If you’re interested in sharing your infectious love of nature with others, consider signing up for one of the many local training programs that teach you to be a docent or environmental educator. Just a small sampling:
If marine environments are your passion, you can sign up for BayIt, a City of Berkeley program to train volunteers for the Berkeley Marina Experience Program. Volunteers then teach schoolchildren at the Marina about the ecology of San Francisco Bay. This year’s training has already begun, but you can still sign up for the remaining classes (January 17-18, February 21-22, March 2, March 16), which will cover topics such as aquatic chemistry, marine life of the rocky shore, and protocols for collecting samples for research. To apply or find out more, call (510) 644-8623 or log on to www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/marina/marinaexp. The Berkeley Marina Experience Program also sponsors the annual Berkeley Bay Festival held this year on Saturday, April 27, from 12 noon-5 p.m.
Environmental Volunteers in Palo Alto trains adults to be nature educators for school classrooms, using innovative teaching materials and hands-on techniques. The training series consists of eight separate programs: Baylands Ecology, All About Birds, Early California Indian Life: An Environmental Focus, Earthquake Geology & Preparedness, Foothill Ecology, Marine Ecology, Nature in Your Neighborhood, Water Science & Conservation. The next class, All about Birds, will be on February 12th, 6:30-9:00 p.m. Contact Hillary at (650)961-0545 for more information or visit www.EVols.org.
In the North Bay, Audubon Canyon Ranch is looking for nature lovers to volunteer as guides at its Bolinas Lagoon Preserve in Stinson Beach. Guides interpret for the thousands of visitors who come to the Preserve during the egret and heron nesting season. The training begins on Saturday, February 2, and continues each Saturday through March 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For information call (415)868-9244 or visit the ACR website at www.egret.org.