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Orientations, Trainings & Seminars (OTS)

Stewards proudly partners with archaeologists, biologists, botanists, geologists, historians, and naturalists, as well as other skilled educators and State Parks personnel, to offer a wide spectrum of hikes, seminars and presentations throughout the year.

Some events require a registration fee. These fees cover the cost of our speakers' time and materials needed, as well as provide funding for free environmental education programs for school children. Note: Stewards does not turn anyone away for inability to pay. For more info, email Stewards.

Most events require registration to secure your place. To register for an event, click on the "Sign Up Now" button below each event description (login required) or call our office at (707) 869-9177.

Want to see what's coming up? Download a free copy of our 2018 OTS Brochure!


2018 Community Education Programs & Volunteer Trainings

February ribbon

Tidepool Volunteer Classroom Training

Fee: FREE
Meets: Tuesday, Feb. 13, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Armstrong Redwoods Volunteer Center/Stewards Office
Instructor(s): Hollis Bewley (Tidepool Program Coodinator) & Stewards Staff

Advise the public on how to safely navigate the intertidal zone and model respect for fragile intertidal resources. Docents introduce school children, adult groups, and beachgoers to the amazing life found in the intertidal zone. Peak low-tide months are April-June.


CLASS FULL: UC California Naturalist Certification Program

Fee: $448.00 members, $560.00 non-members (includes tuition & certificate, $34.95 handbook sold separately in our e-store)
Classroom: Feb. 13, 20 & 27; Mar. 6, 13, 20 & 27; Apr. 3, 10, 16 & 17; 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Armstrong Redwoods Volunteer Center/Stewards Office
Field Trips: Feb. 11 & Apr. 8, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM, locations TBD
Campout: Mar. 9 - 11, Bodega Dunes Campground
Instructor(s): David Berman (Sonoma County Water Agency), Meghan Walla-Murphy (Ecological Consultant) & guest lectures (TBA)

This 40+ hour course combines classroom and field experiences. Discussion topics include geology, water, weather, soils, plants, forests, wildlife, interpretation, environmental issues, and citizen science. Students commit to weekly homework assignments and complete a capstone project of their choosing.


CANCELLED: Birding for Beginners

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Friday, Feb. 16, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Armstrong Redwoods Volunteer Center/Stewards Office
Instructor(s): Hollis Bewley (Seabird Monitoring Program Coordinator)

Learn birding basics: how to spot birds, places to go, finding the best field guides and optics for taking up a new hobby.

 

Coastal Bird Walk

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Saturday, Feb. 17, 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Blind Beach parking lot on Goat Rock Rd
Instructor(s): Lisa Hug (North Bay Naturalist & Birding Guide)

Explore birds of the Sonoma Coast near the mouth of the Russian River. Learn about gulls, grebes, loons, murres, and more!


General Volunteers in Parks Program Orientation #2

Fee: FREE
Meets: Saturday, Feb. 24, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Armstrong Redwoods Volunteer Center/Stewards Office
Instructor(s): Stewards Staff & Program Coordinators

This General Orientation covers available volunteer opportunities in the southern Russian River Sector of the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast State Parks District. Meet our program coordinators and learn about the perks of volunteering.

Note: One General Orientation is REQUIRED for all new volunteers.


Tidepool Volunteer Field Training

Fee: FREE
Meets: Monday, Feb. 26, 1:45 PM - 4:00 PM, North Salmon Creek/Miwok Beach
Instructor(s): Hollis Bewley (Tidepool Program Coordinator)

Advise the public on how to safely navigate the intertidal zone and model respect for fragile intertidal resources. Docents introduce school children, adult groups, and beachgoers to the amazing life found in the intertidal zone. Peak low-tide months are April-June.


March ribbon


Marine Mammal Seminar

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Saturday, March 3, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Jenner Community Center
Instructor(s): Dr. Sarah Allen (Marine Ecologist for National Park Service)

Find out about Dr. Allen’s life work and passion! This classroom seminar will cover topics relevant to California’s marine mammals (harbor seals, sea lions, elephant seals, and gray whales).


Seal Watch Volunteer Training #1

Fee: FREE
Meets: Saturday, March 3, 12:30 PM - 3:30 PM, Jenner Community Center & Goat Rock State Beach
Instructor(s): Stewards Staff & Program Coordinators

In Stewards’ oldest volunteer program, docents learn how to educate the public about harbor seal colonies, the pupping season (March to Labor Day), and wildlife etiquette.


Plants of the Redwood Forest

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Sunday, March 4, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Armstrong Redwoods Visitor Center
Instructor(s): Peter Warner (Botanical Consultant & former National/State Parks ecologist)

What kinds of flora inhabit Armstrong Redwoods? Come learn how to identifyredwood sorrel, fetid adder's-tongue, trillium, calypso orchids, and other understoryplants growing in the shadows of the world's tallest trees.


Pinniped Monitoring Volunteer Training

Fee: FREE
Meets: Tuesday, March 6, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Jenner Community Center
Instructor(s): Dr. Joe Mortenson (Biologist & Author), Jessica Martini-Lamb (Sonoma County Water Agency), Andrea Pecharich (Sonoma County Water Agency) & Stewards Staff

Pinniped Monitoring Program volunteers collect data to ensure the protectionof harbor seals during Russian River estuary activities as they pertain to mandated work required by the Sonoma County Water Agency for the Biological Opinion. This orientation involves classroom training (9 am - 12 pm) and a site visit to review equipment and monitoring protocols (1 pm - 3 pm).


Pond Farm Docent Training

Fee: FREE
Meets: Saturday, March 10, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Armstrong Redwoods Volunteer Center/Stewards Office
Instructor(s): Michele Luna (Executive Director) & Stewards Docents

Learn about the inspiring history of Pond Farm Pottery and the life's work of Marguerite Wildenhain, first woman master potter from the Bauhaus in Germany. Docents will be trained to give tours at Pond Farm Pottery.


Seabird Monitoring Volunteer Training

Fee: FREE
Classroom: Friday, March 16, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Armstrong Redwoods Volunteer Center/Stewards Office
Field: March 26 at Bodega Rock, March 30 at Gull Rock & March 31at Gleason Beach, times TBD

Instructor(s): Hollis Bewley (Seabird Monitoring Program Coordinator)

Community science volunteers monitor nesting seabirds off the Sonoma Coast (April thru August) and document disturbances that compromise successful breeding.


General Sonoma Coast Volunteer Orientation

Fee: FREE
Meets: Saturday, March 17, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Bodega Bay Fire Protection District
Instructor(s): Sonoma Coast State Park Lifeguard, Jeffrey Smith (Stewards Volunteer), Dr. Sarah Allen, Ph.D. (National Park Service), Ryan Berger (Whale Alert, Marine Mammal Center), Phil Warren (Marine Mammal Center), Bill Standley (Bureau of Land Management, CA Coastal National Monument), Paul Hobi (Seabird Protection Network & NOAA Marine Sanctuaries) & Hollis Bewley (Seabird & Tidepool Program Coordinator)

This orientation covers all of our Sonoma Coast programs, including Whale Watch, Pinniped Monitoring, Seal Watch, Seabird Monitoring, Tidepool, and Steward Ship. Topics will include ocean safety, marine mammal/seabird identification, reporting wildlife disturbances, how monitoring data is beingused, dog policy and dealing with the public in a non-confrontational manner, and information about our affiliates at the Marine Mammal Center, California Coastal National Monument, and Seabird Protection Network.


Forest Bathing Walk

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Sunday, March 18, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Armstrong Redwoods SNR
Instructor(s): Denell Nawrocki, MA (Certified Forest Therapy Guide)

Explore the health benefits, science & history behind Forest Bathing as we take a 2-hour guided walk through ancient coastal redwoods.


Sonoma Coast Wildflowers

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Saturday, March 31, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Shell Beach parking lot
Instructor(s): Dr. Laura Morgan (Naturalist & Author of Three Jewels: A Field Guide to Three West Sonoma County Trail Systems)

A great opportunity to join naturalist Laura Morgan for a Wildflower Hike on Sonoma Coast. Park in the lot just south of Shell Beach, off Carlevaro Way, at10 AM. The hike will go up to 3 miles north, to Blind Beach. Participants can hike as far as they feel comfortable. Families with kids are welcome (no chargefor kids under 13). Hikers would need to bring fluids and bag lunches. Significant rain would cancel.


April ribbon


Forest Bathing Walk

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
MeetsSunday, April 15, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Armstrong Redwoods SNR

Instructor(s): Denell Nawrocki, MA (Certified Forest Therapy Guide)

Explore the health benefits, science & history behind Forest Bathing as we take a 2-hour guided walk through ancient coastal redwoods.

 

May ribbon


Exploring the Intertidal Zone Field Seminar

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Saturday, May 19, 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM, Shell Beach

Instructor(s): Karl Menard (Aquatic Resources Manager at UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab)

Join a lively session of tidepool exploration. Dress in layers and bring water-friendly shoes. This seminar is geared toward adults, but children over 7 years are welcome with parental supervision.

 

Seal Watch Volunteer Training #2

Fee: FREE
Meets: Saturday, May 19, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Jenner Community Center & Goat Rock State Beach

Instructor(s): Stewards Staff & Program Coordinators

In Stewards’ oldest volunteer program, docents learn how to educate the public about harbor seal colonies, the pupping season (March to Labor Day), and wildlife etiquette.

 

Forest Bathing Seminar & Walk

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
MeetsSunday, May 20, 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM, Armstrong Redwoods SNR

Instructor(s): Denell Nawrocki, MA (Certified Forest Therapy Guide)

Join us for a 2-hour seminar on Forest Bathing, taking in the atmosphere of the forest for health and wellness purposes. We will explore the science and history behind the practice, deepening our understanding of its potency. After lunch, we will embark on a 2-hour guided Forest Bathing walk through the ancient redwoods, integrating and experiencing all we learned. Come and delight in the therapeutic benefits of our beloved Redwood grove.


September ribbon


General Volunteers in Parks Program Orientation #3

Fee: FREE
Meets: Saturday, Sept. 29, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Armstrong Redwoods Volunteer Center/Stewards Office
Instructor(s): Stewards Staff & Program Coordinators

This General Orientation covers available volunteer opportunities in the southern Russian River Sector of the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast State Parks District. Meet our program coordinators and learn about the perks of volunteering.

Note: One General Orientation is REQUIRED for all new volunteers.


October ribbon


Geology of the Sonoma Coast

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Saturday, October 20, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Goat Rock State Beach
Instructor(s): Scott Lawyer (Geologist & Stewards Operations Manager)

Learn about unique geologic history, landforms, plate tectonics and their significance on our coast during this popular and engaging seminar with Scott Lawyer.


November ribbon


Whale Watch Volunteer Training

Fee: FREE
Meets: Saturday, November 10, 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM, Bodega Bay Fire Protection District & Bodega Head
Instructor(s): Stewards Staff & Program Coordinators

The Whale Watch Public Education Program was started in 1986 by our Whale Mother, Bea Brunn, as a response to the public's growing concern and awareness of the fragile relationship with the dwindling population of remaining whales. In this training, you will learn about Pacific Gray Whale physiology, migration, breeding habits, and other facts to share with the public. Docents are stationed at Bodega Head on weekends from January through June.

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Whale off Sonoma Coast Photo: Sonoma Coast Shell Beach Sunset Photo: Sonoma Coast State Park Photo: Sunset at the Russian River mouth
© Copyright 2016 Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
Office: 17000 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville, CA 95446
Mail: PO Box 2, Duncans Mills, CA 95430 · (707) 869-9177
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