Hero Image

City College of San Francisco

Course Description

The Wild SF! UC California Naturalist Certification Course is a program developed by the University of California Cooperative Extension with CCSF to foster eco-literacy, focusing on both the urban and wild ecology of the San Francisco Bay Area. The course combines a rigorous science curriculum with guest lecturers, field trips and project-based learning to immerse you in the natural world of the San Francisco Bay Area. At WildSF!, diversity, social justice, equity, inclusion, and access for all to our amazing local eco-spaces and the knowledge about them is central to our mission and threaded throughout our curriculum. From surveying marine biodiversity at Pillar Point to understanding San Francisco’s rich geologic history to visiting vital San Francisco eco-spaces, we hope to educate and inspire others to understand and appreciate the rich wildlife heritage that San Francisco and the Bay Area hold.  

Upon completion of the course, participants will acquire skills in ecological observation and study, interpretation, community science, and service learning.  Participants will also receive certification on the UC California Naturalist Program and have the option of earning 4 general education units through the University of California, Davis, Extension.  With this course, we are hoping to reach not only those that are interested in careers in biology, but also any Bay Area citizens that have a love and passion for Nature and the outdoors. 

Contact: Matt Schweitzer, bibit.traut@mail.ccsf.edu, Bibit Traut, bibit.traut@mail.ccsf.edu, Eliza Woo, eliza.woo@mail.ccsf.edu     

About the Instructor:

  • Matt Schweitzer, M.S. I have been a nature nut for my entire life! I attended Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi where their curriculum was centered around marine and estuarine ecology and field studies.   I have also been an educator with a bird of prey conservancy in Texas, and learned many techniques for rehabilitating sick, injured, and orphaned birds of prey. I have been teaching at the community college level for 10 years. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2012, I have expanded my interests to include Entomology, the study of local ecosystems and wildlife, and California endemic species. I look forward to sharing what I have learned in all of these areas, and further explore our amazing Bay Area wildlife heritage with you!
  • Bibit Traut, PhD. Nature is amazing and I am captivated by the kaleidoscope of life.  I have explored seascapes and landscapes trying to understand patterns and processes of biodiversity. As such, I bring a breadth of experience in biology that I have gained from earning a Ph.D. in Ecology from U.C. Davis and Masters degrees in Botany from Oregon State University and Marine Sciences from U.C. Santa Cruz.  I completed a research fellowship at U.C. Berkeley before coming to CCSF in 2005. I am excited to share my enthusiasm for the natural world with you, both in the classroom and the field.
  • Eliza Woo, PhD. I love the outdoors! I’ve been lucky enough to do conservation work in Hawaii, conduct plant research in the rainforests of Puerto Rico, lead surveys in the pine barrens of Long Island, NY, and even inventory song bird populations in the SF Bay area salt marshes.  I received my Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from State University of New York at Stony Brook and completed a teaching and research fellowship at Columbia University before coming to CCSF in 2015. I look forward to working with you in this exciting naturalist certification course!

Organization Description: City College reflects the diversity and culture of San Francisco at its best. Established in 1935, the College has grown into one of the nation’s largest public colleges. Residents living in the vibrant Bay area communities attend City College because it offers one of the best values in education closest to home. To this day, City College remains an education destination of choice among students, faculty and staff alike. We pride ourselves on our strong academic reputation built on an innovative curriculum, excellent facilities, dedicated staff and faculty as well as an impressive alumni base. Committed to helping you achieve your lifetime educational and career goals, City College makes good on its promise of upholding high educational standards that provide you with added value and a competitive edge.