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Sonoma Ecology Center

Course Descriptions

Sonoma Ecology Center is offering the new UC Climate Stewards certification course and the California Naturalist certification course in Sonoma County.

UC California Naturalist Course

This California Naturalist Program for Teachers course is designed to equip educators with the expertise to inspire their students to become active participants in the stewardship of California’s natural communities, with a focus on Climate and Wildfire Resiliency through a naturalist lens. This course will provide a deep exploration of the wonders of California’s local ecology, with an emphasis on understanding the intricate connections between climate change, wildfire resiliency, and the natural history of the Sonoma Valley. Through a combination of scientific inquiry, guest lectures from experts, immersive field trips, and project-based learning, participants will gain the skills necessary to effectively communicate and interpret natural resource information, while applying their knowledge to address local and global environmental issues.

Dates: September 27 – November 11, 2023

Fees: $499 ($40 for qualifying teachers & educators)

Delivery mode: Hybrid

Contact: Tony Passantino, tony@sonomaecologycenter.org 

Course Website & Registration 


UC Climate Stewards certification course

The 7-week UC Climate Stewards certification course seeks to foster a committed corps of volunteers ready to effectively engage in transformative local solutions to promote community and ecosystem resilience in a changing climate. The UC Climate Stewards course will introduce you to social-emotional learning and trauma-aware practices, climate change communication, climate science, and community resilience planning.    

This UC Climate Stewards Course will integrate locally relevant themes of fire, water and inclusion. Through guest speakers, field activities, and participatory science we will learn about and discuss principles and practices towards increasing community and ecosystem resilience to fire, drought, and floods.    

Dates: TBA 

Contact: Tony Passantino, tony@sonomaecologycenter.org 


Organization Description: Sonoma Ecology Center addresses challenges related to water supply and quality, open space, rural character, biodiversity, energy, climate change, and quality of life. The mission of Sonoma Ecology Center is to work with our community to enhance and sustain ecological health in Sonoma Valley. Since 1990, we’ve worked to increase appreciation and stewardship of Sonoma Valley’s natural heritage and create measurable benefits in areas of land, water, climate change, and biodiversity.

Sonoma Valley is home to an amazing variety of species living in a small space. As many as a quarter of California’s species exist in this compact area, a place that comprises only a tenth of 1% of California’s entire land area! Since the Valley is mostly privately owned over thousands of parcels, it needs all of us to be good stewards to sustain this amazing legacy for the future. Our valley is also a watershed–a basic unit around which life on earth is organized. It’s also economically and socially diverse. In short, it offers a lot of what other places offer in a small, human scale valley. It’s a place that may be just the right size to get important things done together. And as we learn more about how to take care of our special place, we may help others do the same in theirs.