By Scot Pipkin,
Public Access Coordinator
Registration has opened for Tejon Ranch Conservancy’s second California Naturalist course.
This is an opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation for the rich biology and ecology of California with special emphasis on the phenomenal region around the Tehachapi Mountains.
It is also a way to become involved in the conservancy’s growing citizen science efforts to document and understand Tejon Ranch ecosystems more completely.
You can also become a state certified California naturalist and gain college credit. Four units are available through U.C. Davis for an $85 fee.
The course will cover water resources with a field trip to the Western Antelope Valley. You’ll learn about communication and collaboration as a naturalist; survey geology, soils and climate; and consider global and local environmental issues. Conservation biology and land management will be covered, along with cultural history, wildlife and plant communities (the syllabus is at calnat.ucanr.edu/Take_a_class/Tejon_Ranch_Conservancy/ ).
The class meets for five Friday evenings (6-8:30 p.m.) and five Saturdays (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) from August 15 to September 13, 2014. Friday classes and Saturday morning lectures will be at Frazier Park Library. Field trips to Tejon Ranch will take place during afternoon sessions on Saturdays. A couple of Saturday morning lectures will be held in Arvin, at the bottom of the Grapevine. Carpooling will be available for these days.
University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC-ANR) asks for $100 from each participating student. Tejon Ranch Conservancy is not increasing this charge at all, making us one of the most affordable California Naturalist classes in the state.
Our textbook will be the California Naturalist Handbook, a valuable resource with great information that is packed into a small amount of space. Supplemental readings provided by the instructors and weekly homework quest-ions will be discussed at the beginning of class.
Each student will complete a capstone project in addition to the in-class time. These projects allow you to delve more deeply into one subject and provide service for the conservancy. Past capstones include: pronghorn antelope monitoring surveys, wildlife camera setup and image sorting, springs monitoring, acorn monitoring, stewardship projects and writing a children’s book.
Tejon Ranch Conservancy straddles two counties and four ecological regions, providing a corridor for wildlife movement.
Left, students in the first course help with a pipe capping project to keep small animals and birds from getting trapped.
To see full stories with photos, please go to The Mountain Enterprise e-Edition
Have your newspaper delivered via mail and include internet access! Just call 661-245-3794.
Or step out and get it right now! This story and others are available right now at newsstands throughout the Mountain Communities in The Mountain Enterprise.
This is part of the July 18, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.