Docent Program

Join a group of individuals who are helping to make possible the best in science education and enjoyment. The UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center has initiated a volunteer Docent Program in order to connect the talents of community volunteers to the needs of visitors and students.
After completing your docent training program, you will be able to select which subject areas and types of responsibilities you will want to take on. The range of activities available to docents is varied. Examples of opportunities include:

  • Assist visitors with hands-on science activities.
  • Be available to explain to visitors the various exhibits.
  • Provide tours of the Tahoe Science Center, Incline Village.
  • Provide tours of the Eriksson Education Center, Tahoe City.
  • Provide green building tours of the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, Incline Village.
  • Assist in outreach programs for schools and community events.
  • Work in the Docent Office. Help with filing, typing, mailings, phone and e-mail correspondence.

We currently attract thousands of visitors, locals and tourists to the UC Davis Thomas J. Long Foundation Education Center every year. Our volunteer docents help visitors to have an entertaining, educational experience through which they will learn about Lake Tahoe and environmental problems affecting it. Our program offers docents unlimited opportunities for enrichment, public outreach, and personal satisfaction.

New Docent Training

The Docent Training Program for both the Tahoe Science Center (Incline Village) and the Eriksson Education Center (Tahoe City) is held annually in the spring. The 2017 Docent Training will be held on June 15, 19, 20, and 24. The training program in environmental science education and leadership provides new docents with all the instruction they will need to help the public explore our science education centers.

New volunteers can also join the program by meeting with our Docent Program Coordinator, reading the Docent Manual and shadowing tours until they are comfortable hosting tours.

For more information about the docent program, please contact Docent Program Coordinator Alison Toy at (775) 881-7566, or e-mail

Docent Training Program

  • 2017 Docent Training Flyer
  • 2017 Docent Training Agenda 
    • Part 1: Program Overview, Lake Tahoe 101, and and Geology of the Tahoe Basin
    • Part 2: Educational Exhibits 
    • Part 3: Forest Health, Lake Tahoe Research, and Historical Stories of Lake Tahoe 
    • Part 4: Docent Boat Ride on the UC Davis Research Vessel John LeConte
    • Part 5: Aquatic Food Web, Natives and Non-Native Species, Eriksson Education Center, Historic Hatchery Background, Citizen Science, and Demonstration Garden
    • Part 6: Shadow Tours with Existing Docents

Docent Training Videos

Videos from this past docent training our now posted on UCTV use the following links to view videos.

"Lake of the Sky - The Story of Lake Tahoe 2014"    

"Research and Monitoring at Lake Tahoe/Food Web Research at Lake Tahoe" 

"Everything You Water to Know About Lake Tahoe But Were Afraid to Ask 2014" 

"Geology and Glacial History of the Lake Tahoe Basin"  

"Lake Tahoe and the World Wide Water Crisis"

Docent Manual

The Docent Manual was recently updated (version 5, June 2013) and contains the following chapters:

Docents are not expected to memorize the content of the Docent Manual, but rather utilize this as a resource to familiarize themselves with the information presented at the science education center.