UC California Naturalist was established in 2012 and became an official UC ANR special program in 2014. Training sessions are held throughout the state to foster a network of nature lovers to promote stewardship of California's natural resources through education and service. As of Sept. 30, 2014, more than 18,000 hours of service had been recorded by 650 certified naturalists.
The Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve and the Sierra Foothill Conservancy in Fresno are offering the first California Naturalist training programs in the San Joaquin Valley. UC Merced's Yosemite Institute will hold its second California Naturalist training in the fall in Yosemite National Park.
The article noted that UC ANR provided a $7,500 grant to fund scholarships for people who need help covering tuition to attend the Vernal Pools, Yosemite Institute or Sierra Foothill Conservancy training programs.
The press release centered on the fact that Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas provided a $103,000 gift that will permit UC Merced to hire two part-time coordinators for the Valley courses, and purchase equipment like field notebooks, binoculars and supplies.
This story was picked up by the Sierra Sun Times.