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Distance Learning Resources

2020 Tuleyome California Naturalist Graduation
2020 Tuleyome California Naturalist Graduation
Most people don't automatically seek on-line resources when want to deepen their naturalist practice and knowledge. However, increasingly many of the tools of modern naturalists are online, like iNaturalist. In response to recent "shelter in place" orders and an increasing demand for online and hybrid delivery courses in general, we are curating a list of our favorite online resources for quality California-focused natural history education.

• Online Natural History Content

• Free Distance Delivery Tools


Online Content

We have tried to choose resources across multiple topical interests and types, in-line with California Naturalist curriculum. Most are either explicitly teacher or adult-focused, or can be adapted to an adult audience. This list is growing and is by no means exhaustive. It is sorted by subject. 

Name Subject Type
California Native Grasslands Association Curriculum botany video and worksheets
California Native Plant Society Botanical Activities for Kids botany lesson plans
California Native Plant Society native plant information & resources botany multiple
California Native Plant Society Word Puzzles botany games, worksheets
UC Jepson Herbarium YouTube botany videos
UC Master Gardener Program botany, gardening multiple
Cal-Adapt climate change multiple
NNOCCI National Network for Ocean & Climate Change Interpretation climate change training, webinars, worksheets
iNaturalist community science participate in IDing flora/fauna
Zooniverse community science participate in research
Cornell Lab of Ornithology community science, wildlife participate in research
Environmental Film Festival 2020 current events/global issues videos
SPLASH vernal pool video ecology videos
UC California Naturalist Bioregional Publications ecology publications
UC California Naturalist YouTube ecology, entomology, special events videos
California State Parks- explore resources ecology, history multiple
BugGuide entomology insect ID, information
UC Integrated Pest Management entomology insect ID, research
BEETLES (UC Lawrence Hall of Science) environmental ed lesson plans
Cal Academy of Sciences lesson plans environmental ed lesson plans
Catalina Island Conservancy Learn from Home environmental ed activities
Explore.org Webcams environmental ed webcam
Natural History Museum of LA County Teacher Resources environmental ed lesson plans
NOAA Online Resources environmental ed videos, activitites
NOAA Science on a Sphere environmental ed videos, plans, activitites
PORTS Home Learning (California State Parks) environmental ed webcam
Project Learning Tree activities for families environmental ed lesson plans
UC Lawrence Hall of Science out-of-school educator resources environmental ed multiple
NOAA SkiJinks environmental ed, weather videos, activities
Save the Redwoods forests videos, lesson plans, information
UC ANR Forest Research & Outreach forests publications, videos
Climate Change Resource Center- US Forest Service forests, climate change information, tools, publications
Aquarium of the Pacific marine ecology webcam resource kits
USC Sea Grant marine ecology, fisheries curriculum, videos, information
California Coastal Commission marine, coastal ecology videos
GIS StoryMaps Archive multiple information tours
Smithsoniam Museum of Natural History multiple virtual tours
Smithsonian Open Access multiple videos, images
UC ANR YouTube multiple videos
UC California Naturalist meeting presentation archives multiple videos, PDFs
CNPS Nature Journaling Curriculum nature journaling lesson plans
How to Teach Nature Journaling nature journaling online PDF/Pre-order Book
John Muir Laws Nature Journaling YouTube nature journaling lesson plans
UC ANR Rangeland Management rangeland management publications
California Institute for Water Resources water publications, current research blog
Project Wet water lesson plans, publications
California Fire Science Consortium wildfire, fire ecology research, publications
Audubon North American Bird Guide wildlife bird ID, information
Audubon Starr Ranch Barn Owls wildlife webcam
California Academy of Sciences Webcams- Farallones, aquarium, penguins wildlife webcam
California Condors wildlife webcam
California Herps wildlife herpetofauna ID, information
Channel Islands Bald Eagles wildlife webcam
Channel Islands Kelp Forest wildlife webcam
Exploring Conservation Training- National Geographic Society wildlife free training
Monterey Bay Aquarium wildlife webcam
The Hummingbird Trees wildlife webcam

Free Distance Delivery Tools

In an education environment with increasing demands for online delivery, there are many options for instructors. These are a few of the free tools that UC California Naturalist instructors and partners recommend.

Tool Type What it does Tech Needed by Instructor Tech needed by Student Notes
Ecological Society of America guide
How to design online curriculum, ecology curriculum materials
computer n/a Many tips and links for transitioning a field course to distance learning.
UC Davis- Teaching Virtually guide How to design online curriculum computer n/a Many technologies are specific to the Davis Campus/Faculty, but find universal gems on the Teach tab, under Planning for Remote Instruction
Flipgrid app/website video conversations and responses. free, kind of like a conversational pinterest for instructor resources: curate lists/video content computer, google or microsoft account computer or smartphone California State Parks have used this successfully- find their content by searching "California State Park" in the top "disco menu" when you log in (free).
Flipgrid- how to lesson plan & deliver youtube help how to lesson plan & teach remotely with flipgrid computer n/a This is a great, free resource but it might have a steep learning curve for individuals that aren't as tech saavy.
Flipgrid- learn the basics youtube help learn the basics- flipgrid help computer n/a  
Google Hangouts video conferencing virtual classroom videoconferencing gmail account, computer, web cam and mic (if not integrated into computer already) gmail account, computer The "meet" premium version is free until July. The "regular" version connects up to 25 via video or 150 non-video.
Zoom Videoconferencing video conferencing virtual classroom videoconferencing computer, web cam and mic (if not integrated into computer already) idealy a computer and webcam, but at the least a telephone that can make a long distance call CalNat staff have used this extensively internally.
Zoom 101 : Sign Up & Download zoom help video gets you started on Zoom delivery computer n/a  
Zoom 101 : Meeting Controls zoom help video learn the options for video conferencing computer n/a