The UC California Naturalist program just successfully completed our first UC Agriculture & Natural Resources five-year statewide program review. The final report recognized our early program accomplishments at developing a new education and service program, creating a network of more than 47 statewide partner institutions, and training over 2,600 certified California Naturalists who have contributed over 140,000 hours of volunteer service (as of June 2018) – promoting the stewardship of California's natural resources. The year-long process was overseen by a committee who solicited input, reported on program performance, and made informed recommendations for us to consider including more post-course community engagement. Many thanks to California Naturalists, instructors, and partner organizations that shared feedback that led to a positive review and constructive next steps. Thank you for your contributions and we look forward to the next five years!
We asked California Naturalists what it means to be a Naturalist. To Jen, being a Naturalist means “lifelong learning, appreciating and loving, and sharing that love and appreciation with others.” Sharing comes in many forms. We are full of gratitude for our CalNat community that shares their knowledge, time, and passion to our classrooms, communities, and wild places. Thank you. Like a ripple in a pond, every effort we make to give back expands the reach of this UC Agriculture & Natural Resources program in every direction.
California Naturalist Program Regional Rendezvous
Learn more about Point Reyes National Seashore in ways the casual visitor cannot, exploring in areas less traveled and alongside some of the California's most knowledgeable naturalists. The upcoming CalNat Course with Point Reyes National Seashore Association is open for registration. Saturdays 9:00am to 5:00pm from September 22-October 20th.
Some interesting ways biologists are tapping into what we know about animal behavior to solve modern day conservation problems. Read about it here in Scientific American.
"Thoth was an ancient Egyptian deity with the head of an ibis, and part of his job was to maintain the universe. In the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument region, we have ibises, specifically White-Faced Ibises (Plegadis chihi), and even though they probably don't maintain the universe, they do a good job of maintaining their little corners of the world." Click here for the latest article from CalNat Tuleyome instructor Mary K. "Mare" Hanson - Naturalist in the Red Bluff Daily News. Follow Mary's FB pageorblog for her stellar natural history observations and photos!
Congratulations to the graduates of Catalina Island Conservancy's first California Naturalist course! The spring course looked to create highly trained guides, volunteers, docents and most importantly, stewards, to spread the word of not only how special Catalina Island is, but how important all islands are. Capstone projects included a children's book on the island fox, a library catalog enhancement for their Nature Center, and more. Welcome CA Naturalists!
Effie Yeaw Nature Center has just announced dates for their fall course! Claim your spot at one of our most popular courses, which starts September 17. The course will prepare you to be an advocate for California's natural wonders, with an emphasis on the greater Sacramento area. Located on the edge of a 100 acre nature preserve along the American River, a short hike from the classroom and you'll discover what it means to be a naturalist. Learn more and find the link to register here.
Water movement patterns create microhabitats in creeks. The presence of riffles, pools, or cascades determine which types of aquatic invertebrates can populate a stream reach, according to new research by UC Santa Barbara. Read about it here.
Roseville residents, register by August 7 for the Valley Foothill Watershed Collaborative course and save $25! 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 Placer County and the Foothills, focusing on the American River Basin Watershed. Register here: https://bit.ly/2mcln2I.
The Living with Fire May 2018 symposium presentations are available on the California Fire Science Consortium YouTube channel. Developed for anybody interested in the intersection of human communities and fire, the symposium brought together dozens of experts in fire ecology and management, community planning, fire safety and preparedness, and global change- many are UC colleagues andCalNat partner organizations.
A take on the importance of studying natural history, featured in our Mount Diablo State Park/ Lindsay Wildlife Experience course's required reading, argues, "'A naturalist is the person who is inexhaustibly fascinated by biological diversity and who does not view organisms merely as models, or vehicles for theory, but rather as the thing itself that excites our admiration and our desire for knowledge, understanding, and preservation,' writes David Schmidley. That is who I am. And I'm sure I'm not alone. But natural history will dwindle -- and humanity will suffer accordingly -- unless society prioritizes natural history research and education, and we who feel this way share our passion with others." Read the article here.
For those of us looking to support those affected by fire in California, Maryam Kia-Keating, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at UC Santa Barbara and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, says, "...recovery takes time and has many phases. It can be different for different people who experienced the same disaster, and it is important not to judge one person's experiences and reactions by another's." Read more here.
UC Santa Barbara and Aquarium of the Pacific launched a new citizen science program, Spotting Giant Sea Bass, to improve understanding and stewardship of the endangered giant sea bass, the largest bony coastal fish in California. They're an apex predator in kelp forests and likely help shape how the ecosystem functions. The program will provide marine biologists with increased and better data on the fish, which will help answer critical research questions. Citizen scientists upload images of the fish to the program's website. Each individual giant sea bass has a unique spot pattern. Researchers confirm a match to an existing individual in their database or it may be a new addition. More here.
Congratulations to our partner, Tuleyome, for receiving a grant from the Sacramento Zoo Conservation Fund to support projects in their TWO #CalNat courses next year! Early bird pricing is available through September 1st. Learn more about their course at http://calnat.ucanr.edu/Take_a_class/Tuleyome/