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CalNat American River College courses
Contact: Jennifer Neale, NealeJ@arc.losrios.edu
Sponsor: UC Environmental Stewards

Full course page: https://calnat.ucanr.edu/Take_a_class/American_River_College/

Take any of the following courses in the Environmental Conservation Program at American River College Department of Natural Resources to obtain California Naturalist Certification. Environmental Conservation is an interdisciplinary program that advances the understanding of ecological systems and their interrelationships, including those with human society. Everyone is welcome! No prerequisites.


NATR 301 Introduction to Ornithology, 4 Units 

This introductory course covers the biology and natural history of birds. Topics include evolutionary origins of birds and of flight, avian anatomy and physiology, and bird behavior, such as migration, song, feeding ecology, and mating systems. Conservation strategies are also investigated. Laboratory work explores bird structure and function, taxonomic classification, and species identification, particularly of those found in California and the western United States. Field trips may be required. This course is not open to students who have completed BIOL 332.

Dates: August 24 - December 19, 2024

Delivery Mode: In-Person

Lecture: Wednesday(s), 9:00 am to 12:05 pm

Lab: Friday(s), 9:00 am to 12:05 pm

NATR 330 Native Trees and Shrubs of California, 4 Units 

This dendrology course covers classification and ecology of major natural plant communities of California and their component tree and shrub species. Emphasis is placed on biotic and abiotic factors of native woody plant distribution and abundance in northern California, focusing on characterization of the dominant vegetation types and identification of native woody species. Major topics include plant adaptation, evolution, and diversity in time and space; morphology and physiology; life history; soils, climate, and topography; endemism; interspecific and intraspecific interactions; invasive species; disease; anthropogenic and natural environmental change; human uses of native plants; and native plant restoration and conservation. This course involves the creation of a plant collection including at least 60 representative native woody species. Field trips are required.

Dates: August 24 - December 19, 2024

Delivery Mode: In-Person

Lecture: Monday(s), 9:00 am to 12:05 pm

Lab: Friday(s), 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm


Fees: ARC class fees are $46 per unit (without financial aid). In addition to unit fees and lab fees (eligible for hardship fee waiver), California Naturalist Certification fee ($55 per student) will be covered for most students by a scholarship fund through the Environmental Conservation program’s current Strong Workforce grant.

Contact: Jennifer Neale, NealeJ@arc.losrios.edu 


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About the Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Neale has been working in the environmental field for more than 30 years. Her formal education includes a B.A. in Environmental Studies from U.C. Santa Cruz, M.S. in Wildlife Biology from U.C. Berkeley, Ph.D. in Ecology from U.C. Davis, and Post-doc in Environmental Toxicology and Immunology. She has also studied California floristics with a focus on native vascular plants especially in the context of wildlife habitat.  Her research and teaching background has focused on vertebrate wildlife and terrestrial vascular plants; she has been working full-time as a professor at American River College since 2006.