- Author: Alison L Kent
The California Naturalist Program is a University of California statewide certificate program started at Hopland Research and Extension Center that delivers place-based education in the natural history of California. Aspiring Naturalists enroll in a 40+-hour course with a partner organization. Each course combines classroom and field experience in science, problem-solving, stewardship, communication training and community service.
An instructor trianing workshop was held at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, April 29-30, drawing a total of 30 participants from 17 state-wide organizations ranging from as far north as Plumas county and as far south as Los Angeles county. Interested instructors learned about the Naturalist class curriculum; outreach and marketing; the partnership model for the program; implementing citizen science, recording using analog and digital tools such as traditional field journaling methods and iNaturalist, adult learning, and how to facilitate cooperative conservation.
The UC California Naturalist Program will hold its inaugural statewide conference, October 17-19, 2014 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds. This will be the first opportunity for the 550+ graduates of the program to meet each other and build a community of environmental stewards, while attending advanced trainings and talks by nationally recognized leaders in their field. This conference is designed for and by the California Naturalist community, but everyone is welcome to attend.
Photos: Above: Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center's Jeannette Warnert instructs participants in the use of the iNaturalist app; below: California Naturalist Community Education Specialist Brook Gamble leads a breakout session on Adult Learning during the April field trip to the Sierra Foothill Conservancy's McKenzie Preserve.