Adequate staffing is essential to the effective implementation of South Slough NERR programs and operations. The Reserve currently meets human resource needs through a combination of full-time staff, part-time positions, contractors, interns, and volunteers.
There are currently 16 full-time staff positions and 3 part-time positions at the Reserve.
The staff size fluctuates with the addition of temporary contract workers, students, interns, participants from social services training programs, and others. These positions are supported by federal and private grants, interagency cooperative agreements, state operating funds, student scholarships, and contributions from private sources.
Development of Staff Positions
New staff positions are identified and developed in a number of ways. With new projects and expanding programs, Reserve staff work with management to determine if additional staff are needed. Necessary tasks are identified in grant proposals and by program coordinators, and the appropriate level of staffing (i.e., temporary, limited-duration, part-time, full-time, volunteer, contractor, intern, etc.) is determined based on responsibilities, work load, budget, and other parameters.
The need for some staff positions is identified by NOAA. The Reserve’s participation in some national programs and initiatives requires a program coordinator. The funding available for these programs generally supports the program and necessary staff. The Reserve must apply for these supplemental funds and agree to conduct the programming within the parameters laid out by NOAA. NOAA may also determine additional staffing needs via periodic evaluations.
Volunteer contributions of time and skills greatly enhance the programs and operations of the Reserve. In recent years, volunteers have assisted with visitor services, education programs, trail improvements, and habitat restoration, monitoring, and research projects. The Friends of South Slough (FOSS), youth work crews, AmeriCorps, local public support service programs, and individuals from the community all provide volunteer services for the Reserve. The Public Involvement Coordinator is responsible for the development, coordination and maintenance of the volunteer program.
By sharing their enthusiasm for and knowledge of South Slough, volunteers enhance visitor experiences and increase interest and awareness of the Reserve within the local community. The Reserve recognizes an obligation to provide interested volunteers with rewarding and enriching opportunities in exchange for their efforts on behalf of the South Slough NERR.
Although the Reserve has benefited from the immeasurable contributions of volunteer efforts, a formally structured Volunteer Program at South Slough NERR is currently in the early stages of development. The establishment of the Public Involvement Coordinator position in 2001 provided the Reserve with staff dedicated to the development and implementation of the Volunteer Program. The addition of this staff position has resulted in the preparation of a draft Volunteer Resource Handbook, which includes information related to the Reserve’s mission, resources, programs, and operations. The Public Involvement Coordinator has worked with staff to develop a preliminary list of volunteer job descriptions and a more effective system for appropriately matching volunteer interests to operational needs at the Reserve. With the availability of space, projects, and staff, the Reserve is now able to actively recruit new volunteers.
In 2002, the Reserve piloted a volunteer orientation and training seminar series to provide opportunities for new, old, and potential volunteers, along with interested members of the community, to acquire knowledge relevant the natural environment and the operations of the Reserve. With the assistance of volunteers, the Friends of South Slough have published a quarterly newsletter with information about the latest happenings at the Reserve.