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.

Advanced trainings are listed chronologically. 

Garden Tour: Native Trees of California

Organization Name
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Brief course description
Join us for this special docent-led tour of California’s remarkable diversity of native trees, with an emphasis on those found in the Garden. Led by Sam Babcock

Start date
07/22/17
County location
Santa Barbara County

Behind the Scenes Tour: Pritzlaff Conservation Center

Organization Name
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Brief course description
Learn about the Garden’s new conservation center on a tour of the labs, herbarium, and work spaces led by Executive Director Steve Windhager, Ph.D.

 
Category: 
Free
Members Only
Start date
07/25/17
County location
Santa Barbara County

California Naturalist Open House

Organization Name
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Brief course description
Join us as we showcase our California Naturalist Program. Enjoy refreshments with some of our local expert instructors and program graduates on the Pritzlaff Conservation Center’s Island View Deck. Explore the broad overview of regional and California natural history the program provides to long-time residents, newcomers, and participants at all levels of expertise. A short presentation on the program and iNaturalist citizen science projects will be held from 6pm-6:30pm.

Start date
08/01/17
County location
Santa Barbara 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

Rattle Snakessssss

Organization Name
Effie Yeaw Nature Center
Brief course description
These awesome animals deserve everyone’s respect. Learn to identify these amazing creatures and discover how they fit into the California landscape. 

This is a free weekend program for all ages. Donations gratefully accepted. Space is limited – sign-ups are taken the day of the event. We recommend you arrive 30 minutes prior to start time.

There is a $5 per car entrance fee into Ancil Hoffman County Park (Free to members).   

Start date
08/06/2017
County location
Sacramento County

A Sense of Place in your Watercolor Nature Journal

Organization Name
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Brief course description
Using a limited number of pigments, you’ll learn to paint miniature landscapes giving a sense of place in your journal. You will learn the basics of how to create depth quickly and accurately using Kristin’s teaching aids which will give you hands-on experience in creating a memory of the day in your journal. The compact kit* which includes the palette and paints, a journal, a waterbrush and special pencils provides you with all you need to nurture a wonderful nature journaling experience.

Start date
08/13/17
County location
Marin County

TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE OBSERVATION

Organization Name
American River Conservancy
Brief course description
Day will turn to night as the country experiences its first total solar eclipse in decades. On this day the moon will pass directly between earth and the sun. This will be the first time since 1918 that a total solar eclipse will be visible from West Coast to East Coast of US. We will join the Community Observatory experts for this event, and celebrate with the US Postal Service in dedicating their first eclipse stamp. There will be several telescopes for viewing, and ARC will provide several pair of solar glasses. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Placerville area). 

Start date
08/21/2017
County location
Placer County

NATURE & YOU LECTURE: “HOW THE YOLO HABITAT CONSERVANCY PLAN IS PROTECTING NATIVE SPECIES”, WITH PETREA MARCHAND

Organization Name
Tuleyome
Brief course description
Come learn about the history of the Yolo Habitat Conservancy with Petrea Marchand, the truth about the controversies that delayed its growth in 2015, and what the conservancy is doing now to protect the habitats of local endangered and threatened species while also accommodating development.

The specific elements of the Yolo HCP/NCCP conservation strategy include:

  • Establishing reserves for the conservation of covered species within the Yolo HCP/NCCP geographic area and linkages to adjacent habitat outside Yolo County.
  •  Incorporating a range of environmental gradients and high habitat diversity into the reserve system to compensate for shifting species distributions in response to changing circumstances (e.g., in response to climate change).
  • Protecting and maintaining habitat areas that are large enough to support sustainable populations of covered species.
Start date
08/24/17
County location
Yolo County

Beginning Birding Series

Organization Name
Effie Yeaw Nature Center
Brief course description
Interested in birds but don’t know where to start? This class will introduce the basics of birding, from binoculars to ethics. In four classroom sessions, we will learn the distinguishing marks of the 100 most common birds of Effie Yeaw Nature Center and the American River Parkway. Photos, many of them taken locally, will be supplemented by the sounds birds make, which are often the best way to find and identify birds. We will have two field trips, where we will see and hear birds in a variety of local habitats. 

Seminars held on four Fridays from 6:30-8:00pm: Aug. 25, Sept. 1, 8 and 15. Seminars will be at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

Field Studies held on two Saturdays from 8:00-11:00am: Sept. 9 and 16. Field studies will be in Ancil Hoffman County Park.

Start date
08/25/2017 - 09/16/2017
County location
Sacramento County

Natural History of the Channel Islands

Organization Name
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Brief course description
The California Channel Islands are world-renowned for their scenic beauty and rich natural resources, including a large proportion of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. This lecture offers an overview of the terrestrial ecology and natural history of these gems of the central coast. Join us as Denise shares her stories of the plant, animal, geologic, climatic, and human realms on these fascinating islands.

Start date
08/26/17
County location
Santa Barbara County

Garden Tour: Chumash Ethnobotany

Organization Name
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Brief course description
Explore the Garden through a new lens as our docent guide discusses Chumash uses of our native plants. Led by Elaine Gibson.

Start date
08/26/17
County location
Santa Barbara County

Tarantula Trek

Organization Name
Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association
Brief course description
A scientist exploring California in the 1860s described Mount Diablo's tarantulas as "attaining the size of a half-grown mouse, possessing fangs the size of a rattlesnake's, and delivering a bite generally considered fatal." Yeesh.

Is this the gruesome truth or just arachnophobia? Let’s find out! 

Join us for a nature walk through Mitchell Canyon and we will dispel any malicious rumors you might have heard about Mount Diablo’s misunderstood eight-legged creatures. You can even meet a tarantula named Scarlet O’Harry, the real-life friend (not just Facebook friend) of hike leader Liz Watson.

This hike is for adults only. 

Website for more information
Start date
08/26/2017
County location
Contra Costa County

Introduction to Bird Language - August

Organization Name
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Brief course description
Learn the skills to understand the constant bird conversation going on in the wilds of Point Reyes. This class explores basic core routines of bird language and the “shapes of alarm” generated by each animal. Practice diminishing your ring of disturbance and expanding your awareness so that you can join in on the conversation.

Start date
08/27/17
County location
Marin County

Fall Geology Walk Series

Organization Name
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Brief course description
Explore Santa Barbara through the lens of geologist and naturalist, Susie Bartz. These three walks examine human impacts and the natural forces at play in our region, from the coast to the mountains. Walks range from easy to moderate/hard. Times vary depending on hike.

Start date
08/28/17
County location
Santa Barbara County

Plants of the BSM National Monument Region: Create Your Own Field Guide Illustration

Organization Name
Tuleyome, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators
Brief course description
Tuleyome is assisting the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators with a three-day field guide illustration workshop in Woodland. We’ll be leading the outdoor activity on the first day, and the rest of the time will be spent indoors at the Woodland Library. The workshop is limited to 15 people. Early-bird registration ends August 18th. This is a PAID event, but some scholarships are available. See the website for details.

There will be an outdoor experience, but most of the workshop will be indoors. Bring your own art materials and lunches. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of their medium of choice.

Website for more information
Start date
09/09/2017 - 09/11/2017
County location
Yolo County

The Green Food Print

Organization Name
Lindsay Wildlife Experience
Brief course description
Know your food! Join us on Sunday, Sept. 10, from 2 to 3 p.m. when Dr. Linda Riebel, an author, advocate for wildlife and psychologist, will deliver her presentation, “Improving Your Ecological FOODprint.” Linda will condense a vast amount of information into five easy-to-follow guidelines for lightening your food footprint and creating a “Green Foodprint!”

Free with admission to Lindsay Wildlife Experience.

No registration required; free for members and included in the price of admission.

Start date
09/10/2017
County location
Contra Costa County

Journals - Your Way!

Organization Name
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Brief course description
September 20 & 27
October 4, 11, 18, & 25
November 1

Led by artist Kate Davis, guest instructors present their preferred style of nature journaling with guided work time for you to explore their style or create your own on Garden grounds. Learn about the traditional Grinnell method, literary, photographic, sketching, and creative styles for recordeing your observations of nature. This class is designed to introduce students to a wide variety of nature journaling styles and facilitate the journaling process.

Bring your journal and join our inspiring presenters! 

Start date
09/20/17
County location
Santa Barbara County

Morning Bird Walk (September)

Organization Name
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Brief course description
Be among the first morning visitors in the Garden and enjoy watching the diverse and beautiful bird species that make the meadow, woodlands and creekside their home!

Join our experienced naturalist leader Rebecca Coulter as she looks and listens for woodpeckers and quail, wrens and raptors, and many more

Start date
09/20/17
County location
Santa Barbara 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

Rising Terraces and Flowing Waters

Organization Name
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Brief course description
Join Susie Bartz to explore Santa Barbara’s beachfront and our iconic coastal Mesa. Starting at Leadbetter Beach, we see how human development, and especially the harbor’s breakwater, has impacted the shape of our shoreline. Then we continue up the beach to consider up close the ongoing tectonic compression that is lifting the Mesa’s marine terraces across geologic time. A super low tide will reveal interesting flora and fauna of the rocky shore, before our return atop Shoreline Park. About 3 miles of easy walking with optional rock-hopping among the tidepools. 

Driving Directions: meet in front of the Shoreline Beach Café at the foot of Loma Alta Street. Allow time to park in city lot and get checked in before an on-time start to catch the ebbing tide.

Start date
11/18/17
County location
Santa Barbara County

Geology of the Carpinteria Bluffs

Organization Name
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Brief course description
Explore the dynamic geology of the marine terrace locally known as the Carpinteria Bluffs. An easy walk through native scrub leads to spectacular coastal views and the Seal Sanctuary Overlook. Here we’ll learn why geology makes the beach below a perfect birthing place for the seals. Our route then descends a steep path to the beach to explore rock layers tightly folded by the same tectonic compression that continues to lift the mesa and allow tar to ooze in plain sight. The low tide will allow some tidepooling and an optional side trip along the Coastal Access Trail to the Carpinteria Tar Seeps. Distance is about 2 miles round trip with 2 more miles for the tar seep option.

Start date
12/02/17
County location
Santa Barbara 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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