This 9-week UC certified course explores our local ecology, engages you in citizen science, and allows you to share your knowledge with others. The 40-hour course combines a science curriculum with guest lecturers, field trips, and project-based learning to explore the unique ecology and natural history of the Inner Coastal Range of Sonoma and Napa.
If you enjoy exploring and learning about our local ecology, engaging in citizen science, and sharing your knowledge with others, this program is for you!
Here is a short introductory video on the statewide California Naturalist program: https://youtu.be/U_9N8FZRWxg
Our regional 40+ hour course combines a science curriculum with guest lecturers, field trips, and project-based learning to explore the unique ecology and natural history of the Inner Coastal Range of Sonoma and Napa. Local guest experts will attend classroom sessions and field trips utilizing the outdoor learning environment of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. The Spring 2021 course will emphasize the impact of the 2017 Nunns fire and the 2020 Glass Fires on our Sonoma Valley parks. Speakers include State Park and Sonoma Ecology Center scientists and staff, Retired Sr. Archeologist Breck Parkman, Renowned Bioacoustics expert Bernie Krause and famous retired Marin Open Space lead Naturalist, David Herlocker.
This year we will be inviting a select group of participants interested in doing more field work to join our research-intensive program called NEST. NEST is a community science program that will require additional weekly meetings and field work with our Principal Investigator, Daniel Levitis, Ph.D. If you are interested in learning more about the program or would like to apply to the program IN ADDITION to California Naturalist Program, please visit our website at: https://sonomaecologycenter.org/nest/
Meeting Days & Times: Wednesday evenings from March 17-May 12, 6-8:30 pm over virtual zoom sessions.
We are planning to hold 3-4 Saturday field trips held on at various locations around Sonoma Valley including the Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve. All field trips run from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm with the exception of our Dawn Chorus recording (5:00 am-7:00 am) on May 8 with optional overnight included on the evening prior(May 7). NOTE at this time health orders do not allow for any in-person meetings, it is our hope that by the start of the program we will be allowed to meet in small, socially distant outdoor groups again. We will continue to monitor health orders and provide in-person sessions that fit the guidelines set at the start of the course.
Fee: $449 registration
Need-based scholarships are available. Students must purchase The California Naturalist Handbook (2013, UC Press).
Course Benefits Include:
Classroom sessions & hands-on field trips with local expert lecturers, field biologists, and a UC curriculum
UC California Naturalist Certificate awarded upon completion of course requirements
Optional 4 UC academic credits for an additional fee
Future discounts on unique training opportunities
Opportunities to develop your CV and skillset
Lifetime membership to a statewide network of institutions & certified UC California Naturalists
For more information contact Lead instructor Tony Passantino at Tony@sonomaecologycenter.org
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.