MARINE ANIMAL RESPONSE POLICIES, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, WAIVERS,
About Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR) and Important Definitions
Purpose - Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR) is
the field operations arm of Hawaii Marine Mammal Alliance Inc., a Hawaii
nonprofit corporation with IRS 501(c)(3) designation. As a volunteer or
intern your activity and support plays an important role in the preservation,
recovery and stewardship of protected marine animals in Hawaii.
Purpose of These Policies and Important Definitions - For
us to be successful in our mission, it’s vital that volunteers and interns
perform their duties with the same levels of professionalism, reliability,
respect and adherence to policies as employees. We are providing these
policies to clearly document expectations and acceptable behaviors. You
aren’t an employee of HMAR but are expected to act according to policies just
the same as employees. We may change these policies when needed and will
notify you when that occurs. Volunteers and interns are responsible for
adhering to the most current policies.
or Interns - “Volunteers” or “Interns” are
people who, without compensation or an expectation of compensation, perform a
task under HMAR’s direction, on our behalf, and according to our
policies. As such, when performing HMAR activity, volunteers and interns
are accorded the liability and other protections contained in the Federal
Volunteer Act as well as other insurance coverage provided by HMAR to its
volunteers and interns. Volunteers and interns must have registered with
HMAR’s online registration system, shall have agreed to abide by HMAR’s
policies and procedures and shall have agreed to HMAR’s Acknowledgements,
Waivers, Release and Indemnification. Volunteers and interns are not HMAR
Information - “HMAR Information” includes
field observation information, animal information, data, documents, photos,
videos, public reports of animal sightings, emails and text messages generated
or other HMAR activity-related information that is provided by HMAR to
volunteers, staff or interns; or that which is submitted by volunteers, staff
or interns to HMAR.
Information – “Confidential Information”
includes, but isn’t limited to, “HMAR Information” (defined above), HMAR
activity schedule information, information about staff, volunteers or interns
or their activity, information pertaining to third-party agreements, records,
files, forms, policies, procedures, applications, mail lists, passwords,
security codes, correspondence, messages or other information bearing HMAR’s
logos and/or name.
of Volunteers and Interns at HMAR’s Discretion - We have different volunteer and
intern roles, each with different minimum qualifications, training
requirements, activity expectations and physical requirements (to comply with
insurance requirements). HMAR accepts the services performed by
volunteers and interns with the understanding that we may coach, counsel or
terminate volunteers or interns at our sole discretion.
Volunteer and Intern Management Procedures
Record Maintenance - Volunteer and intern
information will be maintained by HMAR. This information may include
address and contact information, training received, activity performed and
other information. If we request information from you please provide it
in a timely manner and let us know of any important changes such as changes in
your contact information, changes in your physical abilities or other changes.
Non-Harassment and Anti-Violence policy - HMAR
does not allow hostility, threats, intimidation, assaults, violent behaviors,
sexual harassment or harassment based on race, religion, national origin or
ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status,
gender, sexual orientation, age or any other basis protected by Federal, state
or local laws. This policy applies to you as well as any person
interacting with you in the course of our operation. If you are aware of any
harassment, hostility, threat, intimidation, assault or violence by, or made
to, any volunteer or intern, please contact a manager immediately. If you
believe you have been unlawfully harassed, let your manager know as soon as
possible. If you aren’t comfortable discussing the situation with your
supervisor, you can submit your complaint to the President of HMAR. All
harassment allegations will be investigated.
Conflicts of Interest - If you have, or
develop, conflicts of interest with our mission or our activities, you should
not serve as a volunteer or intern for HMAR.
Representation of HMAR, Dissemination of Information and Social Media
- Please communicate HMAR Information, photos, videos or other
content obtained by you internally within HMAR using the then most current
policies and practices. If any HMAR Information, photos, videos or other
content is to be posted to social media sites, or distributed to other parties
where posting to social media could occur, volunteers and interns shall follow
HMAR’s Social Media Policies. If you are not sure whether a particular
instance of sending or posting content would violate HMAR’s Social Media Policies,
it is best not to send or post the material and to consult with an HMAR
addition, please do not:
public statements or statements to the press while performing duties for HMAR.
public statements or statements to the press at any time which appear to
to create a coalition on behalf of HMAR with other organizations.
individuals, groups, organizations, or government bodies or representatives on
behalf of HMAR.
agreements involving any contractual or financial obligations on behalf of
the HMAR name to organize meetings, gatherings or social events without prior
notification and approval from the appropriate HMAR manager.
funds using HMAR’s name unless approved by the appropriate HMAR manager.
or use any Confidential Information (defined above) without written consent
from HMAR management.
Photography and Videography - The
collection of photos, videos and other information associated with marine
animal activity are an important part of volunteer and intern activity and help
contribute to important research. Photos, videos and other information
you submit to HMAR will be received with the understanding that these
items are provided with a non-exclusive, world-wide, perpetual and
irrevocable right and license to copy, distribute and display any photos and
videos provided to us in whole or in part. HMAR has the right to incorporate
the photos and videos, in whole or in part, into other works (“Derivative
Works”) for HMAR’s use. Volunteers and interns acknowledge that the photos and
videos submitted to HMAR may be altered, excerpted and/or combined with other
materials to the benefit of the HMAR mission and objectives. Volunteers and
interns acknowledge that HMAR may or may not provide credit on such photos and
videos as the medium may allow, and agree to provide images that are free of
watermark, copyright symbols and claim of credit. Volunteers and interns
shall abide by HMAR's Social Media Policies when posting or publishing
information, photos, videos or other content to social media sites, or when
sharing this information or content with others individuals where posting to
social media sites could occur.
Confidentiality - You are responsible
for maintaining confidentiality of all HMAR Information and other Confidential Information
you are exposed to by personal observation, or that is provided to you.
This information is the sole property of HMAR and may not be disseminated
without the written approval of HMAR management.
Dress Code - HMAR is a professional organization
that deals with the public on a daily basis. So our dress code policies
are important to ensure the maximum impact and success of our activities.
Your dress, behaviors and attitudes are a direct reflection on our organization
and our cause.
on duty in field response assignments, you must wear a HMAR field response
shirt or other HMAR-approved apparel. This is critical to ensure we
maximize opportunities for public engagement and interaction, to build
awareness and recognition of our organization, and so that law enforcement or
other personnel may easily identify you.
on duty in other public-facing assignments (such as school education activity)
you will wear the professional attire appropriate for the activity.
assigned to a role involving potential direct contact with animals, additional
dress code requirements may apply.
Drugs, Alcohol and Weapons Policy - HMAR
volunteers are reminded that they must comply with all state and federal laws
regarding use of alcohol, illegal drugs or weapons as defined by Hawaii State
law. Before performing any duties for HMAR, please consider that use of
alcohol, legitimately prescribed or over-the-counter drugs may affect your
reaction times, present a public and personal safety issue, and affects public
perceptions of HMAR, our team and our cause. When in doubt, notify HMAR
so we can assign another volunteer or intern.
Scheduled or Assigned Activity - Please make
every effort to show up and be on time for scheduled or assigned activity.
We recognize that there may be times when being late or absent for an
activity can’t be avoided. In those cases, it’s your responsibility to
contact your manager as soon as possible when you know you will be late or
Additional Specifically Documented Policies and Procedures - In
certain cases, there will be additional policies and procedures covering
specific tasks, operations or activities. Due to the additional detail
that might be needed, these additional policies and procedures will be
distributed separately from this manual. These additional policies and
procedures must be adhered to just as the policies in this manual.
Friends, Relatives and Pets - Friends and
family members 16 years of age or older may accompany volunteers during HMAR
activity so long as those individuals are not performing the tasks specifically
designated for a volunteer, such as animal assessment, animal identification,
engagement and education of members of the public, establishment of seal
resting areas, etc. If family members or friends wish to perform tasks
specifically designated for a volunteer, they should be registered with HMAR
and shall have completed appropriate training for the specific volunteer
activity performed. Friends and family members, who are not registered,
trained and accepted HMAR volunteer members are not covered under the Federal
Volunteer Act nor any insurance coverage which may be provided by HMAR. Pets are
never allowed during HMAR activity. NOTE: Friends and family
members may not accompany interns during HMAR activity.
Ending of Volunteer or Intern Role - If
your association with HMAR ends, you are required to return any HMAR property
(HMAR-provided supplies, printed materials, etc.) that is in your possession
within 48 hours of the notice of termination.
Volunteer and Intern Recruitment and Placement
Recruitment of Minors or Court Appointed Community Service Requirements
- Due to HMAR insurance requirements we cannot accept volunteers
under the age of 18 unless those individuals are 16 years of age or older and
are accompanied by a parent or guardian during all HMAR activity. HMAR
cannot accept interns under the age of 18. HMAR is also not able to
accept volunteers or interns needing to fulfill court appointed community
Volunteer and Intern Screening, Acceptance and Appointment - HMAR
may employ background and driver’s record screening prior to acceptance as a
volunteer or intern. Costs of screening will be paid by HMAR.
Service with HMAR will begin when you receive a written, email or text
notification from an HMAR manager. You should not carry out the tasks of
any position until you have been accepted, and trained for the position.
Accident or injury - Any injury to
yourself should be reported immediately to the applicable supervisor. If
requested by HMAR, the volunteer or intern needs to complete an incident
Training, Supervision and Ending of Relationship
Orientation and Guidelines - All volunteers and
interns will attend a general orientation covering the mission, purpose and
work of HMAR. Orientations will occur prior to volunteer or intern field
training and assignment. All volunteers and interns must complete applicable
release and policy acknowledgment forms.
Lines of Communication - You should have a
complete understanding of your work assignments to ensure success. To
keep the lines of communication open, and to impart important information, you
are expected to read HMAR newsletters, e-mails, online postings and to attend
HMAR training sessions. HMAR management must approve any communication
that uses the HMAR name, or suggests that the sender is acting on behalf of
HMAR. Lines of communication should operate in both directions and should
exist both formally and informally. You are encouraged to discuss any concerns
related to your position with HMAR management.
Ending of Relationship - You are under no
contractual obligation to continue your service at HMAR. It is requested
that if you intend to leave, you should provide advance notice of departure and
the reason to your manager. In the event that you leave your position,
whether voluntarily or involuntarily, or are reassigned to a new position, it
will be the responsibility of HMAR management, not the volunteer, to
communicate these changes to other HMAR volunteers, interns and staff.
Expenses, HMAR Property and Materials
Reimbursement of Expenses - You may be eligible
for reimbursement of reasonable predetermined personal expenses incurred while
conducting activities for HMAR. Your manager must provide prior approval for
any reimbursement before any money has been expended. Upon request, you
may be provided with an annual report of the estimated mileage driven in the
course of your activity for HMAR. Certain mileage related expenses
reported by HMAR may be deductible as a charitable contribution but you should
consult a tax professional. It is vital that you adhere to the policies
and procedures for reporting your activity.
2. Access to HMAR
Property and Materials - If approved by your
manager, you may have access to HMAR materials and property to be used in
the course of your duties. These materials and property will only be used
when directly required for HMAR purposes.
VI. Social Media
The Hawaii Marine
Animal Response (HMAR) Social Media policy governs the publication of material
or content (i.e. written words, photos, videos, etc.) on social media sites by
volunteers, interns and staff of HMAR. This policy also governs the
distribution of material or content to third parties who may post the material
or content to social media sites. For the purposes of this policy, Social
Media is defined as any communication forum for online publication and
commentary, including social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram,
Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, blogs, wiki's, forums and similar sites.
Social media has
become one of the most dominant forms of communication on earth. Recognizing
this, non-profit organizations are adopting the use of social media as an
important way to communicate with the public, while at the same time are
increasingly finding it necessary to put policies in place to protect the
organization, its volunteers, interns and staff. Non-profits are also
putting policies in place to ensure that the use of social media does not
negatively impact the organization’s mission, goals and objectives in which it
is engaged. Especially for organizations that work with protected
species, the responsibilities that accompany the use of social media are
The posting of
material on social media, or the sending or communicating of material to
parties who then post such items or information to social media, carries
similar obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary; therefore,
it is important to have an organizational policy that is understood and
followed by all HMAR volunteers, interns and staff. HMAR has developed
this policy by reviewing the policies and practices of other organizations that
perform daily work with marine and other protected species and has been
designed to be as liberal, or more liberal, than the practices of these similar
organizations. If you are unsure of how this policy applies to material
you wish to post or distribute, please contact an HMAR staff member for
clarification before you post or distribute any content.
NOTE: This social
media policy does not apply to information you send directly to HMAR via email
or mobile/web applications such as sighting reports, email narratives or
supplemental photos and other content that is used by HMAR or NOAA in the
course of our work.
HMAR will manage
its own public and private social media sites as well as curated and moderated
blogs. “Official” HMAR content (i.e. information published on behalf of
HMAR), will only be posted by specifically approved HMAR staff members, interns
It is important
that HMAR manages its own social media feeds for a variety of reasons,
posted content is curated, moderated, accurate and appropriate.
contributors are identified and to prohibit anonymous postings.
HMAR’s key organizational messages and its perspectives regarding the work we
do are communicated so as to increase awareness of HMAR and our cause.
As a volunteer,
intern or staff member of HMAR, you are free to post material to HMAR-managed
sites subject to the general and specific limitations listed below.
You are also free
to post material to sites NOT managed by HMAR, and to distribute material
or communicate information to third parties where it may be subsequently posted
to social media sites, but your activity should be guided by the general and
specific limitations listed below. Please read and ensure you
understand the specific limitations below before posting any material to social
media sites, or before distributing material to third parties who may post your
material to social media sites.
1. Your opinion
- As a volunteer or staff member of HMAR, you are not
authorized to speak on behalf of HMAR or for our partners (such as government
agencies) unless specifically authorized by HMAR in writing. If you are
going to use social media to voice your thoughts, please make sure your words
do not imply you are communicating HMAR’s views or you are authorized to speak
2. Don't post
sensitive information - It's perfectly
acceptable to talk about your HMAR activity and to have a dialog with the
community, but it's not okay to publish confidential (as defined in HMAR
policy) or sensitive information, such as animal locations, sighting dates,
animals of concern, volunteer, intern or staff names, photographs of people
(except with appropriate permission), etc. This is particularly important
because of our work with endangered and threatened species, privacy concerns
and the importance of managing appropriate levels and types of potential human
interaction with the animals with which we work.
3. Protect your
own privacy - Be aware your social media interactions
carry privacy considerations and you are responsible for personal information
you may be making public by your use of social media.
4. Be honest
- Do not post or blog anonymously, using pseudonyms or false
names. Use your real name and be clear who you are. Nothing gains
you notice in social media more than honesty - or dishonesty. Do not say
anything that is dishonest, untrue, or misleading. If you have a vested
interest in something you are discussing, point it out. But also be smart about
protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for
a long time, so consider the content carefully. Be cautious about disclosing
personal details about yourself or others; your activities; your whereabouts on
specific dates and times; and, with whom you may or may not have been with
during these periods.
copyright laws - It is critical that you respect
the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted
material owned by others, including HMAR’s own copyrights and name. You
should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else's work, and always
attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good general
practice to link to others' work rather than reproduce it.
your audience, HMAR and your teammates - The
public in general, and HMAR’s volunteers, interns and staff, reflect a diverse
set of customs, values and points of view. Please don't say anything
contradictory or in conflict with the good work that HMAR’s volunteers, interns
and staff do. Don't be afraid to be yourself, but do so
respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs,
offensive comments, defamatory comments, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but
also proper consideration of privacy and of topics that may be considered
objectionable or inflammatory - such as politics and religion. Use your
best judgment and be sure to make it clear that the views and opinions
expressed are yours alone and do not represent the official views of HMAR or
HMAR’s team members and our partners - When posting
to public social media sites, HMAR’s volunteers, interns and
staff and our partners (such as government agencies) should not be cited or
referenced without their approval. Never identify a HMAR volunteer,
intern, staff member, partner or an associate on public sites by name without
permission. Follow the policies below regarding specific limitations on
posting details of HMAR’s activities, i.e. surveys, sightings, seals of
concern, seal moms and pups, etc. It is acceptable to discuss general
information about our activity.
8. Photos of minors
- If a volunteer, intern or staff member is taking photographs
of minors in the course of an HMAR education or outreach activity, the
volunteer, intern or staff member must ensure that none of the minors involved
has a "No Photo" request on file with the school or associated
organization. The teacher, school principal or other administrator will
know to which minors this should apply. This must be done prior to pictures
being taken and anything is posted to social media.
Controversial Issues - If you see
misrepresentations made about HMAR and our activity in social media, you may point
that out. However, always do so with respect and with the facts. If you
speak about others, make sure what you say is factual and that it does not
disparage that party. Avoid arguments. Don't try to settle scores
or goad others into inflammatory debates. Make sure what you are saying
is factually correct.
10. Be the
first to respond to your own mistakes - If you make
an error, be up front about your mistake and correct it quickly. If you choose
to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone
accuses you of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material
or a defamatory comment about them), deal with it quickly - better to remove it
immediately to lessen the possibility of a legal action.
inappropriate content - When posting to any
sites (including private HMAR sites), do not post anything
inappropriate that would discredit HMAR, its volunteers, interns or staff, if
it found its way into general public release.
etiquette - When posting additional information or
additional images and videos related to a previously posted item, please post
the additional information as a comment or reply to the original post, rather
than starting an entirely new posting. This makes the social media stream
easier to follow and decreases the overall size of the social media stream.
As stated above,
HMAR will designate specific staff members, interns or volunteers to post
“official” HMAR content. This material will be selected and disseminated
based on the HMAR’s internal content posting practices.
If you wish to post
your own material or content to social media sites, or wish to send material to
other parties who may post your content, the following policies apply
based on the type of content being posted or distributed to other parties, and
the location where the content is, or may be, posted.
Please read and
ensure you understand the specific limitations below before posting any
material to social media sites, or before distributing material to third
parties who may post your material to social media sites.
WHERE CONTENT OR INFORMATION IS, OR MAY BE POSTED
HMAR Sites (i.e. private volunteer Facebook site)
HMAR Sites (i.e. HMAR public Facebook page or website)
or photos/videos of animals not otherwise listed below
of location and specific dates may be included
Allowed, 7 days
after sighting; no specific locations or dates should be included
Allowed, 7 days
after sighting; no specific locations or dates should be included
or photos/videos of seal mom and pup pairs
of location and specific dates may be included
weaning; no specific details of location and specific dates should be
weaning; no details of specific location and specific dates should be
or photos/videos of animals of concern or molting animals
(See Note 1
Allowed but use
unless approved by HMAR staff
unless approved by HMAR staff
or photos/videos of “Permitted” activity
(See Note 2
written approval from HMAR
written approval from HMAR
Animals of concern are defined as specific animals that have been designated as
such by HMAR and/or NOAA. HMAR will communicate the designation of an
animal of concern within our private Facebook group page and/or emergency text
Note 2: A
"Permitted" activity is an action conducted by HMAR, NOAA or other
organizations that require a permit under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) or
the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) such as animal tagging, restraint,
boarding, penning, sedation, transport, a directed “take” or other activity
that would constitute a “take” as defined in the ESA or MMPA.
Acknowledgements, Waivers, Release and Indemnification
I am at least 18 years old. If I am less than 18 years of
age, I am 16 years of age or older and I agree to be accompanied by a parent or
guardian on volunteer activity.
I agree to be bound by all applicable federal and state laws
I understand that I am not an employee of HMAR, I am acting
in a volunteer or intern role and either I, or HMAR, may end my participation
with HMAR at any time, with or without cause and with or without notice.
I understand that I do not have any authority to enforce any
laws or regulations.
I have no physical or mental incapacity that would limit my
ability to participate as a volunteer or intern.
I understand that I may choose not to participate in any
activity that I cannot or do not want to perform.
I agree that HMAR has taken reasonable steps to provide
training and supervisory oversight so I can enjoy activities for which I may
not be skilled, I understand that no activity is without risk. Certain
risks cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique character of these
activities. The same elements that contribute to the unique character of
these activities can be causes of loss or damage to my personal property, or
accidental injury, illness, or in extreme cases, permanent trauma or death.
I understand that these risks include, but are not limited
to; wild animal bites and injuries, infectious and parasitic diseases, trips,
falls, falling objects, tool injuries, toxic chemical exposure, accidents in
bodies of water, motor vehicle or vessel mishaps. I understand the
description of these risks is not complete and that other unknown or
unanticipated risks may occur. I agree to assume responsibility for the
risks identified herein and those risks not specifically identified.
While the Federal Volunteer Act may provide limited legal
protections and HMAR may provide certain additional supplemental medical
insurance coverage while I am conducting official HMAR volunteer or intern
activity, I certify that I am still responsible for obtaining whatever other
liability and/or medical insurance that is prudent or is legally required to cover accidents, injury, death, or damage that I may cause or suffer while
participating as a volunteer or intern.
I certify that I am fully capable of performing the
activities in which I am participating. Therefore, on behalf of myself,
my related entities, children, parents, heirs, assigns, personal
representatives and estate, do voluntarily waive and release, to relinquish, to
hold harmless, to indemnify and to forever discharge HMAR (Hawaii Marine Mammal
Alliance Inc.) and all of its related entities, agents, directors, advisors,
officers, employees and representatives (collectively, "HMAR") from
any and all claims or causes of action against HMAR related to or arising from
my involvement with HMAR and hereby fully and irrevocably waive any claim
against HMAR, and assume full responsibility for myself for bodily injury,
death and loss of personal property and expenses thereof as a result of those
inherent risks and dangers of participating in these activities.
I understand that as a volunteer or intern, I will not
receive any pay or benefits such as medical insurance or worker’s compensation
other than the additional volunteer medical coverage described above which may
I understand that due to HMAR insurance requirements,
certain activities may require me to provide a copy of my drivers license,
proof of automobile insurance and to authorize HMAR to obtain background
information paid for by HMAR. I understand that any information obtained
will remain confidential and will be used only in regard to determining my
qualifications to perform specific HMAR activity.
I agree to attend any required training or meetings.
Required training sessions for volunteers shall not exceed 6 events per year.
I consent to receive medical treatment, including first aid
and emergency transport, in the event of any injury or accident.
I understand and agree to comply with all HMAR policies.
I acknowledge I have read, understand and agree
to be bound by the terms of this document and all HMAR policies and
procedures. I agree that I am doing so freely and voluntarily, without
any inducement or assurances of any kind.
YOU ACCEPT THE ABOVE ITEMS AND SUBMIT YOUR REGISTRATION, YOU WILL BE SENT A
COPY OF THESE ITEMS TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU HAVE ENTERED. YOUR REGISTRATION IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL
YOU SIGN AND RETURN THE REGISTRATION EMAIL TO HAWAII MARINE ANIMAL RESPONSE.