The California Naturalist training is an innovative new program developed by the University of California Cooperative Extension to foster a committed corps of volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists trained and ready to take an active role in natural resource conservation, education, and restoration. The California Naturalist program provides an overview of California’s diverse ecology, as well as a more in-depth study of the ecology of the Central Coast, through lectures and field trips.
The Garden collaborates on the course with a partner, the UCSB Natural Reserve system, and particularly Sedgwick Reserve. The 10 week course – with supplementary training that is specific to our Garden – forms the foundation of docent training at the Garden, and provides the foundation for docent training at Sedgwick Reserve and other selected natural areas of the Santa Barbara region (please inquire).Together, we are creating a program in natural history and ecology that can serve as a foundation for docents and volunteers for all of our organizations.
The California Naturalist program goes well beyond training docents. It is a program geared to developing an appreciation and understanding of the natural world for anyone who is interested in participating. The course is an excellent introduction to becoming a “citizen scientist,” an amateur naturalist, or just an informed hiker.