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Wed, Sep 04


Virtual & in-person hybrid course

UC California Naturalist Course - Fall 2024

Become a trained Naturalist and Community Scientist ready to take an active role in natural resource conservation, education, and restoration. You'll develop a naturalist lens to better understand local ecology and become equipped to interpret naturalist concepts for and from diverse perspectives.

UC California Naturalist Course - Fall 2024
UC California Naturalist Course - Fall 2024

Time & Location

Sep 04, 2024, 4:00 PM PDT – Nov 06, 2024, 6:00 PM PST

Virtual & in-person hybrid course


About the Event

Course Overview

The UC California Naturalist Program (CalNat) seeks to foster a committed corps of volunteer naturalists and community scientists trained and ready to take an active role in natural resource conservation, education, and restoration. The UC California Naturalist course will introduce you to the wonders of our local ecology and engage you in the stewardship of California’s natural communities. The course will combine a science curriculum with guest lecturers, field trips and project-based learning to immerse you in the natural world. This UC California Naturalist Course will focus on the Los Angeles Area and the interpretation of naturalist concepts for and from diverse perspectives. CNC's course is distinct compared to other CalNat partner offerings as we focus on the themes of natural resource interpretation, social and environmental justice, and traditional ecological knowledge.

Course Schedule

10 weeks

September 4 - November 6

Class meets online every Wednesday from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM PST

*The course will meet virtually and include many opportunities for self-guided activties in nature.*

In-Person Field Trips

Two in-person field trips will be held on September 27th and October 11th.

Registration Deadline

August 21st

Instructor Team

Jovi Nieto & Celeste Gasperik, Community Nature Connection

Featuring Special Subject Instructors, Guest Speakers & Field Trip Leads!

Course Fee

$600.00  + $35.00 Materials

Course Fee Sliding Scale

In an effort to advance our mission to increase equity and representation in the outdoor field, Community Nature Connection offers the California Naturalist Course Fee on a sliding scale from $300.00 - $500.00 for folx with financial need and/ or with one or more of the following identities: Black and/or Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, having a disability, non-native English speaker, unhoused or without permanent housing, woman or femme. Folx with financial need and/or with one or more of the above identities may choose to pay a course fee equalling one of the following equity tiers:

Equity Tier 1 - $500.00 + $35.00 Materials

Equity Tier 2 - $400.00 + $35.00 Materials

Equity Tier 3 - $300.00 + $35.00 Materials

For individuals purchasing tickets, we ask that those with greater privilege purchase tickets at the higher end, which will allow individuals with historically less access to wealth to pay the lower fees. All participants are responsible for the purchase of the required course materials: the California Naturalist Handbook ($35.00).

This pricing structure is a step in an arc toward making this course accessible and inclusive. If the course cost is a barrier to your participation, please reach out to to share more about your situation and we will do what we can to accomodate. We welcome feedback on this pricing structure.

Course Contact Information


CalNat Website

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand what it means to be a naturalist,
  • Understand the cultural factors that make California’s natural history and ecology unique, with a focus on the ecosystems of greater Los Angeles and the L.A. Watershed,
  • Understand the importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge as it relates to understanding and conserving California's environment,
  • Demonstrate skills in making and recording natural history observations in a field notebook and on iNaturalist,
  • Demonstrate skills in communicating and interpreting natural resource information for and from diverse perspectives,
  • Apply knowledge of the local ecosystems to regional and global environmental issues.

Course Requirements 

  • Contact Time: A minimum of 40 educational hours (online classroom hours and front-loaded independent work), which includes a minimum of 8 independent hours in the field.
  • Required Reading: Read the “The California Naturalist Handbook” and completed front-loaded “prep work” before each class.
  • Class Attendance
  • Field Trip participation
  • Completion of Capstone Project and Capstone Presentation (live or recorded)
  • Using a Field Notebook and Journal
  • Participation in class Community Science Project
  • Record observations using iNaturalist

Course Credit

Upon completion of this course, students are eligible to receive 4 academic credits at additional cost.

Cancellation Policy

Registrants may cancel up to two weeks before the first day of instruction for a full refund, minus a $50 administrative fee. Registrants that can successfully refer another student to replace their spot in the course prior to the first day of class will receive a full refund. Registrants that experience a verifiable medical emergency personally, or in their family, between the two weeks before class and after instruction has begun may re-enroll in the following year's course at a 50% discounted rate, with priority for early registration. No other cancellations, for any other reason, will result in a refund.

For questions about accessibility and general inquiries, please email 

*Must be 18 and over for this training


  • California Naturalist

    From $300.00 to $600.00
    • $600.00
    • $500.00
    • $400.00
    • $300.00
  • CNC Interns & Volunteers

    This registration option is for pre-approved CNC Interns & Volunteers only. All registrations will be verified.




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