December 12, 2016 – Do you want to learn more about our local natural history and ecology? Looking for a way to gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to educate your community and take part in citizen science projects with local environmental organizations? If so, Sierra Streams Institute has great news for you! Early bird registration for the 2017 California Naturalist Course at Sierra Streams Institute is now OPEN!

Sierra Streams Institute is partnering with the University of California to host a fourth offering of the California Naturalist Program in the Sierra Foothill region. The course introduces students to Sierra Foothill ecosystems and watershed processes. It runs Wednesday evenings, March 8 – May 17, with no class on April 12 for spring break, and includes four Saturday field trips. Classes will be held in Nevada City at Sierra Streams Institute headquarters at 431 Uren St. Suite C Nevada City.

“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 Institute Executive Director.

Comments about the course from past participants include: “It was fulfilling and life-expanding…Transformational…This course did a great job of introducing field techniques…The field trips were priceless…I was totally impressed with not only the instructors, but the other students…My interests in nature study and action were reignited through this experience.”

Lectures and field trips led by Sierra Streams Institute 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. Classes will focus on local geology, hydrology, forest ecology, and wildlife ecology as well as make connections to global environmental issues. Students will participate in field trips where they will gain field methods experience in phenology studies, birding, wildlife survey techniques, and forest management.

The course also includes a capstone project which provides an important bridge from the classroom to real-world service. Participants choose a topic of interest to explore in depth guided by the expertise of SSI scientists, or experts at other local scientific environmental organizations.

California Naturalist is a program developed by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources to foster a committed group of volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists trained and ready to take an active role in natural resource stewardship.

Students who register by February 1st can get the early registration tuition of $395. Thereafter, tuition is $450.

To find out more visit: To sign up, please fill out the Registration Form.