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Pepperwood Foundation

Course Description

Pepperwood Preserve is offering both UC California Naturalist certification and UC Climate Stewards certification. While the field component is focused on Pepperwood, the content applies to the natural history of Sonoma County and surrounds.

UC Climate Stewards Certification

Pepperwood is excited to offer the UC Climate Stewards certification. Participants in this course will learn how climate is changing both our natural and social systems, and what they can do to improve ecosystem and community resilience. We will discuss the latest climate science, practice effectively communicating climate science, and participate in field-based activities to deepen our understanding of how fire and water are impacting our community within the context of climate change.

Through a hybrid of class discussions, self-paced online learning, and independent field-based activities, participants will become engaged and empowered to help increase community and ecosystem resilience now and for future generations.

Dates: January 7 - March 11, 2023

Fees: $450

Delivery Mode: Hybrid

Contact: Summer Swallow, sswallow@pepperwoodpreserve.org 

Course Website & Registration


UC California Naturalist Certification

In this 10-week course, participants meet every Saturday to explore Pepperwood and learn about different natural history topics. Each session runs from 9am-2pm and includes time in the classroom as well as time in the field. Participants will learn about Sonoma county’s natural ecosystems with Pepperwood educator Summer Swallow and other local experts in hydrology, soil science, mammology, ecology, ornithology, and geology. Those completing the 40-hour course along with their capstone project will receive their California Naturalist Certification through the UC certification program.

Students are required to attend all 10 sessions of this course, for a total of 40 hours over the winter session. This class involves hiking up to 4 miles per day on uneven terrain without trails, and students are required to fulfill this component of the course to graduate and receive certification. Upon successful completion of the 40-hour course requirements and capstone project, participants are eligible for the UC California Naturalist Certification.

Dates: TBD

Contact: Summer Swallow, sswallow@pepperwoodpreserve.org


Organization Description: Pepperwood Preserve is a 3,200 acre nature preserve, and serves as a living laboratory to engage students, volunteers, and scientists in applied conservation. With many different ecosystems to explore, including grasslands, vernal ponds, oak woodlands, mixed evergreen forests, and serpentine chaparral, the preserve serves as a Watershed Sentinel Site dedicated to tracking ecosystem health over time by systematically monitoring things like weather, soil moisture, stream flow, and the diversity and vitality of local plant and animal populations.