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Climate Stewards Initiative



MISSION: The UC California Naturalist Program prepares Climate Stewards to communicate and engage in local solutions to advance community and ecosystem resilience.

VISION: Our vision is for California to have engaged communities and functioning ecosystems that are resilient in a changing climate.

The UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, through the California Naturalist Program, is developing a UC Climate Stewards for California Communities certification program. In collaboration with partners including formal and informal science institutions, we will deliver a public program that improves climate change literacy and civic engagement for community and ecosystem resilience throughout California. 


  • Increase access to up-to-date and locally relevant climate science to improve climate literacy through a UC certification course for the public.
  • Establish a community of practice focused on stewardship, communication, and community solutions to advance resiliency.
  • Build statewide support for and capacity to effectively advance state and local climate goals.


Courses throughout California will combine classroom, online, and field experiences in earth systems, water, energy and agriculture; as well as communication training, citizen science, and community service opportunities. After certification, UC Climate Stewards will be encouraged to volunteer in activities ranging from community and citizen science, land and water stewardship, civic engagement, and education and interpretation activities.

The training will include an overview of state and local climate policies so that Climate Stewards is a catalyst for public participation in California’s climate change initiatives.


The course curriculum is currently under development by Sarah-Mae Nelson, the new UC ANR Climate Stewards Academic Coordinator. You can find out more about Sarah-Mae here or contact her through the link below.


David Ackerly, UC Berkeley Faith Kearns, UC ANR
Bernadette Chi, Evaluation Consultant Nuin-Tara Key, CA Office of Planning & Research
Elena DeLacy, American River Conservancy Elissa Lynn, CA Department of Water Resources
José Gonzales, Latino Outdoors Adina Merenlender, UC ANR
Mica Estrada, UC San Francisco Ryan Meyer, UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science
Kate Greswold, California Naturalist Lou Hexter, MIG
Greg Ira, UC ANR Carolyn Verheyen, MIG


Download the Strategic Plan (PDF) 

DONATE: Please consider making a donation to the California Naturalist Climate Stewards Initiative. Your support to the program fund is particularly important during these formative years as we develop fundamental resources and partnerships to plan for change and resilience. Make a donation online here, and earmark it for Climate Stewards in the comment box. 

CONTACT: Want to stay abreast of Climate Stewards-related activities, find out how your organization can participate, or have additional ideas for program research and development? Please share your ideas and contact information here