California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

Community Science for CA Naturalists

Welcome to our ongoing effort to catalog citizen science and other public participation in scientific research (PPSR) projects for UC California Naturalists and other citizen scientists.  We invite you to browse the listed projects or enter key words (like birds, youth, invasive, coast, Alameda, etc.) in the search box above to find projects in your area. It's a great way to stay involved and keep developing your skills as a natural scientist!

A vast majority of the information in the database was gathered from project websites and may be out of date. We encourage you to contact projects directly to get involved and learn about most recent opportunities. If you work with a listed project and would like to add to, update, or correct the information we have, please email Also, please consider filling out the "PPSR perspectives" survey. Click here to access the survey, which will help guide this project in the coming year.

If you know of a project not on our list, please go to the "tell us about a project" link on the left so we can list the project here. Thanks for your help!

Special thanks goes to the National Science Foundation Informal Science Education program and the Stephen J. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for supporting this database of projects.

 Project Name SPAWN Salmon & Creek Monitoring
 Organization Name Turtle Island Restoration Network
 Project Website
 Organization Website
 Partners MMWD, DFG, and NPS
 Contact Email
 Contact Phone (415)663-8590
 Other Contact Information

For outmigration surveys:, or

 Project Purpose (taken from project materials) Assess the health of fish populations in San Geronimo Valley and protect coho salmon and steelhead trout populations in Lagunitas Watershed

 Participant Activities In the Spring, volunteers join SPAWN biologists every morning (7 days a week)  to monitor the movement of coho smolts as they mature and head toward Tomales Bay and then the Pacific Ocean. Volunteers walk stretches of the creek, gathering data, flagging locations, and collecting specimens.

 Data Entry Collection Kits, Data Sheets
 Other Participant Activities Volunteers can join Water quality monitoring projects, or other education and advocacy activities of the organization

 System Studied Wetlands - Freshwater Streams and Marshes, Other (see Notes)
 Geographic Scope Local
 Region Marin
 Location San Geronimo Valley streams: Arroyo and Larsen Creeks and 10 tributaries
 Location - Map San Geronimo Creek, Marin, California
 Time Commitment Specific dates (see Other Information below)
 Volunteer Qualifications Before starting, volunteers need:
Flagging Tape
Data Sheets and Maps
Pens and Pencils
Sharpies (permanent markers)
Dry Cloth - to dry off tape so you can write on it
Waders, Boots, (in Bathroom of office)
Carcass Collection Kit (Clippers, labels and plastic bags)
Vest (optional but very useful - also in bathroom)
Camera and Video (highly encouraged - we have a video camera)
Polarized lenses (you can get a cheap pair at the pharmacy)
Garbage bag
Measuring tape

 Volunteer Training Naturalist and Survey trainings are held; protocol available on the website.

Volunteers can also take the The SPAWN California Naturalist Training Course. This course "will introduce you to the interwoven wonders of the unique ecology and natural history of the Lagunitas Creek Watershed and engage you in direct stewardship actions. The 40-hour course will utilize a combination of science curriculum, guest lecturers, field trips and project based learning to immerse you in the natural world of California. Expert instructors will uncover strategies to continue conservation of biodiversity in the Lagunitas Creek, and all, California watersheds. An additional 40-hours of volunteer service work is required of all participants to earn the California Naturalist certificate. "

 How will the findings be used? Historical data and reports created with data are accessible on the website.

SPAWN says: "If you like to write technical papers and analyze fish data, please contact us to assist in the preparation of our next report."

 Other Information Surveys will be conducted between November and March. During the season, surveys will occur soon after a rain event as flows have decreased to a safe level.
Outmigration of smolt continues through May.

Project also partners with iNaturalist and UC California Naturalist

If you work with this project and would like to add to or update the information below, please email

If you know of a project not on our list, please go to the "tell us about a project" link on the left so we can list the project here. Thanks for your help!

This database is focused on projects in California focused on the environment. For opportunities outside California, as well as national projects that don't have a California-specific components, check

Webmaster Email: