California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

Advanced Trainings

Being a California Naturalist is a commitment to life long learning. Here you can find training opportunities being offered by CalNat Program partnering organizations as well as the University of California. These continuing education opportunities are, unless otherwise noted, open to the public (Certified Naturalist or not). We invite you to browse by entering key words in your interest area or location (e.g. salmon, Marin). This is a growing and ever evolving list so make sure to check back frequently!

If you work with a partnering organization please submit new training opportunities here.

Due to a server glitch, we have been unable to do a comprehensive advanced training update for spring 2017. Please check back soon!

Advanced trainings are listed chronologically. 

Owling at Carrizo Plain National Monument - Spring 2017 Nature Series

Organization Name
The Coastal Institute at Camp Ocean Pines
Brief course description
Join an amazing and educational day on the beautiful Carrizo Plain. It is led by lifelong naturalist Chris Cameron, who leads annual owling trips for the Morro Bay Bird Festival, one of the largest bird festivals in the country. Chris will begin the afternoon at Camp Ocean Pines with an introductory lecture on California's owls. After that, participants will head east together to the Carrizo Plain to search among the wildflowers for great horned owls, barn owls, burrowing owls, and long-eared owls. As you explore the plain, you will also learn about the natural history of this unique area. There will be a dinner stop while the sun goes down, then visit some local spots on the way back to look for screech owls, saw-whet owls, and nightjars. 

Registration and more details are available through provided link. Discounts available for groups/families and California Naturalist graduates.

Website for more information
Start date
04/01/17
County location
San Luis Obispo County

Geology Hike - Cliff House to the Golden Gate

Organization Name
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Brief course description
Explore the wild seascapes of San Francisco on this one-way hike along the Coastal Trail. Discover sandstones at the Cliff House, mélange at Lands End, and serpentinite at the Presidio, as well as beach, dune, and landslide deposits that sculpt this scenic shoreline. Discover the complex geology of the Franciscan rocks that record the collision and subduction of the Farallon Plate beneath North America. During our trip, we will also learn about natural hazards, the 1906 earthquake, Ice Age cycles, and climate change.

Start date
04/01/2017
County location
Marin County

BioBlitz at Hopland Research & Extension Center

Organization Name
Hopland Research & Extension Center
Brief course description
The UC Hopland Research and Extension Center will be hosting it's 2nd annual Bioblitz on April 7th and 8th, come join us and bring the family!

HREC is a beautiful 5,300-acre site with oak woodlands, rangeland, grassland, chaparral, riparian environments and pockets of mixed conifer forests. The goal of the bioblitz is to find, identify and record on iNaturalist as many plant and animal species as possible across the weekend. During this time we will have a variety of talks and opportunities for you to get outside to discover all the species that we share our site with! 

This event has something for all ages, some talks might be of more interest to certain age groups - take a look at the description for each talk to understand which ones might be most appropriate to you and your group...

Registration required for all events at: http://ow.ly/IIHQ309sjYS

Friday April 7th, 7-9pm: 
Close Encounters of the Bat Kind
with Rachael Long (UC Agriculture and Natural Resources) and Andrés Muñoz-Sáez (UC Berkeley Merenlender Lab)

Saturday April 8th, 7-9am: 
Bird watching 
with 
Peregrine Audubon Society

Saturday April 8th, 9am-12pm: 
Spiders and Scorpions 
with Lauren
 Esposito (California Academy of Sciences)

Saturday April 8th, 12pm-4pm: 
Mini Bioblitz 
with the 
California Conservation Corps and expert volunteers

Saturday April 8th, 4-6pm:
California's Venomous Animals: Identification, Symptomatology and First Aid
with Mike Cardwell
 

 

Website for more information
Start date
04/07/2017 - 04/08/2017
County location
Mendocino County

Inverness Morning Kayak Tour

Organization Name
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Brief course description
Enjoy the stillness of an Inverness morning while gliding atop the rich habitat that is Tomales Bay. We’ll look for lifeforms both aquatic and terrestrial, discuss the habitats that support them, and soak in the surrounding landscape as we gently paddle through these teeming waters.

Start date
04/08/2017
County location
Marin County

Plant Life of the Santa Monica Mountains

Organization Name
Jepson Herbarium
Brief course description
Found adjacent to the metropolitan city of Los Angeles are the Santa Monica Mountains, a hotspot for habitat diversity and endemism. This course will discuss the rare plants of the area, the Mediterranean habitats and unique ecosystems that characterize coastal Southern California as well as the evolutionary history of key California plant lineages present in the Santa Monica Mountains. We will take several field trips to visit these habitats and the rich flora of the area, which will be accompanied by lectures from course instructors and invited guests at the La Kretz Field Station in Malibu. We will also learn a fun fact— why Hollywood is actually named after one of our most beloved native shrubs!

Website for more information
Start date
04/14/17
County location
Alameda County

Butterflies for Beginners

Organization Name
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Brief course description
How can you tell a moth from a butterfly?  How do various species of butterflies spend the winter? What butterfly is our state insect?  What’s an instar?  What host plants do butterflies use and how can I attract butterflies to my garden? Learn the answers to these and all your other butterfly questions on an exploration of Muddy Hollow.  This is NOT a collecting class.  All butterflies we visit with are returned to their habitat unharmed. By the end of the day you will be on a first name basis with about ten species of butterflies and know what equipment to get to continue study on your own.

Start date
04/15/17
County location
Marin County

50 Plant Families in the Field: Monterey Bay

Organization Name
Jepson Herbarium
Brief course description
This workshop introduces students to the flora of the San Francisco Bay area and the techniques used to identify plants of California. Emphasis will be on learning to recognize characteristics of the Bay Area’s plant families. We will practice keying plants in the field using the third edition of the book Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region: Mendocino to Monterey (Linda H. Beidleman and Eugene N. Kozloff, 2014).

Website for more information
Start date
04/20/17
County location
Alameda County

Marine Plastic Pollution: Research, Recovery, and Solutions

Organization Name
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Brief course description
What is marine debris and how does it impact ocean ecosystems? Participants will explore this pressing topic in the field and classroom, hiking outdoors to collect debris and data before gathering inside to interpret the day’s findings and learn the facts about marine plastic pollution.

Start date
04/22/17
County location
Marin County

Knickerbocker Creek Bird Walk

Organization Name
Effie Yeaw
Brief course description
Knickerbocker Creek Bird Walk - American River Conservancy

Birders Tim and Angela Jackson will lead this easy to moderate three to four-mile hike on trails inside the Olmstead Loop at the Auburn State Recreation Area to find and identify birds including raptors, woodpeckers, songbirds, and any water birds present at the ponds or along the creek. Responsible children 8+ welcome. Rain date: April 30. Contact ARC for meeting location (Cool area) and to sign up. Suggested Donation: $5/members $10/non-members. julie@ARConservancy.org

 

Start date
04/23/17
County location
Placer County

Northern California Seaweeds

Organization Name
Jepson Herbarium
Brief course description
This workshop will focus on the common intertidal seaweeds of Bodega Head, a wild and diverse area and good representative of the northern California coast. Our home base at the Bodega Marine Laboratory provides easy access to the field. The low tides on Saturday and Sunday are in the morning (8:00 am and 9:00 am, respectively); we will try to get out to each site at least a half hour before the low. Our overview in the field will include the basics of seaweed ecology. For detailed studies of seaweed identity and form, we will take a closer look at our "catch" in the lab during the afternoons.

Website for more information
Start date
04/28/17
County location
Alameda County

Wonders of the Intertidal - Tidepooling at Duxbury Reef

Organization Name
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Brief course description
Come enjoy a low-tide exploration of one of the largest shale reefs in North America. We’ll discuss the unique geology of the area and the marine influences that make it such a rich site. Peering into tidepools we’ll marvel at extraordinary critters, admiring the adaptations that enable them to survive. Some of the amazing invertebrates we may see include purple sea urchins, giant green anemones, ochre sea stars, an array of crabs and curious worms, as well as mussels, whelks, barnacles, limpets, chitons and bryozoans.

Start date
04/29/17
County location
Marin County

Condor Hike at Pinnacles National Park - Spring 2017 Nature Series

Organization Name
The Coastal Institute at Camp Ocean Pines
Brief course description
Learn about the incredible journey of the California condor while hiking around one of California's most unique National Parks. Richard Neidhardt, a long-time volunteer with the condor recovery program, will lead a 3-4 mile moderate hike around the park to look for condors. Along the way, participants will learn about the process of tracking and working with California condors, along with natural history of these incredible birds and of Pinnacles itself. A portion of the registration fee for this event will go to Pinnacles Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding condor recovery efforts.

Details and registration are available through provided link.  Discounts available for groups/families and California Naturalist graduates.

Website for more information
Start date
04/30/17
County location
San Luis Obispo County

Educator and Facilitator Training Integrating Fire Ecology into Standards Based PLT Activities and Training

Organization Name
CA Educators (formal and informal) and Natural Resource Professionals
Brief course description
Participants in the Friday Educator Training will:
-Receive the PLT pK-8 Curriculum Guide containing nearly 100 interdisciplinary activities plus ideas for fully integrated and aligned lesson plans that
-exemplify inquiry-based learning and critical thinking,
-define STEM education, and
-support constructivist NGSS standards
-Learn about the integral role fire plays in the environment –in the past and today.
-Hear the latest research taking place at Blodgett Forest Research Station
-Be part of a network of committed and energetic facilitators, researchers, and scientists

Website for more information
Start date
05/05/17
County location
El Dorado County

Birding by Ear: Tapping the Aural Dimension

Organization Name
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Brief course description
Point Reyes offers a deep, rich underworld of life and bird-talk awaiting the patient listener, and birding by ear can be accelerated with some simple techniques and awareness training. Participants will practice deep listening in the field and learn how to understand baseline bird sounds, alarms, and other types of avian conversation.

Start date
05/06/17
County location
Marin County

Wildflower ID

Organization Name
Hopland Research & Extension Center
Brief course description
Enjoy a stroll around the Hopland Research and Extension Center to identify our spring wildflowers.

Our guide will be Peter Warner

The first two hours of the hike (10am-12pm) will suit those new to the world of plant identification, for those who wish to delve a little deeper we will continue to an afternoon session after lunch, finishing at 2pm. Bring a packed lunch, water and sun protection.

Registration $10 per person
Click here to register

Website for more information
Start date
05/06/2017
County location
Mendocino County

Wetland Delineation

Organization Name
Jepson Herbarium
Brief course description
This workshop will emphasize the definition and delineation method for wetlands used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to define their jurisdiction under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Wetland definitions and delineation methods used by state and other agencies in California, including the California Coastal Commission (CCC), State Water Quality Control Board and its Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will also be discussed in comparison to wetland definitions and delineation methods used by the Corps and USEPA. Other types of aquatic habitats in addition to wetlands and how they are identified and delineated by the Corps, USEPA, and other state and federal agencies will also be discussed.

Website for more information
Start date
05/11/17
County location
Alameda County

Explore Wildlife Tracking

Organization Name
Western Women’s Tracking Conference
Brief course description
Come Explore:
• Track and sign
• Trailing
• Desert landscape
• Inner Landscapes
• Stillness
• Story telling
• Self Care
• Art

With CalNat instuctor Meghan Walla-Murphy (Occidental Arts & Ecology Center and Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods) and many others. Download the flier here: http://calnat.ucanr.edu/files/260436.pdf

Website for more information
Start date
05/18/17 - 05/21/17
County location
Kern County

Wakamatsu Historical Public Tours

Organization Name
Effie Yeaw Nature Center
Brief course description
Wakamatsu Historical Public Tours - American River Conservancy

The site of the first Japanese colony in America in 1869, the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony is on the National Register of Historic Places and a California registered historical landmark. This 272-acre property features Okei-san’s historic gravesite, an 1850’s farmhouse, and a turn-of-the-century barn. Rich in cultural and natural resources, the rolling landscape boasts productive farming soils, wildlife habitat, oak woodlands, ponds, and a wheelchair-accessible trail. Onsite is ARC’s native plant nursery, orchard, and giving garden. Acreage is leased to farm families who sell their products at the farm. Located on Cold Springs Road in Placerville, Wakamatsu is not open to the public. ARC offers public access via scheduled programs and tours led by trained docents, staff, and volunteers. Steady rain cancels. Mature children 10+ are welcome on tours. Cost: $5/Children 10-17 years old, $10/Adults.

 

Start date
05/21/17

Grass ID

Organization Name
Hopland Research and Extension Center
Brief course description
Introduction to Grasses

The grass family is among one of the largest and most diverse groups of flowering plants in California with well over 500 species in 103 genera. We’ll explore the diversity of grasses through lecture, site visits, and identification exercises using dichotomous keys.  Grass identification is based largely on a good understanding of spikelet morphology, so participants will become acquainted to the terminology used to describe grasses then apply that to the identification of common native and exotic species in the field.  We’ll look at how habitat, disturbance, and other environmental factors influence grass distribution and how grasses serve as indicators of site condition.

Instructors: Kerry Heise and Geri Hulse-Stephens are botanical consultants based in Mendocino County. They use their knowledge of the Northwestern California flora conducting floristic surveys, designing and implementing rare plant monitoring studies, and collecting plant vouchers for local and regional herbaria. For several years they were instructors for the CNPS Plant Science Training Program and more recently they teach plant identification workshops locally.

Website for more information
Start date
06/02/17
County location
Mendocino County

Nature Blitz Field Studies and Exploration at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Organization Name
Calaveras Big Trees Association
Brief course description
Here is your chance to immerse yourself in the Natural History of the Sierra Nevada at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Join Doc Nancy for a day of in-depth nature exploration. In addition to topic presentation, walks and demonstrations, attendees will learn interpretive techniques as well. All walks are classed as “easy,” with the longest a 1.5 mile stroll around the North Grove. This program is free to all interested persons and is sponsored by CBTA. Persons can come to any or all parts of the Nature Blitz. Join Fulbright Scholar and retired NPS Park Ranger Nancy Muleady-Mecham, Ph.D. for this unique opportunity to learn so much about this very special place.

Website for more information
Start date
06/03/17
County location
Calaveras County

How to Learn the Plant Families of California

Organization Name
Jepson Herbarium
Brief course description
This four-day workshop is designed for beginning to amateur botanists to learn how to identify California plants by family and acquire the tools needed for continuing the self-education process of plant identification. Lectures and lab activities will emphasize the characteristics that are most useful for family-level plant identification. We will learn how to use the family key in the second edition of The Jepson Manual, which contains 185 native or naturalized vascular plant families, with a combination of field collections in the Bay Area and lab work using both fresh material and herbarium specimens.

Website for more information
Start date
06/03/17 & 06/10/17
County location
Alameda County

Raptor Experience - Spring 2017 Nature Series

Organization Name
The Coastal Institute at Camp Ocean Pines
Brief course description
This is a chance to interact with live birds of prey. Participants can choose to spend the whole day to experience what it's like to hunt with a raptor as your partner. Instructor Chris Cameron is a lifelong naturalist and licensed falconer who has been working with raptors for over 35 years. The first half of the day will be all about California's raptors and their natural history. Chris will give an interactive presentation using several different live raptors to teach about the birds of prey that call this state their home. After lunch, Chris will teach about the sport of falconry. You will have the chance to accompany Chris and one of his birds on a hunt - you will even don a falconer's glove and call the bird to your hand.

Registration and more details are available through provided link. Discounts available for groups/families and California Naturalist graduates.

Website for more information
Start date
06/10/17
County location
San Luis Obispo County

Tejon Ranch in August: Late–Season Treasures of the Tehachapis

Organization Name
Jepson Herbarium
Brief course description
This workshop will introduce participants to the biogeography and summer flora of the Tejon Ranch. Depending on road conditions, we will explore a variety of grassland, scrubland, woodland, forest, and desert communities. Tejon Ranch is home to many special-status plant species and we expect to see some of these, including the Tehachapi buckwheat (Eriogonum callistum), which is endemic to the ranch. If we are lucky, we may even see California condors flying overhead.).

Website for more information
Start date
08/03/17
County location
Alameda County

Climate Change in California: Past, Present, and Future

Organization Name
Jepson Herbarium
Brief course description
This course will begin with an overview of what drives climate change now and what has driven it in the recent past. We will then discuss the physics of the greenhouse effect and our planet’s energy budget. Moving on, we will leave the present for a Deep Time perspective on climate, ranging from the extreme cold 650 million years ago to the end-Permian hot house. Before lunch, we end closer to home with the climate oscillation of the recent ice ages (last few millions of years) and its effect on North American floras.

Website for more information
Start date
09/23/17
County location
Alameda County

Insect–Induced Plant Galls of California

Organization Name
Jepson Herbarium
Brief course description
In this workshop, we will start by exploring the diversity of extant insect-induced plant galls and the community of species found within them. Our study will begin with a series of lectures covering gall induction, development, plant host specificity, and inducer life histories using Joyce Gross' excellent photographic images of galls and gall insects. We will then take a short campus field trip to learn how to find galls. Back in the classroom, we will dissect galls under microscopes to examine their intricate structures and view the occupiers. We will wrap up with discussion about the evolution of the plant host-plant gall interrelationships with examples from fossil galls.

Website for more information
Start date
10/07/17
County location
Alameda County

GIS for Botanists

Organization Name
Jepson Herbarium
Brief course description
This course will get you started in GIS software and cover fundamentals in geography, mapping, GPS (global positioning systems) units and land cover, and other spatial data. Working in a modern internet-accessible lab as well as in the field, we will learn how to use GIS (or geographic information system desktop application), where to get freely available data, and how to make maps. This workshop will focus on the spatial technology necessary to answer questions about biodiversity, conservation, ecology and related fields. The goal of this workshop is to provide context on how GIS programs can be used to maximize projects for plant scientists and consultants working with field or historic data. Participants will learn how to make field maps and, depending on group familiarity with GIS, analyze data within the program. This course will use Quantum GIS, a free, open-source GIS program that is mac or PC compatible.

Website for more information
Start date
10/20/17
County location
Alameda County

Mushrooms of the Bay Area

Organization Name
Jepson Herbarium
Brief course description
The mild to cool, wet winters and the variety of habitats found in California make it one of the best places in North America to find both an abundance and a high diversity of fungi. This workshop will provide an introduction to the biology and identification of California’s mushrooms. Through a combination of lectures and discussions, workshop participants will learn about the evolutionary history of fungi and the ecological role of fungi in nature. Most of the time will be spent with fresh mushrooms in the lab, where participants will have hands-on opportunities for learning how to identify mushrooms. A field trip to Pt. Reyes National Seashore (with easy to moderate hiking) will be a highlight of the weekend.

Website for more information
Start date
12/08/17
County location
Alameda County

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