Institute to offer UC program |

Institute to offer UC program

Submitted to The Union

Sierra Streams Institute is partnering with the University of California to host the first California Naturalist Program in the Sierra foothill region.

This new offering, made possible with funding from the Living Wild Project, will introduce students from the northern Sierra and Sacramento Valley to Sierra foothill ecosystems and watershed processes.

California Naturalist is a new program developed by the University of California Cooperative Extension to foster a committed group of volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists trained and ready to take an active role in natural resource conservation, education, outreach and restoration.

"What an amazing opportunity to create more citizen scientists! All local watersheds will benefit from this infusion of new and enthusiastic environmental stewards," said Joanne Hild, Sierra Streams Executive Director.

Open to all members of the community, participants in the inaugural Sierra Streams Institute Spring 2014 California Naturalist certification course will experience personal and professional growth by gaining appreciation and knowledge of California's unique ecology and natural history.

Lectures and field trips led by SSI staff and local guest speakers will give participants the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to educate others and to participate in projects with local environmental organizations.

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Lectures will include lessons on geology, hydrology, forest ecology, wildlife ecology, and global environmental issues.

Students will participate in field trips where they will gain experience in phenology studies, local flora and fauna identification, birding, mammal survey techniques, and forest management.

Upon completing certification requirements, participants are eligible for four academic credits through UC Davis Extension for an additional nominal fee.

The course begins April 2 and runs through June 11. Early registration ends Monday.

For more information about the program or course fees, visit, or email Rachel Durben at

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