Field Zoology for Naturalists

  • February 21 - April 16, 2023
  • Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

    2605 Adobe Canyon Road
    Kenwood, California 95452
Ticket Price $100.00-$499.00 This event is now over


Location: Multiple Locations around Sonoma County (including Sugarloaf Ridge State Park).

Sonoma County is full of amazing wildlife discoveries for those that know how to make them. From the Mountain Lions of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, the shorebirds of Bodega Bay, tiny plankton, dragonflies, to big old bears, thousands of species of wild animals call Sonoma County home.

In this course, students will learn how to find, document, and observe a wide variety of our native animals through a series of field trips to natural areas. Emphasis will be on learning field methods that students can employ with only low-cost equipment, and on recognizing the major groups of animals and how to photograph them. We’ll learn some ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation biology along the way, but our focus will be on the field methods. Scholarships are available to reduce costs for those in need of financial assistance, and carpools can be arranged for those needing transportation.

Instructor: Dr. Dan Levitis studied zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught zoology, ecology, evolutionary biology, demography, and conservation biology at the university level. For Sonoma Ecology Center he has previously taught New Ecological Scientist Training, California Naturalist Training, and Climate Stewardship, as well as leading programs to document the biodiversity of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and the Sonoma Developmental Center. He is Community Science Coordinator for Sonoma Ecology Center.

We have reached our capacity for scholarships. Please contact Tony at for questions.

Preliminary Topics and Locations List:

Sundays 10:00 am-2:00 pm unless otherwise noted*

Week 1:  Bodega Bay: Introductions, Shorebirds and tide pools (7:00-11:00 am)*

Week 2: Trione-Anadell State Park: Conduct in the field and Amphibians

Week 3: Sugarloaf Ridge State Park: Camera Trapping, and Digital Tools

Week 3: Sugarloaf Ridge State Park: Creek Life, Camera Trapping Results

Week 4: Jack London State Park: Animal Behavior

Week 5: TBD: Parasites in the wild

Week 6: TBD: Cover objects and soil dwellers

Week 7: TBD: Mammal Scat, Tracks, and Sign

Week 8: Sonoma Developmental Center: Insect netting, pollinators, and social

Date & Time

Feb 21, 2023 10:00 PM - Apr 16, 2023 10:00 AM

Venue Details

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

2605 Adobe Canyon Road
Kenwood, California 95452 Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Events Sonoma Ecology Center

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Sonoma Ecology Center works to address challenges related to water supply and quality, open space, rural character, biodiversity, energy, climate change, and a better quality of life for all residents.

Since 1990, we’ve worked to increase appreciation and stewardship of Sonoma Valley’s natural heritage and create measurable benefits in areas of land, water, climate change, and biodiversity.


We envision a future where people, land, water, and wildlife thrive.


Our mission is to work with our community to identify and lead actions that achieve and sustain ecological health in Sonoma Valley.

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