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Volunteer Opportunities
How to Apply

Interested in volunteering?
To learn more about these opportunities,
call 206.616.0780 or email us.

Volunteer positions: Previous - 1 - 2 - 3 - Next
Rare plant monitoring and seed collecting
Location: Statewide
Rare Plant Monitor Rare Plant Seed Collector

Volunteers are the core of the rare plant monitoring program – a multi-year effort to visit known populations of rare plants around the state. Rare plant monitors visit some of the most beautiful ecosystems in Washington State to collect data on rare plant populations.

Program introduction
Volunteer position description
1-day training session (required)
Application deadline
Fill out an online application

Trained volunteers contribute to the seed bank by collecting seeds from wild populations of rare native plants. Seed collecting provides an opportunity to deepen your understanding of plant ecology and observe how variations in weather can drastically affect seed maturation rates and timing.

Prerequisite: Training and participation as a rare plant monitor 

Volunteer position description
Qualified rare plant monitors must attend a 1-day training session to become rare seed collectors.



Mountaineers Instructor Peter McCormick (right)
accompanies Rare Care volunteers as they follow
a course around the Center for Urban Horticulture
grounds using a handheld GPS unit.

GPS navigation

Finger method
Mountaineers Instructor James Fairchild (second
from left) teaches Rare Care volunteers a technique
for estimating distances that is particularly handy
when the distance can't be measured directly.


Training for rare plant monitors and seed collectors

Rare Care offers Rare Plant Monitoring Training and Seed Collecting Training each spring, as well as occasional other opportunities (such as group monitoring trips) that help strengthen volunteers' skills. Please watch this space for updates:

  • Sat. Mar. 1, 2014 (all day): Rare Plant Monitoring, Seattle (application deadline Feb. 10)
  • Sat. Mar. 22, 2014 (afternoon): Volunteer Forum, Walla Walla
  • Sun. Mar. 23, 2014 (afternoon): Volunteer Forum, White Salmon
  • Sat. Mar. 29, 2014 (all day): Navigation Training*, Seattle (for Rare Care monitors & seed collectors)
  • Sat. Mar. 29, 2014, 4:00 PM: Volunteer Forum, Seattle
  • Sun. Apr. 13, 2014 (afternoon): Volunteer Forum, Wenatchee
  • Sat. May 17, 2014 (all day): Rare Seed Collecting, Seattle (prerequisite: rare plant monitoring training)
  • Sat. May 31, 2014 (all day): Rare Seed Collecting, Spokane
  • Sat. May 31, 2014, 4:00 PM: Volunteer Forum, Spokane
  • Fri. Jul. 11 to Sun. Jul. 13, 2014: Rare Plant Monitoring Weekend

*Navigation Training, developed by James Fairchild of The Mountaineers in partnership with Rare Care, has been offered to Rare Care monitors and seed collectors every spring since April 2005.

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UW Botanic Gardens | School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
College of the Environment | University of Washington

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Washington Rare Plant Care & Conservation, UW Botanic Gardens, 3501 NE 41st Street
Box 354115, Seattle, WA 98195-4115 | 206.616.0780 | rarecare@u.washington.edu

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