California Naturalist - Rustic Adventure

California Naturalist - Rustic Adventure

Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 3:00pm to Sunday, May 14, 2017 - 3:00pm

This UC California Naturalist immersion program is a partnership between the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) Field Institute. Our primary mission is to foster a committed corps of volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists.

California Naturalist students are able to experience Point Reyes National Seashore in ways the casual visitor cannot, working in areas less traveled and alongside some of the California's most knowledgeable naturalists. Our instructors are experts in their field and provide an inside look into the diverse wildlife, natural resource management, and large scale public interpretation here at Point Reyes National Seashore. We also provide classrooms and lodging at many unique historical facilities not open to the general public.

This program utilizes a combination of science curriculum, guest lecturers, field trips, and project-based learning to immerse students in the diverse natural world of the 70,000 acres that make up Point Reyes National Seashore.

Graduates of this program are ready to take an active role in natural resource conservation, education, and restoration. You are also eligible for 4 credit units from UC Davis Extension.

Instructed by Dr. Chris Pincetich

-Meals are provided for the week (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

-Accommodations included at Clem MIller Environmental Education Center, more info below.

-This will be a vigorous activity. Expect a few of the days to include hikes of up 5 or 6 miles, with light walking on the other days. None of the hikes are off trail or “extreme,” but you do cover some mileage.

-If you have any special circumstances or questions, please contact us at

This event is rain or shine. We use National Park advisories to determine whether or not the class will run. Click here to check out current weather conditions!

Class Cancellation Policy: If a registered participant wishes to cancel their enrollment and receive a refund, notification must be received at least 14 days in advance of the class date. No refunds will be issued for enrollment cancelations made less than 14 days in advance of the class date. Class enrollment fees are non-transferable. In the event that the PRNSA Field Institute cancels a class, participants will receive a full refund of class fee.

Clem Miller Environmental Education Center

Nestled in a secluded valley two miles from Limantour Beach, the Center is designed as a model of ecological sustainability with composting, recycling, and waste monitoring practices, solar-heated water, and photovoltaic modules providing electricity. Most meals and classroom teachings take place inside the main lodge.

The area was the site of the Laguna Ranch until the late 1930’s when the U.S Army installed roads and barracks during the Cold War. Some of the ranch buildings were kept after purchase by the National Park Service in 1971 and were used by the American Youth Hostel. When the army quonset huts (in use as an environmental education camp since 1972) were torn down in 1986, Point Reyes National Seashore Association raised private funds for the present building and donated it to the National Park Service.


  • Library / science center
  • Full commercial kitchen
  • Large dining room
  • Bathhouse with hot showers
  • Dormitory-style cabins with bunk beds and mattresses for sleeping bags (NO heat or electricity)
  • Wood burning stove in main lodge

What to Bring


Meals are provided for the week (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). When possible, the cook will use local, seasonal, organic ingredients to prepare the meals. For days spent in the field, you will receive a paper bag lunch and light snacks, but feel free to bring additional snacks as you desire. Also, feel free to bring beverages to share. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

Personal Gear

  • Binoculars
  • Hiking boots
  • Field notebook
  • Pens and pencils for field sketches
  • Work clothes that can get dirty
  • Warm, variable-weather, layered clothing including: rain jacket, windbreaker, gloves, warm hat. (The days may be warm and sunny or cool and foggy, all in a matter of minutes!)
  • Sun hat and sun screen
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • WARM sleeping bag, extra blanket or two, pillow
  • Sleeping pad for comfort (i.e. ThermaRest, air mattress), sheet to cover facility mattress
  • Ear plugs (in case of snorers and for restful sleep)
  • Travel alarm (battery operated)
  • Personal toiletries (shampoo, soap, bath towel, hand towel, etc.)
  • Flip-flops/sandals for the bathhouse (optional)
  • Water bottle for the field
  • Flashlight &/or headlamp
  • Calling card to make long-distance phone calls (note that there is no cell phone reception at or near the facility.)

Personal Gear (optional)

  • Digital camera
  • iPod or iPhone with iNaturalist App
  • Spotting scope and tripod
  • Field guides
  • Work gloves
  • Battery powered lantern for the cabin (flames are not permitted in the cabins)


The phone # at the facility is (415) 663-1920 should anyone need to contact you during the week. Please bring all you need for the entire week, as the nearest market is 20 minutes away.

*The texts for the course will be mailed to you after you register.*

Required text (to be read before the class):

The California Naturalist Handbook, UC Press, 2013.

Additional Reading

The Natural History of the Point Reyes Peninsula, UC Press, 2008.

NOTE: If you would like to avoid the Eventbrite processing fee (which is sizeable for this class), we do accept checks, though we will not hold your spot until we receive payment. If you choose to pay by check, please make it out to:

PRNSA Field Institute

1 Bear Valley Rd, Bldg 70

Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Please also include a note with your full name, email address, physical address, phone number, and date of birth.