument Volunteers will be onboard from San Diego to Los Angles to engage passengers in a wide range of activities, including education, resource management, maintenance, and other duties. There is a wide range of topics to be introduced to passengers such as, California History with Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, Lighthouse, Tide pools, Military History and much more.

Science Explorer’s Club

Introduce park visitors to science in the park and encourage environmental stewardship through hands-on activities. Volunteers guide visitors through these activities, teaching them how to collect data and make scientific observations. Topics include tidepool monitoring, citizen science, bird surveys, and more!

Last revised 04-Jan-20