The UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Preserve, the Merced County UC Cooperative Extension Office, and the Upper Merced River Watershed Council are excited to sponsor the California Naturalist Certification Training at UC Merced from February 11 - April 21, 2016. The course, open to all members of the community, provides a broad overview of California natural history and, in particular, introduces participants to the unique ecology of the San Joaquin Valley and central Sierra Nevada foothill regions.
Students in the California Naturalist Program will become part of a committed corps of volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists, equipped with the skills needed to take an active role in natural resource stewardship and education. This 10-week training, taught by UC Merced faculty and other local experts, combines science instruction with guest speakers, field trips, and project-based learning. The course will cover basic ecology, watershed processes, geology, wildlife, plant communities, and global environmental issues, as well as tools for collaborative conservation and communication. There will also be opportunities for bird watching, wildflower identification, sketching, and journaling! Upon completing certification requirements, participants are eligible for four academic credits through UC Davis Extension for an additional nominal fee.
The Watershed Council is providing a limited number of partial scholarships, so please get your scholarship application in as soon as possible! Additionally, the Watershed Council is providing a number of capstone service projects (i.e. water quality monitoring, bullfrog management, trail rehabilitation) for participants.
To sign up for the 2016 Spring program and/or apply for a scholarship, please fill out the registration and scholarship forms available here (Registration Form, Scholarship Form) or on the Merced County UC Cooperative Extension home page. Scholarship applications must be received by Wednesday, January 20, 2016. The course registration deadline is Friday, February 8, 2016.
For more information about the UC Merced CalNat Program, please visit the website (http://calnat.ucanr.edu/Take_a_class/UC_Merced/) or contact Monique Kolster, course coordinator (email@example.com).