Bay Nature Local Heroes

Julia Clothier, Point Reyes National Seashore Association

January 1, 2015

Every year, Bay Nature Institute selects three people whose extraordinary work on behalf of conservation and environmental education in the Bay Area warrants special recognition and appreciation. This year’s Local Hero for Environmental Education is Julia Clothier, Education Director of the Point Reyes National Seashore Association. This award recognizes the achievements of an individual who has made significant contributions to public understanding and awareness of the natural history and ecology of the San Francisco Bay Area, through research, teaching, field trips, journalism, and/or other media.

Our three Bay Nature “Local Heroes” for 2015 were chosen by Bay Nature Institute board and staff from more than four dozen nominations submitted by members of the Bay Area conservation community. They’ll be honored at our Annual Awards Dinner on March 22, 2015.  >> Learn more and RSVP

Julia Clothier, Education Center Director, Point Reyes National Seashore Association. Photo: PRNSA
Environmental Education award winner Julia Clothier. Photo: PRNSA

If Julia Clothier had her way, every child would grow up with the opportunity to experience nature on a regular basis, and so she has made it her mission in life to promote access to, and engagement with, the natural world for young people. Now, she pursues this mission as the Director of the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center in Point Reyes National Seashore, where she oversees environmental and outdoor education programs that reach 2,200 youth ever year. This includes 40 overnight programs and numerous half-day field trips during the school year, a nine-week summer camp, and an annual natural history “intensive” course for educators and youth program leaders. In 2009 Julia created the Young Stewards Youth Scholarship Fund, which has raised over $500,000 to make these field-based education and wilderness recreation programs available to underserved youth.

Julia grew up sailing and bodysurfing in Southern California and went on to earn degrees in Botany and Natural History from Sonoma State University while writing, illustrating, and publishing an ethnobotanical field guide to common plants on Sonoma Mountain. She then worked for 11 years as director of field education and land stewardship programs at the university’s 400-acre Fairfield Osborn Preserve on Sonoma Mountain. In 2008, Julia was hired by the Point Reyes National Seashore Association to develop and maximize the park’s potential as an ideal setting for environmental education for children from around the Bay Area and Northern California. Though most of her time is now spent in administration, fundraising, and curriculum development, Julia gets to be in the field with kids during the nine-week summer camp, and as the lead teacher for the yearly teacher training course.

>> Meet our other 2015 Local Heroes:

Conservation Action Award
Ralph Benson, Executive Director, Sonoma Land Trust

Youth Engagement Award
Javier Ochoa Reyes, Groundwork Richmond

Revelations: Celebrating Our Local Heroes and the Art of NatureOur three Local Heroes will be honored at Bay Nature’s Annual Awards Dinner on Sunday, March 22For more details on the event and to purchase tickets, visit:


The Bay Nature Institute is a Berkeley-based nonprofit media organization dedicated to exploring, celebrating, and protecting the natural world of the San Francisco Bay Area, in print, online, in the field, on the air.

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