From our blogs

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are needed to operate the Nature Stores and the visitor information desk at the Fremont Visitor Contact Station (Contact Station) and the San Jose Environmental Education Center (Education Center).

We are also seeking volunteers to help with an exciting cleanup program in Santa Clara County for which the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (Society) ha received a grant.

Reach out to, 510-7920222, ext. 364 for more information or dates! Look for more volunteer positions as we plan for the future.

Volunteer Opportunities: Fall 2016

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Opportunities: Fall 2016 at the Environmental Education Center (Alviso, California).

If you have an interest in wildlife and their conservation, enjoy working with people, and are enthusiastic and dependable, the Environmental Education Center’s Volunteer Program is for you! As a volunteer, you’ll receive on-the-job training from staff and other volunteers in the project area you choose.

Project areas are: restoration projects, information desk on weekends, interpretive programs, school field trips, and citizen science/community service.

Prior to volunteering at the Environmental Education Center, you must attend a Volunteer Orientation. You can also attend the orientation just to see what opportunities there are, and if it is the right fit for you.

Challenges Ahead — Take Our Survey!

Earlier this year, a new effort spearheaded by Fish & Wildlife Service Education Center Director Genie Moore was aimed to develop a Visitor Services strategic plan for the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR. Two staff and one volunteer from the Society worked alongside Fish & Wildlife (FWS) staff and a community leader for many hours to develop a work plan that would incorporate the goals from the refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan, the FWS Standards of Excellence and the Next Generation Science Standards being implemented in California schools. The desired outcome was an action plan that is SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) and sustainable to be used in natural resources management plans to be developed in the coming year for the Refuge Complex. However, FWS staffing losses have proved to be a challenge and the Society has decided to suspend its direct involvement in this effort and focus instead on primary program priorities for Living Wetlands and Watershed Watchers programs.

Coastal Cleanup Day • September 17, 2016

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge presents Coastal Cleanup Day at the Dumbarton Fishing Pier Parking Lot, Marshlands Rd, Fremont on Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Do you want to help wildlife and the environment? Join the thousands of people around the world for International Coastal Cleanup Day. At Don Edwards SF Bay NWR you can remove invasive weeds or pick up trash along the parking lot and trails. We’ll supply plastic gloves (or bring your own) and trash and recycling bags. You supply energy, sturdy shoes, sun protection, and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Bring a reusable water bottle.

Volunteers can choose to be shuttled to areas along the Shoreline Trail to reach areas farther away. For more information, call 510-792-0222, ext. 362 for the Visitor Services Intern or Paul Mueller at ext. 361. No reservations necessary.

Children under age 18 must have parental approval. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. To expedite the registration process, log on to to download the forms and bring to the registration table. Forms are also available at the registration table.

New Hours at the Don Edwards SF Bay NWR

New Hours at the Visitor Center in Fremont and Environmental Education Center in Alviso
Effective September 1, 2016

Visitor Center in Fremont:
Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Federal Holidays: Closed

Environmental Education Center in Alviso:
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday-Friday/Non-Field Trip Days: Open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday-Friday/Field Trip Days: Closed
Federal Holidays: Closed

“Exploring Our Baylands” Book Review

by Roy Sasai, San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society Volunteer and San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex Docent.

Exploring Our Baylands by Diane R. Conradson, Ph.D. is a well-written, concise book (only 69 pages) packed with information regarding the history and ecology of the San Francisco Bay Area. The book begins with the formation of the San Francisco Bay through seismic and glacier activity. The bay has gone through several transformations and the bay we see today is only 2,000 years old. At one time, the California coastline was west of the Farallon Islands. That’s 30 miles out in the ocean from today’s coastline!

Conradson then delves into the plants and animals around the bay, how the presence of certain plant communities indicate the different tidal zones identified by scientists, and how these plants have adapted to the harsh, salty environment. Conradson also reveals that there are two different species of the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse in the Bay Area due to being isolated by rising bay waters from long ago.

Meet the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge!

by Ross Nichols

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge with cooperation from partners at Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue). The following was written by a Point Blue biologist and chronicles perspectives and experiences from working on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge.

As the Northern Elephant seal breeding season is winding down and coming to an end, the Point Blue Winter season crew enters a mode of reflection, of seals, life, and the island. Most of the locations and structures on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, and more specifically on the South Farallon Islands, have names, many of which haven’t changed since the 1800’s, and has allowed for an incredible etymological hunt revealing some hidden history of the island. Here are ten of some of my favorite locations on the island, and a bit of the history behind them.

Get To Know Your Aquifer

Hundreds of feet underground lies a massive and mysterious natural resource that we depend on greatly — but barely ever think about.

Learn about aquifers and understand California’s groundwater management system through Stanford University's Water In The West series.

Teen Environmental Art Show 2016

Teen Environmental Art Show at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Artwork will be on display from October to December, 2016.

Open for students entering grades 7-12 in fall 2016 to submit their artwork for display!

All artwork should be submitted in one of the following categories:
1. Bay Area wildlife or plant life
2. Bay Area ecological conservation
3. Global ecological conservation.

All entry forms are due September 1, 2016. Entry forms and art show rules can be found at

Environmental Outreach Associate

Update on Aug 25, 2016: This position is now filled. Thank you for your interest.


The Environmental Outreach Associate position is located at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center in Alviso, CA. The Environmental Education Center provides free programs to schools and the public, while teaching about the local wildlife, conservation, and how to help the environment. The Living Wetlands program is designed to teach about wetlands and the properties of wetlands including watersheds and water conservation. We need a highly motivated individual who has an interest in education and visitor services and will assist in educating, planning, and developing the Living Wetlands program.

The Environmental Outreach Associate will be a part-time employee for the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (SFBWS), a non-profit friends group to the Refuge. The primary mission of SFBWS is to promote public awareness and appreciation of the San Francisco Bay and its natural history, and to conserve and preserve the remaining Bay lands as essential wildlife habitat. Living Wetlands is a program of the City of San Jose Environmental Services Department.