update! the time to sign up as a volunteer has closed! Thanks to all of you who have signed up, please read on below. For those of you who learned of this opportunity too late, thank you for your interest and we strongly encourage you to keep checking this website for up-to-date information on dye releases so you can come to the beach to watch the action!

WHO? An amazing group of community members!

We have had an amazing response from the community, thank you! If you have confirmation from Erika, than you are almost ready. Please make sure you complete the on-line training she provided and we look forward to working with you! Next task is in-person training (details below) and then the real thing!

WHAT? volunteer tasks

most of the volunteer roles involve sitting on the beach “baby-sitting” some of the instrumentation. This will involve helping to deploy MCIP carts or standalone fluorometers and sitting on the beach to keep an eye on the instruments in 6 hr shifts. While on duty, volunteers will be asked to:MCIPdeployment

  1. make sure that the instruments remain in the water (moving them if necessary or calling the shift lead for help to move them)
  2. make sure surfers and beach-goers are aware of the instruments and steer clear of them
  3. take notes of anything particularly interesting you might see or notice while on your shift (a change in the waves, when the dye becomes visible at your location, etc.)

Volunteers should be comfortable playing in the surfzone up to ~waist-deep water. We will provide beach chairs, sun shade, food, and drinks. It is highly recommended that you bring your own wetsuit! Daytime shifts will be mostly in teams of one while overnight shifts will be in teams of two. Night shifts will also be provided lights, sleeping bags, etc. You will learn more what to do during the following training sessions:


1.5 hour training will include spending time in the surfzone with a quick swim test, practice deploying an MCIP in wet sand, practice deploying in the surfzone. There will be a brief presentation and material for you to review. Note that training will occur at our staging location, Camp Surf located on the map below at 560 Silver Strand Blvd, Imperial Beach, CA 91932. Please choose ONE training session from the following time windows:

  • Friday, September 11th, 4-5:30pm and 5:30-7pm
  • Saturday, September 12th, 12-1:30pm
  • Monday September 14th, 5:30-7pm CANCELLED!! We will reschedule another training later in the week of the 14th if we receive enough requests.

If you absolutely cannot make any of these times, please contact cside@sio.ucsd.edu with alternate times during the week of September 14th. Also, you can still participate as a volunteer monitor without these trainings, meaning you can help keep an eye on the equipment and inform passerbys about the experiment but you will not be able to move the instrumentation.

WHERE? Imperial Beach & Coronado, CA

Volunteers will be placed at MCIP locations 1, 3, 4, or 6. Exact locations and meeting points will be determined prior to each dye release. Note that MCIP locations differ during the Mexico dye release in October.

WHEN? experiment window and sampling dates

Volunteers will work during our intensive dye release studies which will occur 3 times during our experiment window (September 14 – October 16). Each release will be followed by 36 hours of sampling (2 days and 1 night) during which we need volunteer help. The exact dates of each release will not be decided until ~1 week in advance of each release because the releases require a certain set of wind and wave conditions (specifically south swells). We will notify volunteers 3-5 days in advance of their shift.

WHY? why are we doing this experiment?

If you have not already, please explore our website to learn more about why we are doing this study!

HOW? how can you help and sign up to volunteer?

Volunteer sign ups are now closed! Thank you for your interest! Please feel free to participate as an onlooker (not that much different than the volunteer job!) Use this website to keep up-to date on dye release timing and locations to check it out!