California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

College of the Redwoods

Located on northern California's picturesque Redwood Coast, College of the Redwoods is a community college that delivers excellent academic and career technical education. Established in 1964, CR serves a diverse population of communities in Del Norte and Humboldt counties as well as the northwest section of Mendocino and western edge of Trinity counties. 

BIOL 20 – Natural History is a great class for those who like to get outdoors, and want to learn about the natural world in this beautiful place we live.  It satisfies Life Science GE requirement, but this year, for the first time, it also serves as the foundational course for University of California’s California Naturalist certification. 

BIOL 20 – Natural History focuses on California habitats and the lives of the organisms that live there.  Lectures cover basic principles in life and physical science, and then delve into detailed consideration of the habitats, the plants and animals, and relevant conservation and management issues.  Labs are all hands-on and include on-campus sessions that focus on species identification and online resource use, and numerous field trips focused on exploring local biotic communities (including the intertidal, beaches and dunes, tidal wetlands, coastal scrub and grasslands, and coastal and montane forests). Students in the course develop valuable skills including species identification strategies, methods of field inquiry, how to keep a field notebook, and how to use online resources such as iNaturalist. Students are expected to complete a capstone project that includes service to a local environmental organization or a citizen science project.

Students who enroll in BIOL 20 are eligible to also enroll in UC California Naturalist Certification ($50 for a full-time student/ $100 for a part time student), which is awarded, automatically, upon successful completion of the course (grade C or better).  This certification is recognized statewide as a standard in naturalist training and offers the student an advantage when applying for internships and jobs in environmental science and environmental education, as well as myriad advanced training opportunities.  

Download the 2016 draft course syllabus here.

Dates: 2017 schedule TBA. 

Contact: Karen ReissProfessor, Life Science Sciences; 707-476-4220

College of the Redwoods

Webmaster Email: canaturalist@ucanr.edu