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California Naturalist Program

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, citizen 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 citizen scientists in California.

By the end of this course, participants will:

Image of adults using binoculars to observe nature outside.
  • 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.

View 2021 Course Flyer Here!

Download Updated Syllabus 





2021 Schedule:

CLASSES-Wednesdays, 6-8:30 pm Feb. Feb. 24, Mar. 3, 10, 17, 24, & 31, 2021

FIELD TRIPS -Saturdays 11 am-5 pm (Feb. 28, Mar. 7 & 21)

OPTIONAL PLT WORKSHOP Mar. 6, 2021 9 am-1 pm

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


Facebook Pages: 
Inland Empire Naturalist 
Santa Ana Watershed Community Science Network
Riverside Citizen Science