The 2022-2023 Docent Program has begun!
Fall 2022 docent training will be conducted both in-person at our Living Lab and Learning Center and virtually in a Zoom setting following CDC’s and local health guidelines regarding COVID-19.
What is a WMG Docent?
Docents are Watershed Management Group's volunteer ambassadors, both out in the community and at our urban demonstration site - the Living Lab & Learning Center. They fill a variety of vital roles throughout the organization that support our mission to develop community-based solutions to ensure the long-term prosperity of people and health of the environment. If you are passionate about restoring our rivers that used to flow year-round, advocating for water security in the Southwest, and fostering stewardship of our precious water resources, consider being a WMG docent! Read below for testimonials from docents on their experiences.
Docent Training Program
The docent training program will begin on Friday, August 19th, 2022 and will end Mid-December. These trainings are conducted by WMG staff every Friday from 3p.m. - 5p.m., and the docent cohort will be learning alongside WMG’s intern cohort. Through this training, you’ll build understanding of our local Santa Cruz River watershed, foster opportunities for personal conservation actions, and build relationships with other WMG staff, volunteers, and our diverse community. You must be available to attend all Friday sessions.
Duties & Responsibilities
During the Docent Training Program, we work with each docent to begin training in relation to volunteer activities that fit their skill set and interests. These activities can include, but are not limited to: giving tours of our public demonstration site, outreach at community events, assisting with family and neighborhood educational events, data collection and monitoring, rain garden care, Spanish translation, Latinx community engagement, and assisting visitors at our Welcome Center. Docents contribute to an welcoming and inclusive environment for our culturally-rich community including Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Latinx community members. Click here to read about the specific docent roles available.
We are seeking individuals with a shared passion for our mission - experience in the watershed management field is not necessary! Being a WMG docent is generally not conducive for people who work more than part-time or have other responsibilities that equate to full-time. We aim to have our docents complete 20 hours a month of volunteer work. Bilingual speakers are encourage to apply! ¡Necesitamos personas bilingues que hablen Ingles y Español!
This program provides the opportunity to build skills and knowledge in different areas such as community science, environmental education, environmental justice, Sonoran Desert ecology, water harvesting, and river restoration. It is also an opportunity to contribute skills you may already have honed through your life's work and can now apply to the grassroots efforts of our organization. Lastly, it is an opportunity to become a member of our vibrant and diverse team here at Watershed Management Group!
- Attend all Fall Friday training sessions late August - mid-December from 3-5p.m. The 50-hour training also includes occasional assistance at outreach and WMG events on the evenings and weekends. You can expect both classroom instruction, virtual trainings, and field excursions taught by WMG staff. Docents will be learning in an inter-generational environment as part of a cohort with WMG’s University of Arizona WaterWRLD interns (Water as a platform for Workforce Readiness and Leadership Development).
- One year commitment from Jan-Dec. Upon completion of the fall training, docents are asked to commit to one year of service and aim to complete 20 hours a month of volunteer hours for their WMG related projects.
- Attend Monthly Docent Meetings with the whole Docent Cohort. These meetings are on the first Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
- Assist with WMG events and outreach opportunities. WMG hosts a variety of events throughout the year and we need your help!
- Pay $75 program fee. Scholarships available.
If you have questions about the program, please contact our Docent Program Manager, Lauren Monheim, at email@example.com
"My favorite part of volunteering with Family Programming at WMG is seeing the kids’ faces light up with excitement and interest when they learn something new at our program. I truly feel at home as a Docent at WMG, I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of people in my community. I have also learned much myself - expanding my knowledge of living hydro-locally and putting many of the teachings into practice." - Laurel Pollard, Docent Since 2022
"Through my experience of being a docent, I have learned so much. While volunteering in our Welcome Center, I have learned about water conservation and the importance of involving the community in conservation actions. The more I experienced this, the more I brought home and shared with my children and grandchildren about the importance of conserving water in the desert. It has become a personal mission of mine to continue to involve my family in these issues and work with WMG to help ensure a sustainable future for them." - April Lewis, Docent Since 2022
Glenn is a retired engineer and has been a resident of Tucson for 35 years. He is an active member of the WMG co-op and regularly participates in rainwater and greywater harvesting workshops. His interests include passive and active solar, rainwater/greywater harvesting, and woodworking. Glenn also volunteers for the Boy Scouts of America and Habitat for Humanity.
Brenda relocated to Tucson from the Eastern U.S. two years ago. She loves and appreciates the beauty of the desert as well as the green of Upstate New York. She is a retired Army officer who held various management positions in the areas of logistics, administration, physical fitness training/development, and casualty affairs during her 20-year career. She is grateful to have the time to volunteer and support the highly important WMG mission of restoring the watershed in this region.
Carol was born and raised in upstate NY near the Erie Canal. She came to Arizona for a college education in anthropology and stayed on as a computer jack-of-all-trades and now works in medical research. In 2007, Carol became a graduate of the Master Watershed Steward program through the Pima County Cooperative Extension Service. Carol’s graduation project was to map the entire arundo stands in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area before it was cut down and doused with herbicide. Her goal is to interpret rainwater harvesting knowledge into mainstream practice through education and demonstration.
Laurel lives in Stone Curves, a co-housing community of 48 households in Tucson. They cooperate in maintaining our six-acre permaculture landscape, and I co-lead our ‘Green Team’. She's not a trained permaculturist, so she wants to learn more as a WMG docent. Laurel has taught classes in Recycling and in Reducing Consumerism; she has fun seeing how close she can get to zero waste. She is a kayaker and last year paddled the mighty Rillito. (It was a few inches deep at the time, so there was a lot of portaging.) She wants to be part of reviving our rivers and is eager to meet fellow environmental enthusiasts. Laurel is single, a mother of a son and daughter who both live in Tucson (lucky her!) And last December she welcomed a granddaughter, the joy of her life.
Sally abandoned a perfectly good graphic design career in Vermont to become a rootless nomad exploring Mother Nature's gigantic, enormously varied jigsaw puzzle. Living close to the earth has a way of teaching appreciation for things so often taken for granted . . . such as water. After 10 years of wandering all over North America, Australia, and NZ, it isn't a great surprise that she fell in love with the miracle of the Sonoran Desert and settled in Tucson. Her education about the natural world has expanded as a docent at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum since 2010. Now she can't imagine anything more rewarding than spreading the surprising news that living with a focused water consciousness is actually a bucket of fun.
Dan is a computer engineer by training, with a BS from the University of Arizona, MS from the University of New Mexico, and an Electrical Engineer degree from Utah State University. He is the Tucson Regional Manager for TEALS, a Microsoft Philanthropies program that connects industry professionals with high school teachers to bring computer science into Tucson schools. Dan was previously the Green Living Co-op Manager for WMG. Dan is also a member of WMG’s Monsoon Squad, River Run Network, and is a certified local phenology leader with the National Phenology Network. He is involved in many activities in the community, including serving on the core team for Sustainable Tucson.
Amber was born and raised in the Sonoran Desert, and after a sabbatical in California working at Google, she has returned to her homeland. An avid hiker, novice desert gardener, and zero-waste advocate, working on helping other live their most sustainable life is her passion. She is very excited to work as a part of WMG in restoring and preserving our watershed.
Bill earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, plus an M.S. in Reliability Engineering from the University of Arizona, and worked for 35 years with several companies. Tucson is a special place for his family, as his wife can trace her roots back six generations in the Tucson area. With WMG, Bill sees an opportunity to help rebuild Tucson as a place where you know and help your neighbor. He volunteers teaching middle school students about engineering by having them design water harvesting systems and enjoys backpacking, swimming, and cycling.
A graduate of Arizona State University, Barbara saw the error of her ways and moved to Tucson after retiring from NASA in 2012. Her love of the desert led her first to become a docent at Tohono Chul, and now with the WMG. She is also an active member of Club Camera Tucson. She has become an advocate for native plants and is eager to support redevelopment of our watershed.
Originally from NH, Ellen moved to Arizona in the late 90’s, starting in the mountain town of Yarnell after years of criss-crossing the country towing a camper. An active sculptor, she finds the Tucson climate ideal for carving stone, her occupation for 42 years. She is a juried member of the NH League of Craftsmen and returns there every spring to update her work in six galleries, and visit her family. With a Master’s degree from Boston University in counseling, she also worked as a professional writer/editor since college days. She is very excited about rainwater harvesting and her newly-dug basins that feed her passion for gardening.
Catherine Land Evilsizor
Catherine recently retired from her work administering a federal grant program at the Arizona Department of Education, working with K-12 schools throughout Arizona. She retired in order to work on addressing the climate emergency. Water issues have been her priority for some time, so she is happy to help out at Watershed Management- believing it to be one of the most effective and exciting organizations locally working on water and related issues. She and many of her neighbors and friends actively and passively harvest rainwater, have homes and cars/bicycles powered with electricity and grow native and low water use plants on the lands they steward.
José was born and raised in San Luis Potosí,Mexico and has been living in Tucson, Arizona since 1994. In México, José obtained his Bachelor's degree in Agronomy from the University of Autonoma de Chapingo, specializing in irrigation systems. José received his Master's of Science degree from the Colegio de Postgraduados in water resources. He has also received several certifications in topics such as runoff management, irrigation units, and system analysis. For the past 24 years José has been working for the State of Arizona implementing and supporting environmental projects along the Arizona/Sonora border. José was directly involved in water harvesting, green infrastructure, air quality studies, composting toilets, and wastewater related issues. Just recently, he installed a small water harvesting system and small basin on his property with many similar projects on the horizon.
José enjoys hiking, working outdoors, playing guitar, painting, writing, and gardening. Although the Tucson region is drastically different from where he was born and raised, José has developed a deep relationship with the desert and enjoys the desert beauty, especially its sunrise and sunset. To enjoy the desert beauty he walks, runs, or quietly takes in the landscape around him. José is happy to join the Docent program at WMG and hopes to learn new things from others while making a positive impact on the community.
Originally from East Tennessee, Rachel moved to Tucson to attend UA and fell in love with the Sonoran Desert. She is a social worker in mental health and is especially interested in how environmental stewardship can enormously improve our individual and community wellbeing. In her free time Rachel enjoys hiking, fiber arts, coffee, and hanging with her 2 rescue dogs.