About UC Environmental Stewards
As a statewide program of the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Environmental Stewards is the hub of a collective impact network. We offer two adult environmental education certification courses: Climate Stewards and California Naturalist. Both certifications are community college level, interdisciplinary, science centered courses that combine a minimum of 40 hours of classroom and field learning.
- The Climate Stewards course prepares participants to volunteer or support local efforts to advance community and ecosystem resilience to climate impacts.
- The California Naturalist course introduces Californians to the wonders of our unique ecology and engages the public in study and stewardship of California’s natural communities
The mission of UC Environmental Stewards is to foster a diverse community of stewards building toward sustainability and resilience in California’s communities and ecosystems through education and service.
We’ve worked with over 70 partner organizations that deliver the courses and have certified a community of over 7,600 participants. California Naturalists and Climate Stewards perform service in the areas of education and interpretation, stewardship, participatory science, environmental program support, community resilience, and environmental justice. Since 2018, certified California Naturalists and Climate Stewards have volunteered over 240,000 hours, worth over $6 million dollars, in all 58 counties in California.
UC Environmental Stewards promotes environmental literacy and stewardship through discovery and action. To become a certified California Naturalist or Climate Steward, participants need to enroll in and complete a 40+ hour course with one of our partner organizations.
UC Environmental Stewards gives Californians the knowledge, skills, and network to help protect and preserve our unique and diverse wildlife, habitats, river, lakes and coastal resources, wild and urban alike, and increase ecosystem and community resilience.
Courses throughout California combine classroom, online, and field experiences in earth systems, water, energy and agriculture; as well as communication training, participatory science, and community service opportunities. The course includes an overview of state and local climate policies. After certification, Climate Stewards are encouraged to volunteer in activities ranging from community and participatory science, land and water stewardship, environmental justice and civic engagement, and education and interpretation activities.
Climate Stewards is a catalyst for public participation in California’s climate change initiatives.
Goals of the new Climate Stewards certification course include:
- 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-level solutions to advance resiliency.
- Build statewide support for and capacity to effectively advance state and local climate goals.
After certification, Climate Stewards are encouraged to volunteer in activities ranging from participatory science, land and water stewardship, civic engagement, environmental justice, and education and interpretation activities. Upon completing certification requirements, participants are eligible for academic credits through UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education for an additional nominal fee.
Courses combine classroom and field experience in science, problem-solving, communication training and community service. Students are taught by an instructor and team of experts who are affiliated with a local nature-based center or natural resource focused agency. Upon completing certification requirements, participants are eligible for four academic credits through UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education for an additional nominal fee.
Subjects covered in each California Naturalist course include ecology, geology, plant communities, forest, woodland and range resources and management, wildlife, communication and interpretation, participatory science, and energy and global environmental issues.
After certification, California Naturalists are encouraged to volunteer in activities ranging from participatory science, land and water stewardship, civic engagement, environmental justice, and education and interpretation activities.