Docent Program

Do you love Lake Tahoe? Join a group of individuals who are helping to provide the best in science education and foster stewardship throughout the Tahoe Basin. The UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center coordinates a volunteer docent program to connect the talents of community volunteers to the needs and interests of visitors and students.
After completing your docent training program, you will be able to select subject areas and responsibilities. The range of activities available to docents is varied. Examples of opportunities include:

  • Assist visitors with hands-on science activities
  • Be available to explain the science center exhibits to visitors
  • 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 i.e. filing, typing, mailings, phone and e-mail correspondence

We currently attract thousands of visitors, locals, and tourists to the UC Davis Tahoe Science Center every year. Our volunteer docents help visitors 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. This training program in environmental 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 6, June 2017) 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.