Long-Term Volunteer Programs & Internships


Long-Term Volunteers

The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve preserves, protects, and manages the natural and cultural resources of the Tijuana River Estuary by focusing on research and education with compatible recreation and resource use. Volunteers are essential to our mission, helping to steward the land, educate the public, assist with select aspects of research, and ensure that visitors to the Reserve have a quality experience.


Long-term volunteer programs
Volunteers are needed to assist in the following capacities:

Volunteer Requirements
TRNERR requires that all long-term volunteers commit to 1 year of service, to include a minimum of 4 hours per month. Educational Docents, Restoration Guides and Shorebird Stewards must be 18+ years of age and submit to a background check and LiveScan fingerprinting procedure. Information Ambassadors, Research and Stewardship volunteers may be 16-17 years of age with parental consent, or 14-15 years of age if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

How to Become a Long-Term Volunteer

1.  Submit a Volunteer Application Form
Please note that Stewardship volunteers are accepted year-round, while all other programs admit new volunteers only in the Spring to coincide with our annual Information Ambassador Training.

2. Volunteer Interview
After receiving your volunteer application, we will contact you for a volunteer interview. The interview is an opportunity for you to tell us more about your community service interests and goals. It will also give you a chance to ask more questions about the Reserve and our volunteer program. This discussion will help us work together to find the volunteer position that is right for you.

3. Participate in Training
Stewardship volunteers must complete several online training modules, plus 2 assignments to be undertaken at the Visitor Center. All other new volunteers must first attend a mandatory 10-hour Information Ambassador training, held annually each Spring. Volunteers may sign up for additional volunteer program training classes during or after completion of this course. Additional continuing education training is required for Docents, Restoration Guides and Shorebird Stewards.

Information Ambassador Training Course for New Volunteers:
CANCELLED: Saturdays, April 11 and 18, 2020 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm (must attend both sessions).

4. Establish a Schedule
You will work in partnership with the Volunteer Coordinator and Program Coordinator(s) to establish your schedule. We require a minimum of 4 hours per month for a period of 1 year.



Students who are interested in completing an internship through an approved program for course credit through their college or university, should contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer(at)trnerrtest.wpengine.com. No other internships are available at this time.

For more information:

Volunteer Coordinator
(619) 575-3613 x330  office

Please sign up for the monthly TRNERR eNewsletter to keep up-to-date on volunteer trainings and events.

Volunteer Login – We Are Now on BETTER IMPACT:

TRNERR Long-term Volunteer Information Center powered by BETTER IMPACT – Sign up for volunteer shifts, log your hours, view your history, update your contact information, and more.

Complete your training: Watch the online Volunteer Training Modules and complete quizzes.

Thank you to the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association for Volunteer Program support.