Skip to main content

California Naturalist & Climate Steward Programs

The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources offers two adult environmental education certification courses: California Naturalist and Climate Stewards. Both courses are part of the UC Environmental Stewards Program. These courses promote environmental literacy and stewardship through a minimum of 40 hours of classroom and field learning. 

The mission of UC Environmental Stewards is to foster a diverse community of stewards building toward sustainability and resilience in California’s communities and ecosystems through education and service.

For more information, contact Erin Snyder 951-683-7691 ext. 207

Display of 9 images

California Naturalist:

The UC California Naturalist Program is designed to introduce Californians to the wonders of our unique ecology and engage the public in study and stewardship of California’s natural communities. The California Naturalist program uses a science curriculum, hands-on learning, problem-solving, community science, and community service to instill a deep appreciation for the natural communities of the state and to inspire individuals to become stewards of their local resources.

The Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District is pleased to offer the California Naturalist certification course to the Inland Empire. This course will tell the story of the Santa Ana Watershed and take students from the mountainous headwaters in the San Bernardino National Forest to the mouth at the Pacific Ocean. Highly trained instructors and lecturers will introduce you to the natural history and local ecology of this beautiful and diverse landscape and bring you up to date on current issues such as sustainability and climate change. You will participate in a comprehensive science curriculum with lectures, field trips, and many hands-on, feet on the ground learning opportunities to immerse you in the diversity of the Santa Ana Watershed. Students who complete this course will become part of an active and vibrant base of volunteer naturalists and community scientists in California.

By the end of this course, participants will:

Image of adults using binoculars to observe nature outside.
Students learning bird watching skills
  • Understand what it means to be a naturalist and develop new skills and opportunities for personal, volunteer and professional development.
  • Understand the abiotic, biotic and cultural factors that make up the unique natural history and ecology of the Santa Ana River Watershed.
  • 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.
  • Apply knowledge of California ecosystems to local and global environmental issues.
  • Be prepared to engage local communities to promote the ongoing appreciation and stewardship of the Santa Ana River Watershed and its natural resources.

Climate Stewards:

Climate Stewards is a hybrid (asynchronous and synchronous) flipped-classroom style course. Approximately 50% of the course material is held in online modules in the Cnavas Learning Management system. The remaining course content is spread across the course textbook (20%), class session (15%), field activities (10%), and participatory science project (5%). Because Climate Stewards is service orientated, the course stewardship project and participaroty science project are undertaken as applied learning. The online content covers climate issues relevant across the entire state of California, whereas the class sessions and field activities are co-designed to address locally and culturally relevant concerns.


  • Increase access to up-to-date and locally relevant climate science to improve climate literacy through a UC certification course for the public.
  • Establish a community of practice focused on stewardship, communication, and community solutions to advance resiliency.
  • Build statewide support for and capacity to effectively advance state and local climate goals.

Class Dates & Registration

Upcoming courses:

California Naturalist Course: An in-person class Wednesday mornings Aug. 7-Oct. 2, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

California Naturalist Program-Registration Form-Summer24.pdf


California Naturalist Course: Aug. 28-Dec. 14, 2024  A Hybrid class every other Wednesday evenings for 1.5 hrs. Aug. 28, Sept. 11, 25, Oct. 9, 23, Nov. 6, 20 & Dec. 4 with three  6 hour feld trips on Saturdays Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9, and graduation on Dec. 14

California Naturalist Program-Registration Form-Fall24.pdf



California Naturalist Program Scholarship application 2024.pdf



Climate Stewards Course: Please check back for Climate Stewards courses



Facebook Pages: 
Santa Ana Watershed Community Science Network
Riverside Citizen Science
Cal Nat & Climate Steward Community of Practice - Inland Empire