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West Valley College

Open to students and community members of all ages, join any of the following courses in the Biology department under Ecology, Diversity, and Conservation offered throughout the year to obtain California Naturalist certification. Students will have the option of receiving California Naturalist certification in fall, spring, or summer classes:

 Fall  Bio 13 Natural History of California

 Bio 12 Introduction to Ecology & Wildlife
 Bio 14 California Plants and Animals

 Summer  Bio 56 Ecology of the Sierra Nevada

Upon successful completion of course requirements, participants will have the option of obtaining UC California Naturalist Certification ($50 FT students/$100 other, one time fee). Participants will build their resume and become a more desirable candidate to work or volunteer for public land agencies or environmental education organizations. 


BIO 13 - Natural History of California
This course explores the plant and animal communities of California. Students have the opportunity to learn about the ecology of California in both the classroom and field settings. Preliminary class meetings are followed by a field trip(s). Students must successfully complete class preparatory requirements in order to participate in the field trip(s). Students are responsible for transportation and costs associated with travel, meals, camping equipment and related expenses.

Fall Dates: 2020 TBA
Field Trips


BIO 12 - Introduction to Ecology and Wildlife 
This non-major course is an introduction to the general ecological principles that integrate all life on earth, with special focus on wildlife populations and their natural history. Energy and material flows will be covered, along with animal biology, behavior, population dynamics and human impact and management. Laboratory and field exercises emphasize investigational techniques used in scientific studies.

Spring Dates: January 25 - May 22, 2020 
Lecture: Tuesdays 2:05 - 5:15, Lab: Thursdays 2:05 - 5:15                 

BIO 14 - California Plants and Animals
This course is a general education course which introduces California plants and animals in an ecological context. An ecosystem approach is used to explain the geographic distribution of life forms and their community associations. In-class activities and out-of-class projects involve learning the natural history of California life forms, as well as recognizing and naming them. The most common life forms from the coast to the mountains to the desert will be explored within the ecological context. Anyone who is interested in teaching, recreation or park management will learn identification and display techniques that will be of use. This class is designed for non-majors.

Spring Dates: January 25 - May 22, 2020
Lecture: Mondays 2:05 - 5:15, Lab: Wednesdays 2:05 - 5:15


BIO 56 - Ecology of the Sierra Nevada
This general education course includes an overview of the climate, evolutionary history, biogeography, community structure, natural history, and ecology of the plants, mammals, birds and insects of the Sierra Nevada range. Students also have the opportunity to gain an understanding of basic field techniques. This class is held in the field with required preliminary class meetings at West Valley College. Students are responsible for transportation and costs associated with travel, camping equipment, and related expenses.

Summer Dates: 2020 TBA
Lecture: TBA
Field Trips: TBA


Course details: No prerequisites. Open to the public. Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

Online registration: here, new student registration is in progress.

Contact: Leticia Gallardo, leticia.gallardo@westvalley.edu (408) 741-2416

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