OLEMA, Calif. — The Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) is offering a certification course in partnership with the University of California to train the next generation of skilled naturalists in California.
The course will be taught in Olema by a team of expert naturalists and focuses on the geology, biodiversity, and rare species-—including the Bay Area’s critically endangered coho salmon—in the Lagunitas Creek Watershed and the Point Reyes peninsula in West Marin County.
“This is a unique opportunity to learn from Marin’s many naturalist experts in a world-class outdoor classroom,” said course instructor Harry McGrath. “The conservation of Marin’s wild places can be traced back to people who truly understand the interconnection of nature’s many facets, and we are training more of those people with this course.”
The course combines lectures, field trips, nature journaling, citizen science, and volunteering to increase environmental literacy and facilitate participants in taking an active role in the local area’s natural resource conservation, education and preservation. By providing hands-on experiences with environmental conservation work, this course is designed to inspire participants to become active citizen scientists, enhance their personal connection with the natural world, and hone their observational skills. The course culminates with each participant completing a capstone project.
Through five field trips, participants will explore the redwood forests, oak woodlands, and marine tidal zones of Marin County, California. We will cover topics including the natural and cultural history of California, the living and non-living elements of Marin’s ecosystems, as well as the role of citizen science and traditional ecological knowledge in environmental stewardship.
SPAWN’s California Naturalist Training Course begins February 11 at SPAWN’s headquarters on Golden Gate National Area in Olema, it will continue for six Tuesday evenings, and includes five Saturday field trips. Educators can also choose to earn up to four Continuing Education Units (CEU) from an accredited university.
Thanks to the West Marin Fund, a limited number of need-based scholarships are available to cover the cost of the course for members serving underrepresented communities. For more information and to register, visit https://seaturtles.org/campaigns/california-naturalist-course/.
The Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) is a program of national marine conservation nonprofit Turtle Island Restoration Network. SPAWN protects endangered, wild Coho salmon and the forests and watersheds they need to survive in West Marin County, California.