Otter Spotting Volunteering

Friends of the Sea Otter has partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program (SORAC) to spot sea otters near the Monterey Peninsula and collect data that is used for important on-going research and census efforts. FSO volunteers provide assistance to the professional SORAC sea otter trackers by serving as the public interpreter at tracking sites.

3 Otter Spotting Volunteering

Cassie, Jess and Thomas spot otters for SORAC.
Image courtesy of SORAC.

What do volunteers do?

FSO volunteers assist SORAC sea otter trackers by serving as the interpreter interface between the tracker and the public. Many tracking stations are in highly visible locations and provide an excellent opportunity for our volunteers to engage the public to raise awareness of the sea otter, the threats it faces, and how people can help.

What does it take to be a volunteer?

Otter spotters should be at least 18 to participate in our partnership with SORAC, though minors can ask about FSO-only opportunities. Volunteers should also be able to commit to a regular, weekly schedule to ensure reliability for SORAC and availability of FSO equipment.

Where do Otter Spotters work?

Otter spotting locations can vary depending on the need of SORAC and the tourist season, but most locations are in Monterey or the Monterey Peninsula. FSO will work with the interested volunteer and SORAC to find a suitable location.

Other opportunities exist to spot at different locations near Monterey (Moss Landing, for example) separate of the SORAC partnership. To inquire about these opportunities, check the appropriate box on the signup form.

Want more information?

You can contact FSO at or 831.915.3275 with any question.

Sign up!

To apply as an otter spotter volunteer, fill out our online form below and an FSO representative will contact you shortly.