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Become a Partner

Become a UC Environmental Stewards partner!

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UC Environmental Stewards provides flexible, adaptable UC certification courses to create or improve existing naturalist & climate educator training programs. With partnering organizations, we foster a diverse community of stewards and promote stewardship of California’s natural resources through education and service. Together, we can help protect and preserve our unique habitats, wild and urban alike. 

UC Environmental Stewards is the hub of a collective impact network. 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.

A California Naturalist or Climate Stewards course needs both an approved partnering organization and a qualified instructor. There are criteria for partnering organizations and instructors to ensure that UC Environmental Stewards courses meet the standards of the program and UC Davis Extension. Partner organizations or agencies must have a proven-track-record of success delivering science-based environmental education and fill a service gap or provide additional access to the program. Instructors must have the combined science education and experience to successfully teach and coordinate a junior college level introductory science course.

Benefits to partnering organizations include: 

  • Easy adoption of an education and outreach program consistent with existing organizational program structure, mission and goals
  • Expansion and re-structuring of existing educational efforts
  • Curriculum, instructional aides, and training for instructors
  • Promotional materials and participation incentives
  • Financial support from program fees
  • Informational website and on-line volunteer tracking tools
  • Stewardship service projects to support organizational goals
  • Instructor accreditation to offer University of California academic units
  • Comprehensive program evaluation tools
  • Assistance promoting your organization’s adult education and training events
  • Well trained, loyal volunteers to support your organization and increase capacity to address deferred and priority projects
  • Upon completing course requirements partner organization’s paid staff may become certified at a reduced rate.

In order to become a partner, an organization must:

  • Fill out the Partner Interest Form.
  • Be in existence a minimum of three years from the date of application.
  • Provide or form connections with partners that provide access to volunteer opportunities in the categories of conservation/restoration, participatory science, education/interpretation, program support, community resilience & adaptation and environmental & climate justice.
  • Demonstrate the physical, staff, and financial capacity and support to conduct the program.
  • Provide an instructor/coordinator with teaching and public speaking experience, familiarity with natural resource management, ecology, or a related field, and at least a bachelors degree. Instructor/coordinators will be pre-screened by UC Environmental Stewards to ensure our partnering organization's success and maintain the ongoing quality and consistency of this state-wide program. In some cases, the California Naturalist Program may be able to recommend an instructor in your area.
  • Attend a California Naturalist or Climate Stewards Instructor Training Workshop. We offer minimum two per year. 

There is an application process to becoming a partner program, and attending an instructor training workshop (see schedule to the right) is one step in the process, but does not guarantee that we will be able to partner with your organization. If your organization meets the criteria outlined above and you are interested in becoming a partner please fill out the Partner Interest Form and our staff will be in touch with you within a couple weeks to discuss your goals.

Click here to download an informational flier.

More questions? Please contact us to set up a call to understand your organization's objectives, capacity, and potential course partners in your area.

Thank you for your interest in the UC Environmental Stewards! 

California Naturalist & Climate Stewards Instructor Training 

Our Spring virtual instructor training for the California Naturalist & Climate Stewards Certification Courses will take place in March 2024. This training will be held over Zoom.

The California Naturalist Instructor Training will be held on all Mondays in March from 9:00am to 12:00pm and the first Wednesday of March (3/6) from 9:00am to 12:00pm. The Climate Stewards Instructor Training will be held on all Mondays and Wednesdays in March from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Wednesday March 13 will be one hour longer (9:00am to 1:00pm) for Climate Stewards Instructor trainees.  

Space is limited. More information here