California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

UC Merced Vernal Pools & Grasslands Reserve CalNat Course

Dates: February 15, 2018 - April 26, 2018

Time: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Contact: Monique Kolster

Sponsor: California Naturalist

Event Details

Full course site here:

The UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve in partnership with the Merced County UC Cooperative Extension Office and Upper Merced River Watershed Council will offer another California Naturalist certificate training in spring 2018 on the campus of UC Merced.  Students in the California Naturalist Program will become part of a committed corps of volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists, equipped with the skills needed to take an active role in local natural resource conservation, restoration and environmental education.  This 10-week training combines science instruction with guest speakers, field trips, and project-based learning to explore the unique ecology and natural history of the San Joaquin Valley and central Sierra Nevada foothills region.  This course will cover basic ecology, watershed concepts, geology, wildlife, plant communities, and global environmental issues, as well as tools for collaborative conservation and communication. There will also be opportunities for bird watching, wildflower identification, sketching, and journaling!

Thursday evening classes will be held at UC Merced, and four Saturday field trips will be held in representative areas of the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada foothills.  Course instructors are UC Merced faculty and other regional experts.  Upon completion of the course, students will receive the UC California Naturalist’s certificate.

Spring 2018 Schedule: February 15- April 26, 2018.  Classes will be held every Thursday evening (5:30-8:30 pm), except March 29 (UC Merced’s Spring Holiday), for ten weeks. There will be four Saturday field trips (9am-2pm) Dates TBA

Instructor: Monique Kolster, Director of the UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve                    

Location: UC Merced

Course Fee: $350, includes the California Naturalist Handbook (de Nevers et al. 2013) and another surprise book!  Upon completing certification requirements, participants are eligible for four academic credits through UC Davis Extension for an additional nominal fee.

Scholarships: There are a limited number of partial scholarships available to participants.  Scholarship information coming soon! 

Registration: Opens soon... Registrations forms will be available on the website (

Contact: For any questions about the course, please visit our website (syllabus and registration available soon!) or contact Monique Kolster, course coordinator (  For any questions about registration, please contact Cathy Marks at the UC Cooperative Extension Merced Office (209-385-7403).

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