Marin County, CA- The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) is offering a new training course in partnership with the University of California (UC) to train the next generation of skilled naturalists in California. The course will be taught in Corte Madera by a team of expert naturalists, and focuses on the geology, biodiversity, and rare species (including the Bay Area’s critically endangered coho salmon) in the Lagunitas Creek watershed and the Point Reyes peninsula in West Marin County “This is a unique opportunity to learn from Marin’s many naturalist experts in a world-class “outdoor classroom”, the Lagunitas Creek Watershed.” said course instructor Dr. Chris Pincetich who has worked with SPAWN for over four years. “The conservation of Marin’s wild places can be traced back to people who truly understand the interconnection of natures many facets, and we are training more of those people with this course.” The curriculum and field seminar plans follow a new framework developed by the UC Cooperative Extension and being launched across the state. The UC selected SPAWN to host the Marin County class based on the organization’s proven ability to support volunteer service workers, its conservation ethic, and its extensive network of subject matter experts. SPAWN’s knowledge of and access to the region’s natural resources is unrivaled. Field training in naturalist observations recording will use traditional techniques, as well as mobile-phone based apps. Hand’s on training will include, species identification, habitat restoration, rainwater harvesting and construction of rain gardens. The focus of field seminars is strategies for preserving and restoring healthy wathersheds that support diverse communities of native plants and animals.

SPAWN’s California Naturalist Training Course begins July 11 at Marin Country Day in Corte Madera, and continues for ten Wednesday evenings, and includes three Saturday field workshops. Educators can also choose to earn up to 4.0 Continuing Education Units (CEU) from an accredited university (Dominican University).