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Advanced Trainings

Being a California Naturalist is a commitment to life long learning. Here you can find training opportunities being offered by CalNat Program partnering organizations as well as the University of California. These continuing education opportunities are, unless otherwise noted, open to the public (Certified Naturalist or not). 

If you work with a partnering organization please submit new training opportunities here.

Wildlife Corridors for Flood Escape on the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

  • Organization Name
    Yolo Basin Foundation
  • Brief course description

    Within the Yolo Bypass, flood waters rise from east to west. Wildlife including deer, furbearers, and ground nesting birds lack adequate cover to move out of lower areas or to escape aerial predation. Wildlife in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA) are regularly stranded in winter flood events. Since 2016, the Yolo County Resource Conservation District (RCD) has been leading a project to improve flood escape for wildlife, implement agriculture-compatible restoration, and engage the public. This effort will create five miles of cover for wildlife escaping flood events, enhance year-round habitat for migratory birds, pollinators and other wildlife, provide a public-access demonstration planting, and increase awareness and appreciation of the YBWA and its values and functions by holding high school field days and community volunteer stewardship events.

  • Website for more information
  • Start date
    02/02/2020
  • County location
    Yolo County

California Forest Stewardship Workshop

  • Organization Name
    Hopland Research and Extension Center
  • Brief course description

    Overview: The goal of the workshop is to help landowners understand and protect their forests by creating a Forest Management Plan. The workshop will cover:
        • Forest management objectives and planning
        • Forest health, insects and disease
        • Forest and fire ecology, wildlife, watersheds
        • Fuels reduction and forest resource marketing
        • Mapping, inventory and silviculture
        • Project development & permitting
        • Getting professional help and cost-share opportunities

    Hosted by: the University of California  Cooperative Extension in  collaboration with CAL FIRE, Forest Landowners of California, USFS
    Region 5, the American Forest Foundation, California Association of
    Resource Conservation Districts, and the California Fire Safe Council.

    Registration for the workshop is $60. Space is limited. Registration is now available at http://ucanr.edu/forestryworkshops/. Space is limited. For questions, contact Mike Jones, mjones@ucdavis.edu, (707) 463-4495.

  • Website for more information
  • Start date
    1/12/20 & 1/25/2020
  • County location
    Mendocino County

Megafauna: The Science of Large Animals and Why They Matter

  • Organization Name
    Palm Desert Center-UC Riverside
  • Brief course description

    The speaker for this lecture will be Dr. Jim Estes, discussing how and why large-bodied animals matter to nature and the world we live in.

  • Website for more information
  • Start date
    1/22/2020
  • County location
    Riverside County

Desert Discoveries: The Salton Sea

  • Organization Name
    Palm Desert Center-UC Riverside
  • Brief course description

     A historical look at the Salton Sea, an epic tale of man versus nature in the harsh California desert. This season we are exploring the Salton Sea. Join us as we examine the issues facing California's largest lake, as well as the many ways UCR is helping to save it and the people who live here.

  • Website for more information
  • Start date
    1/23/2020
  • County location
    Riverside County

What's that Plant? Tunnel Road, Santa Barbara

  • Organization Name
    Santa Barbara Bontanic Garden
  • Brief course description

    The plants all around us tell stories that illuminate California's history and secrets to survival in its landscapes. If you'd like to experience those stories firsthand and take a deeper look into nature, join us for a new field trip we're calling “What's That Plant?”. Director of Education and Engagement, Scot Pipkin, will guide you on an easy hike on a local trail and introduce you to the common plants of this region.

    We will meet at Inspiration Point Trail head. You will have to find parking along Tunnel Road. This is a very popular hiking spot with multiple trails, so you’ll have to park and walk up the road to the trailhead. There is no parking lot for this trail head. Please give yourself plenty of time to park and walk, and please be respectful of our neighbors who live on this busy stretch of road. Meet us at Inspiration Point Trailhead where there is a large metal gate across the road.

    Scot Pipkin was born and raised in San Diego, California. After attending UCLA and receiving a degree in Geography with an emphasis in biogeography, he has spent his career acquiring and sharing an understanding of the natural world that emphasizes the interconnections that surround us. 

  • Start date
    1/26/2020
  • County location
    Santa Barbara County

Nature and You Lecture Series: The Reality of Climate Change and What You Can Do

  • Organization Name
    Tuleyome
  • Brief course description

    Please join guest speaker Bob Lew, part of Al Gore’s international Climate Reality Project to learn more Climate Change and what you can do now.

    Climate Change… If it is truly an existential threat, why is it so easy for so many people to ignore? What is the reality the world is facing now? What is the latest science? What has already happened and what are the short term and long-term future effects? Is it effecting everywhere on the planet equally? What could happen our lifetimes, in our children’s lifetimes, and our grandchildren’s lifetimes? What can be done?  

  • Start date
    1/30/2020
  • County location
    Yolo County

Succulent Poaching and Dudleya Conservation

  • Organization Name
    UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden
  • Brief course description

    In this talk, Stephen McCabe, Emeritus Director of Research of UCSC Arboretum, will focus on recent poaching of the native succulent Dudleya plants from the California coast, as well as mentioning other succulent poaching that is a side effect of the current succulent plant craze. In one bust alone, about $600,000 worth of poached plants were seized. The show will cover some of the steps people are taking to protect the common and the many rare and endangered species of succulent plants, as well as how to grow responsibly produced plants.

    Ray Collett Rare and Extraordinary Plant Lecture Series for 2020

  • Start date
    2/12/2020
  • County location
    Santa Cruz County

Mushrooms of Sonoma County

  • Organization Name
    Pepperwood Preserve, Santa Rosa
  • Brief course description

    The winter is a great time to get acquainted with fascinating fungi that are typically unseen the rest of the year. With the rainy season moisture, vital networks of fungal mycelium hiding under our feet and in fallen logs put forth their fruiting bodies – showing us their many mushroom forms from the more recognizable toadstools and shelf fungi to the stranger bird’s nest or jelly fungi.

    Join Melina Kozanitas, biologist and mycology lecturer at Sonoma State University, to learn how to find and identify local mushrooms at Pepperwood. This class will include a lecture to learn the essentials, field exploration time to collect samples, and lab time to identify specimens found.

  • Start date
    2/29/2020
  • County location
    Sonoma County

Naturalist Series: Bioblitz at the Martin Preserve!

  • Organization Name
    Sierra Foothill Conservancy
  • Brief course description

    All species are tied to a vast network of biological interconnections that may both enable and hamper their survival.

    Join Biologist Rodney Olsen for an exploration of the numerous connections between species within California oak woodland communities. This Naturalist Series class will consist of a leisurely two-mile hike on the Martin Preserve where participants will have an opportunity to hone their identification skills while exploring this community for signs of species connectedness. The iNaturalist app may be used by participants to aid in species identification and document observations (please download beforehand if you intend to use it). Please bring a sack lunch and beverages. Limited to 16 participants.

  • Start date
    3/15/2020
  • County location
    Fresno County

March 2020:Conservation Icons: Dr. Carlos de la Rosa

  • Organization Name
    Mt Diablo Region - Lindsay Wildlife Experience
  • Brief course description

    Learn how to begin and sustain critical conversations about environmental stewardship with Lindsay’s own wildlife conservationist and executive director.

    A biologist, photographer and storyteller, Dr. Carlos de la Rosa will discuss the importance of addressing the current global climate emergency through daily conversations and actions. His presentation will provide examples of how we can reduce our environmental footprints and inspire our communities to become more sustainable.

  • Start date
    3/28/2020
  • County location
    Contra Costa County

Peaks, Valleys, and Farms: Insights into the complex heritage of Western red foxes

  • Organization Name
    Yolo Basin Foundation
  • Brief course description

    Sophie Preckler-Quisquater, UC Davis Mammalian Ecology and Conservation Unit

    The Sacramento Valley red fox (SVRF, Vulpes vulpes patwin) is endemic to the northern Central Valley of California. It is considered a State Species of Greatest Conservation Need due to its decline in abundance from historical levels and restricted distribution. While its closest relative, the Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) occupies high elevation, subalpine habitat, the Sacramento Valley red fox appears to be uniquely adapted to the semi-arid, lowland region that is its namesake. Along with habitat loss, hybridization with nonnative red foxes of fur-farm origin has been identified as a threat to the genetic integrity of the Sacramento Valley red fox along the southern edge of its range. Sophie uses a combination of traditional wildlife monitoring techniques and “next-generation” genomic tools to characterize the ecology and evolution of this endemic subspecies, and address the potential consequences of continued hybridization with the nonnative red population.

  • Website for more information
  • Start date
    4/02/2020
  • County location
    Yolo County

Spring Beginning Birding at the Gorge

  • Organization Name
    Sierra Foothill Conservancy
  • Brief course description

    Sierra Foothill Conservancy (SFC), Fresno Audubon Society, and the San Joaquin River Gorge Special Recreation Management Area (BLM) have joined forces to offer a birding class that combines instruction, exploration, and fun! Beginning birders will see and learn about spring migratory birds visiting the San Joaquin River Gorge. Birders will discover easy ways to identify migrating and year-round, local birds. The class will include a walk looking for birds in the fall habitat found on the scenic hillsides of the River Gorge. Bring binoculars, lunch, water and sun protection.

  • Start date
    4/19/2020
  • County location
    Fresno County

Do-It-Yourself Wildlife Camera Trapping (April)

  • Organization Name
    Pepperwood Preserve
  • Brief course description

    Discover the wildlife in your own backyard through the non-invasive monitoring technique of “camera trapping” – using motion-sensing cameras to record the creatures who pass by. Pepperwood’s Wildlife Specialist, Steven Hammerich, will guide you through the basics of how to choose and use a camera, as well as best practices for setting up a successful camera trap location. Together we will visit a camera site on the preserve, retrieve the memory card, and find out who has visited that location! Explore common dos and don’ts, as well as the essentials of identifying the local fauna who may star in your photos. Learn more about Pepperwood’s Wildlife Picture Index (WPI), the first of its kind in North America, which is helping us understand wildlife at Pepperwood and beyond to advance the conservation of wildlife corridors and habitat throughout our region. Steven manages many aspects involved in the WPI project, including field work and data collection, equipment, and volunteer and intern support. This class will include time in the classroom as well as in the field, with a moderate hike of approximately 1-2 miles.

  • Start date
    4/25/2020
  • County location
    Sonoma County

Forestry Institute for Teachers (Plumas, Tuolumne, Shasta and Humboldt counties)

  • Organization Name
    Project Learning Tree-UC Cooperative Extension
  • Brief course description

    The Forestry Institute for Teachers is a multi-day residence workshop developed by the California Society of American Foresters, University of California Cooperative Extension, Shasta County Office of Education, The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and Project Learning Tree. The goal of FIT is to provide K-12 teachers with knowledge, skills and tools to effectively teach their students about forest ecology and forest resource management practices using award winning environmental education curriculum.

    June 14-20, Plumas County
       June 21-27, Tuolumne County

       July 5-11, Shasta County
       July 12-18, Humboldt County

  • Website for more information
  • Start date
    6/14/2020 to 6/14/2020 (see other sessions below)
  • County location
    N / A

The Return of Gray Wolves to California

  • Organization Name
    American River Conservancy
  • Brief course description

    This presentation will provide an overview of gray wolf natural history, ecological role, current distribution and population in North America and here in California. The reintroduction efforts to bring wolves back to the northern Rockies will be discussed, as well as implications for wolf recovery in the western states with an emphasis on the importance of coexistence and moving beyond myths. Presenter, Pamela Flick, is Senior California Representative for Defenders of Wildlife based in Sacramento, where she works on federal land management focused on Sierra Nevada national forests and advancing conservation of carnivores, birds and amphibians. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area).

  • Start date
    February 27, 2020
  • County location
    El Dorado County

February 2020 Conservation Icons: Dr. Lisa Tell, UC Davis (hummingbirds)

  • Organization Name
    Mt Diablo Region - Lindsay Wildlife Experience
  • Brief course description

    Take a peek into the fascinating world of hummingbirds with Dr. Lisa Tell, professor of veterinary medicine at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and director of the university’s hummingbird program. Dr. Tell is one of Lindsay Wildlife’s Conservation Icons and will be at Lindsay 6 p.m., Feb. 8, 2020 to speak about these colorful pollinators.

  • Start date
    February 8, 2020
  • County location
    Contra Costa County