California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

Become a Partner

Do you want to become a California Naturalist Program partnering organization?

UC ANR's California Naturalist Program provides a flexible, adaptable UC certification course to create or improve existing naturalist training programs. The curriculum delivers a compelling overview of California geology, flora, fauna, freshwater and forest resources, and environmental issues. With partnering organizations, we foster a diverse community of naturalists and promote stewardship of California’s natural resources through education and service. Together, we can help protect and preserve our unique habitats, wild and urban alike. 

A California Naturalist course needs both an approved partnering organization and a qualified instructor. There are criteria for partnering organizations and instructors to ensure that CA Naturalist courses meet the standards of the program and UC Davis Extension. Partner organizations or agencies must have a proven-track-record of success delivering science-based environmental education. Instructors must have the combined science education and experience to successfully teach and coordinate a junior college level introductory science course.

Benefits to partnering organizations include: 

  • Easy adoption of an education and outreach program consistent with existing organizational program structure, mission and goals
  • Expansion and re-structuring of existing educational efforts
  • Curriculum, instructional aides, and training for instructors
  • Promotional materials and participation incentives
  • Financial support from program fees
  • Informational website and on-line volunteer tracking tools
  • Capstone service projects to support organizational goals
  • Instructor accreditation to offer University of California academic units
  • Comprehensive program evaluation tools
  • Assistance promoting your organization’s adult education and training events
  • Well trained, loyal volunteers to support your organization and increase capacity to address deferred and priority projects
  • Upon completing course requirements partner organization’s paid staff may become certified at a reduced rate.

In order to become a partner, an organization must:

  • Fill out the Partner Interest Form.
  • Be in existence a minimum of three years from the date of application.
  • Provide or form connections with partners that provide access to volunteer opportunities in the categories of stewardship, citizen science, interpretation, and program support.
  • Demonstrate the physical, staff, and financial capacity and support to conduct the program.
  • Provide an instructor/coordinator with teaching and public speaking experience, familiarity with natural resource management, ecology, or a related field, and at least a bachelors degree. Instructor/coordinators will be pre-screened by the California Naturalist Program to ensure our partnering organization's success and maintain the ongoing quality and consistency of this state-wide program. In some cases, the California Naturalist Program may be able to recommend an instructor in your area.
  • Attend a California Naturalist Partner/Instructor Workshop. We offer  minimum two per year. 2016 workshops TBA, and will listed at the right of this page. Past agenda may be viewed here.

There is an application process to becoming a partner program, and attending an instructor workshop (see schedule to the right) is one step in the process, but does not guarantee that we will be able to partner with your organization. If your organization meets the criteria outlined above and you are interested in becoming a partner please fill out the Partner Interest Form and our staff will be in touch with you within a couple weeks to discuss your goals.

Want to learn more details about the program? Download an overview flier here. In May, 2013 we offered a partner outreach webinar to interested organizations. Since the webinar, we have grown to partner with over 26 organizations, 1050+ Naturalists who have volunteered over 30,000 hours, started a California Naturalist Advanced Topics webinar series, a peer reviewed publication series for advanced topics, and executed our first statewide conference! Keeping in mind a major growth spurt has occurred, we recommend that you check out the slides here (PDF) and listen to the audio, including the Q&A discussion (Click on the triangle below to play; 1:13).

5_30_13_ Partner_Outreach_Webinar

More questions? Please contact us to set up a call to understand your organization's objectives, capacity, and potential course partners in your area.

Thank you for your interest in the California Naturalist Program! 

Partner/Instructor Workshops  

Our next workshop is not scheduled yet, but we anticipate holding it in early 2018 in Southern California. Click here to view a sample agenda from our last workshop.

Webmaster Email: canaturalist@ucanr.edu