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). 

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

Connecting with Nature through Photography

  • Organization Name
    Coastal Institute at Camp Ocean Pines
  • Brief course description

    Join wildlife photographer and naturalist Jacqueline Deely for an inspirational weekend of photography amid a spectacular coastal setting! Explore how we can connect with nature, learn about our environment and make a difference through our experiences and the images we capture.

    Classroom sessions include illustrated presentations and discussions evolve around our own unique moments and encounters in the wild. Sharing our work allows us to delve deeper into the thought process behind our photographs and the stories they tell.

  • Start date
    10/18/2019
  • County location
    San Luis Obispo County

Birding Across the Watershed

  • Organization Name
    Pepperwood Preserve, Santa Rosa
  • Brief course description

    Join Pepperwood and Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation staff and naturalists for a day of birding from the wetlands to the headwaters. We will look for a variety of year-round resident birds, the first migrants passing through, and those arriving to stay for the winter. We will start the day at Laguna de Santa Rosa – heading first to Santa Rosa Creek and then on to Delta Pond. As we explore these two water features we will keep our eyes and ears open for Nuttall’s Woodpeckers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Great Egrets, and American White Pelicans as well as many other riparian and waterbird species. After lunch we will reconvene in the Mayacamas Mountains to explore the birds of Pepperwood’s oak woodland and grassland habitats. Here will be on the lookout for Oak Titmice, Northern Harriers, Say’s Phoebes, and Meadowlarks. Expect a wonderfully robust species list as a result of this big day o

  • Start date
    10/19/2019
  • County location
    Sonoma County

Dudleya: Conservation Through Cultivation

  • Organization Name
    Santa Barbara Bontanic Garden
  • Brief course description

    Join Santa Barbara Botanic Garden for a panel discussion about Dudleya, a captivating, diverse, and in some cases, threatened genus. This year we’ll discuss the intersection of conservation and horticultural use of this special succulent. As ornamental specimens, Dudleyas act as iconic focal points in rock gardens, container gardens, and even indoors. It is precisely this interesting combination of features that has made Dudleya a plant coveted for wild poaching.

    Our panelists will each share their unique perspective on the complicated question of where conservation ends and horticulture begins with this plant beloved for its strange beauty. Panellists will range from Garden propagation staff to taxonomic experts to agency officials who all work to protect and promote this California treasure. The discussion will begin with an overview of the unique life histories and ranges of these plants. These factors create specific challenges and opportunities for propagation and care. We’ll also delve into the ethics and best practices associated with collecting plants for horticultural purposes. We hope you can join us for this evening of intriguing discourse.

  • Start date
    10/19/2019
  • County location
    Santa Barbara County

Beginning Birding

  • Organization Name
    American River Conservancy
  • Brief course description

    Interested in birding but unsure where to start? Naturalist and wildlife photographer Hayley Crews will lead this class introducing the hobby of birding at a beginner level.We’ll briefly discuss basic terms and identifying tactics then walk the state park trying to spot some common species. A photographic take-home hand-out will be provided showing bird species we’ll be likely to see and some fun facts! Responsible teens+ welcome. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area)

  • Start date
    10/19/2019
  • County location
    El Dorado County

Phenology Walk Workshop

  • Organization Name
    UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden
  • Brief course description

    Learn how to track seasonal changes in plants through hands on training at our ongoing, one a month, weekend work shops. Phenology researcher Karen Tanner provides hands-on data collection training.

    Study the science of the seasons: be a part of a national effort to monitor the effects of climate change.

    Phenology: nature’s calendar - phenology is the timing of life cycle events, for example: when plants first bloom, birds migrate, and insects hatch. 

     

  • Start date
    10/19/2019, 11/16/2019, & 12/14/2019
  • County location
    Santa Cruz County

Nature and You Lecture: "The Wonderful World of Galls" with Mary K. Hanson

  • Organization Name
    Tuleyome
  • Brief course description

    Back by popular demand!  Tuleyome’s own in-house Certified California Naturalist (and gall expert), Mary K. Hanson will bring her lecture about the amazing world of galls to Woodland.  No doubt you’ve seen the large “oak apple” galls on trees throughout the region, but do you know what causes them to form?  And did you know there are hundreds of different galls that can be found around here?  Come to the lecture to learn about the wonderful weird world of galls and you will never look at a leaf (particularly an oak leaf) the same way again.

  • Start date
    10/24/2019
  • County location
    Yolo County

Hardcore Natural History Series — Sea Otters: A Parasite's New Host

  • Organization Name
    Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
  • Brief course description

    Despite southern sea otter population growth since 1911, otters are faced with increasing challenges to their survival. One of the largest obstacles they face is a disease caused by the thorny-headed worm, a parasite known by scientists as an acanthocephalan. Since the 1960s, species of this parasite, normally found in sea birds, have increased dramatically in prevalence in otters, resulting in more otters dying from infection. In his talk, Richard Grewelle, PhD candidate at Hopkins Marine Station, discusses his research, which takes him from otters to sea birds to crabs in an ecosystem-level adventure to understand the thorny-headed worm's world.

  • Website for more information
  • Start date
    10/24/2019
  • County location
    Monterey County

Echos from the night: Diverse foraging strategies in Bats

  • Organization Name
    Catalina Island Conservancy
  • Brief course description

    Join us to learn about the diversity sensory, ecology and foraging strategies of bats.  Dr. Khaleel Razak will also discuss the specialized foraging strategies used by the pallid bat (Antrozres pallidus). During the past 20 years, Dr. Razak has studied bat behaviors in the southwestern US, with a focus on the pallid bat. He is currently Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Program at University of California, Riverside.

  • Start date
    10/25/2019
  • County location
    Los Angeles County

Wild Coachella: Barney Scout Mann

Project Learning Tree Environmental Education Workshop

  • Organization Name
    PLT - UC Cooperative Extension
  • Brief course description

    Formal and non-formal educators welcome.

    Enhance your teaching skills and become comfortable teaching outdoors – in urban, suburban, or rural environments. Receive multi-disciplinary, hands-on lessons aligned with state and national academic standards. Put the materials to use right away in your own classroom, playground, or nature center.

    In 1970, Rudy Schafer, an environmental education specialist in the California Department of Education in Sacramento, received funding from the Office of Environmental Education in the then-U.S. Office of Education to hold a meeting to enable state-level education and resource management professionals to share information about how to teach about the environment. t was the first of several “Project” environmental education programs developed around that time, and still in use in the 21st century, that use aspects of the environment to teach broader subjects and skills.

     

  • Start date
    11/1/2019
  • County location
    Orange County

Conservation Icons: Dr. Jonathan Foley Immediate threat of climate change and what you can do now

  • Organization Name
    Mt Diablo Region - Lindsay Wildlife Experience
  • Brief course description

    Hear from world-renowned environmental scientist Dr. Jonathan Foley on the immediate threat of climate change and what you can do now.

    Dr. Foley is the premier speaker at Lindsay Wildlife’s Third Annual Conservation Icons Speaker Series. A sustainability expert and executive director of the non-profit organization Project Drawdown which is committed to ending global warming. 

    A noted researcher and adviser to governments and other organizations around the world, Foley has contributed to the understanding of global ecosystems, food security and the environment, and climate change, among other issues.

  • Start date
    11/22/2019
  • County location
    Contra Costa County

Yolo Bypass: Current Research on Bat Diets, Cyanobacteria, and Community Bat Counts

  • Organization Name
    Yolo Basin Foundation
  • Brief course description

    Join us on a journey through the Yolo Bypass as three local scientists discuss their research delving into questions such as what is the cuisine of choice of the bats of the Bypass; have cyanobacteria and associated toxins been identified in the Wildlife Area; and how many bats actually live under the Causeway? The Yolo Basin Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship  supports graduate students who are conducting research in the areas of environmental education, public use, environmental sciences, or environmental/conservation policy related to the 16,800-acre Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area or the 60,000-acre Yolo Bypass.  Graduate Student Fellowship Recipients

  • Website for more information
  • Start date
    11/7/2019
  • County location
    Yolo County

Understanding Bears in the North Bay

  • Organization Name
    Pepperwood Preserve, Santa Rosa
  • Brief course description

    For thousands of years, people all over the United States have lived alongside bears. Enthralled by their power and majesty, we have incorporated bears into countless stories and tales. But bears can also inspire fear and misunderstanding. Join local wildlife biologist Meghan Walla-Murphy for an evening exploring bears in Sonoma County and California, including the role they play in maintaining healthy ecosystem, human-bear relationships, and how you can help keep our local bears from becoming a nuisance. Knowing how to make your home and property secure from these intelligent and curious creatures not only keeps us safe, but protects bears too! As an educator, ecological consultant, and writer of books, articles, and essays, Meghan strives to connect people with their internal and external landscapes.

  • Start date
    11/7/2019
  • County location
    Sonoma County

Mushrooms of Armstrong Redwoods Field Seminar

  • Organization Name
    Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
  • Brief course description

    The fungi found in forests dominated by Sequoia sempervirens and Pseudotsuga menziesii vary from Mycena at the beginning of our wet season to colorful Hygrocybe in midwinter and Craterellus in early Spring. During this excursion there will be opportunities to discuss the fruiting sequence as it varies every month. Come walk with Kingman, the president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association, as he discusses the types of mushrooms and fungi that can be found in Redwood Forests.

  • Start date
    11/8/2019
  • County location
    Sonoma County

Why We Care about Sandhill Cranes

  • Organization Name
    Yolo Basin Foundation
  • Brief course description

    Paul Tebbel combines video footage and photos with research results and personal anecdotes to introduce you to Sandhill Cranes and to help you understand how their physical and behavioral characteristics and their life history make them special. Paul is a nationally renowned crane expert and has spent over 40 years of his life watching, researching and learning about cranes. This program is suitable for all age audiences, especially those just learning about cranes.

  • Website for more information
  • Start date
    12/05/2019
  • County location
    Yolo County

Naturalist Series: Geology

  • Organization Name
    Sierra Foothill Conservancy
  • Brief course description

    Join Geologist, Craig Poole for a hike to the top of Table Mountain to investigate the geology of the Preserve. You will learn how geologists read rocks and landscapes to unravel the geologic history of an area. Please bring a sack lunch, water and dress for the weather. Cost for this special presentation and hike is $20 per participant. Limited to just 20 participants.

    Interested in taking a deeper dive into the natural history and ecology of our local landscapes? Check out our Events Listing for more opportunities – Astronomy, Botany, and a BioBlitz are planned with local experts and engaging presenters!

  • Start date
    12/7/2019
  • County location
    Fresno County

February 2020 Conservation Icons: Dr. Lisa Tell, UC Davis (hummingbirds)

  • Organization Name
    Mt Diablo Region - Lindsay Wildlife Experience
  • Brief course description

    Take a peek into the fascinating world of hummingbirds with Dr. Lisa Tell, professor of veterinary medicine at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and director of the university’s hummingbird program. Dr. Tell is one of Lindsay Wildlife’s Conservation Icons and will be at Lindsay 6 p.m., Feb. 8, 2020 to speak about these colorful pollinators.

  • Start date
    February 8, 2020
  • County location
    Contra Costa County

January 2020 Conservation Icons: Obi Kaufmann

  • Organization Name
    Mt Diablo Region - Lindsay Wildlife Experience
  • Brief course description

    See California’s rivers, lakes, mountains, wildlife and more through the unique visual lens of artist, illustrator and naturalist Obi Kaufmann, author of the bestselling “The California Field Atlas,” and the recently released “The State of Water: Understanding California’s Most Precious Resource.” Kaufmann is one of Lindsay Wildlife’s Conservation Icons.

     

     

  • Start date
    January 11, 2020
  • County location
    N / A