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Friends of the Dunes Coastal Naturalist Training

Course Description

The Coastal Naturalist Training is an 8-week California Naturalist course that will introduce participants to the wonders of Humboldt's local coastal ecology and engage them in the stewardship of California’s natural communities. The course will combine a junior college-level introductory science course curriculum with classroom and field experiences, guest lecturers, and project-based learning to immerse students in the natural world of the Humboldt Bay region and coastal dune ecosystem. Guest lecturers and field instructors include professors, geologists, botanists, biologists, long-time naturalists, and other local experts. Upon completion of course requirements, participants will earn a California Naturalist Certificate through the UC California Naturalist Program and are eligible for an optional four UC Davis Extension academic credits. 

The course is for community members interested in expanding their knowledge of Humboldt's coastal environments, as well as students, teachers, naturalists, and environmental educators seeking professional development. While you may take the course strictly for your own enjoyment, the course will also prepare you to become an active volunteer with Friends of the Dunes or other environmental organizations. Participants should be able to hike several miles in soft sand while carrying their own supplies (field notebook, water, lunch, and snacks). We will be traveling at an easy pace but will be in the field for up to 5 hours per field trip. Field sessions take place rain or shine, participants are expected to be prepared for the weather.

Dates: Fall 2024

Contact: Suzie Fortner, Programs & Operations Director, suzie@friendsofthedunes.org, (707) 444-1397

Course Website & Registration 

Organization Description: Friends of the Dunes is dedicated to conserving the natural diversity of coastal environments in Humboldt County, California, through community supported education and stewardship programs. 

Our Goals:

  • Provide community education that fosters understanding and appreciation and inspires conservation.
  • Build community-based restoration programs that serve to maintain and enhance the natural diversity of coastal environments.
  • Conserve strategically located coastal properties through conservation easements and land acquisition to ensure that land use is consistent with the ecological values of native coastal dune systems.
  • Develop an effective and efficient organization capable of conserving coastal environments in perpetuity.