California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

American River Natural History Association CalNat Course

Dates: March 6, 2017 - May 8, 2017

Time: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Contact: Mike Carwell:

Sponsor: California Naturalist Program

Event Details

Full course website here:

The American River Natural History Association (ARNHA), in conjunction with UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, offers the California Naturalist certification class at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael (Sacramento County). 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 California, with an emphasis on the greater Sacramento region. The course covers basic ecology, watershed concepts, geology, wildlife, plants, and global environmental issues, as well as tools for collaborative conservation and communication.

The ARNHA operates the Effie Yeaw Nature Center within a 100-acre Nature Study Area in the middle of the 23-mile American River Parkway, one of the largest riverside parkways in the United States. ARNHA offers nature programs to K-6 grades, adults and weekend family adventures, reaching over 15,000 students per year. The Nature Study Area is a mature oak woodland featuring valley and live oaks, cottonwoods and over 100 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and other creatures. The Lower American River runs along the edge of the Nature Study Area, including gravel bars for spawning steelhead and salmon. The Nature Study Area is protected from dogs, horses and bicycles so nature experiences can be close and rich.

2017 Courses: Two California Naturalist classes are offered per year, one in the spring and another in the fall. The Spring 2017 class will meet on Monday evenings from 5:30 PM until 8:30 PM, beginning on 6 March and continuing through 8 May. The class will meet one weekday evening per week for ten weeks. Additionally, there will be one or two weekend field trips (TBA).  Classes meet at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, located in Ancil Hoffman Park, where participants will explore the adjoining Nature Study Area. The course will use The California Naturalist Handbook, visiting expert speakers, field trips, videos and project-based learning, in addition to presentations from the course instructor, to expose you to the natural wonders of California. Upon successful completion of the course, you will be certified as a California Naturalist by the University of California and be eligible for four general education credits through UC Davis Extension (for an additional fee).

Course Instructor: Mike Cardwell is a recognized authority on California wildlife, particularly venomous creatures, rattlesnake ecology and pitviper bites, as well as an award-winning wildlife photographer. He has conducted extensive research on free-ranging rattlesnakes using radiotelemetry and is co-editor of the landmark reference The Biology of Rattlesnakes (2008) and a contributing author in The Biology of Rattlesnakes II (2017). Mike recently authored the Mohave Rattlesnake account for The Rattlesnakes of Arizona (2016) and served as a subject matter expert on the panel that updated practice guidelines for the treatment of pitviper envenomations in North America (Wilderness and Environmental Medicine 26:472–487. 2015). He also coauthored “Bites by Venomous Reptiles in Canada, the United States, and Mexico” in the 7th edition of Wilderness Medicine, edited by Paul Auerbach (2017). Mike holds an MS degree in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation and enjoys an adjunct faculty appointment at San Diego State University.

Cost: TBA. Tuition covers weekly classes including on-site field excursions and additional weekend field trips (although transportation is not included). Students must purchase the course text: The California Naturalist Handbook (2013, UC Press).

Contact: For more information or to put your name on the wait list for the next class, email Mike Cardwell.

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