California Certified Naturalist Program

Breaking Weather News for Northern California

At this moment Northern California is being lashed by a strong El Niño-powered rains. Sebastopol, my home town, is currently under the “atmospheric river” streaming in from the eastern Pacific. More than 40 mm of rain have fallen in my backyard rain gauge since midnight.

It’s forecast to rain for the next several days. The National Weather Service has posted both a Flood Advisory and a Flash Flood Watch for this region. California needs the rain, but maybe not quite so much in so short a time. It will fill our estuaries, that’s for sure.


California Certified Naturalist Program

I greatly admire John Muir and Charles Darwin. Both men were naturalists—people who observe, study, and interpret nature.

John Muir JPEG

John Muir

In retirement, I have felt drawn to becoming a naturalist. Almost every day—even when it’s raining—I find myself outdoors in nature. (If they continue, today’s torrential rains may make this day a rare exception.)

I’m learning to become a more attentive and patient observer. On each outing I try to see something new. When I get home from my outings, I often delve into my small library of field guides or go online to learn more about what I’ve observed. The more I learn about nature, the more I want to learn.

Charles Darwin JPEG

Charles Darwin

I started this blog to share what I see and learn on my paddling trips. I go hiking and mountain biking just as frequently, but I don’t blog about those outings unless they happen to be in estuarine settings.

Up to this point I’ve been an autodidact. Soon, though, I’m beginning formal instruction. I enrolled in the University of California Extension’s California Certified Naturalist Program offered through the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods in Guerneville. The program, I hope, will teach me to become a more skillful, careful, and disciplined observer and interpreter of the natural world.

Becoming a certified naturalist involves ten class meetings, two field outings, and a camping trip. Here’s the schedule.

CA Naturalist Certification Program Location & Dates
Stewards Office, Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve

2016 Class Meetings:
All Classes 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
March 29
April 5, 12, 19, 26
May 3, 10, 17, 23, 24

2016 Field Trips:
Day Trips 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
April 3
May 15
Camping Trip 10:00 AM Sat – 3:00 PM Sun
April 23-24

If any readers of this blog want to sign up for the training, here’s a link to more information.

3 thoughts on “California Certified Naturalist Program

  1. I would like to sign up for the Naturalist Certification program but I think I might find flying to and fro from the US a bit too much at my age : > ) I took the link and it looks like a really interesting and worthwhile course to do.

    All of us who live on the Pacific rim are affected by El Nino. This year thanks to El Nino, in Northland NZ we haven’t had the usual summer drought which the local farmers are thankful for.

    My only thoughts about the amount of rain you are having Dan is to make sure you sleep with a couple of kayaks by your bed!

  2. Yes, I think it would be a long commute from New Zealand. I’m not surprised that you feel the effects of El Niño where you live. They say that it affects climate pattens the world over.

    I live up on a hill about 80′ above the floodplain, so I can keep the kayaks hanging in the garage. But wow. We’ve had a whole month’s worth of rain in the first 10 days of March. Forecasters predict that the nearby Russian River is going to rise up and flood portions of Guerneville.

  3. Dan, Really wish I could join you in this class, but the commute is too long for as many times they meet. I’m going to look for an offering closer to me in the late Summer/fall. The bay area sure is getting a soaking these days-kind of wish I was there instead of San Diego. Are you going to try the Laguna again?

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