The CNC CalNat course uses the flipped learning approach to front-load students with course materials and makes the most of virtual class meetings to feature guest speakers and engage in group activities. Students enjoy independent structured time outdoors through weekly field journaling prompts, participation in a class community science project, recording iNaturalist observations, and participating in a self-guided Fire Ecology themed field trip.
Community Nature Connections seeks to foster a committed and diverse group of naturalists and community scientists trained and ready to take an active role in natural resource conservation, education, and restoration. The California Naturalist course is part of CNC's Learning Institute and is counted along with a suite of courses aimed at empowering local community members to become stewards and voices for the wonders of the L.A. River's extended habitat and the community surrounding it. The course will utilize a combination of science curriculum, classroom lectures, field trips and project-based learning to immerse you in the natural world of the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding watersheds in the greater Los Angeles area, in particular the Los Angeles River.
By the end of this course, participants will be able to:
• Understand what it means to be a naturalist
• Understand the cultural factors that make California’s natural history and ecology unique, with a focus on the ecosystems of greater Los Angeles and the ecosystem of the L.A. River.
• Demonstrate skills in making and recording natural history observations in a field notebook and on iNaturalist.
• Demonstrate skills in communicating and interpreting natural resource and public park information
• Apply knowledge of the local ecosystems to regional and global environmental issues.