Sagehen Events, 2013...

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Scroll down to see all events. Read our calendar for abstracts of research & education going on at Sagehen.

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California Naturalist Program

June 7 - August 10, 2013 (10-week course)

July 8 - 14, 2013 (1-week intensive course)

"California Naturalist is a new program developed by the University of California Cooperative Extension to foster a committed corps of volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists trained and ready to take an active role in natural resource conservation, education, and restoration."

Aspiring Naturalists enroll in a 40-hour course that combines classroom and field experience in science, problem-solving, communication training and community service.

The course is organized by a coordinator who is affiliated with a local nature-based center or natural resource focused agency. Students are taught by instructors who are experts in their fields.

Subjects covered include: ecology, geology, plant communities, interpretation, wildlife and others.

cal naturalist
Program Goals
  • To promote environmental literacy and stewardship of California's natural resources
  • To increase participation in resource conservation and citizen science projects throughout
    the state
  • To develop a core constituency of committed and educated citizens willing and able to
    participate in resource conservation, preservation, and restoration efforts
  • To provide participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to educate
    others and participate in many aspects of resource management, such as public education,
    resource planning and public decision-making
  • To provide the communication experience and critical thinking skills necessary to grow a
    citizen base that supports environmental protection and sustainable growth in California
  • To support partner organizations as they implement the program
Benefits to the Participant
  • A new appreciation for and knowledge of California’s unique ecology and natural history
  • Opportunities for personal and professional growth
  • New skills for volunteer and professional enrichment
  • Special knowledge of and access to local resources, ecology and natural areas
  • Access to new venues for creative and hobby activities such as bird watching, sketching,
    photography, etc.
  • Fellowship from other California Naturalist participants throughout the state
  • The excitement of being part of the venerable tradition of naturalists throughout history
    and an innovative new program for natural resource stewardship.
Course Format
This summer, we will be experimenting with course formats. We will offer both a conventional 10-week course, and an intensive 6-day course covering the same material.
Registration & Fees

10-week course: $350*. This includes course instruction, textbook, graduation certificate, registration with California Naturalist and website support. Syllabus and schedule.

1-week course: $995*. Includes station accommodations, meals, course instruction, textbook, graduation certificate, registration with California Naturalist and website support. Syllabus and schedule.

Download registration form here. For questions about either course, contact the station.

* For an additional fee, Continuing Education Units/Credits (CEUs) are available through UC Davis Extension to teachers and undergraduate students who successfully complete the course.

Course Textbook and Other Required Materials

The California Naturalist Handbook will be shipped to you as soon as we receive a completed registration form and payment. Please allow enough time to complete pre-course reading assignments.

This textbook is included in the tuition, but additional copies are available as either a paperback book or an e-book download from Students should bring their textbook and a nature journal to every class and field trip session. We will discuss journaling in the first class, if you'd like to wait until you know more before acquiring a journal.

More info about the Sagehen course offering

More information about the California Naturalist program.

Sagehen's California Naturalist project on iNaturalist.

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Nightjar Survey

June 28, 2013

Join us as we survey for Nightjars in the Sagehen basin. From Sagehen Volunteer Coordinator, Kaitlin Backlund:

12:30am-2:00am is the best survey time weather permitting….not exactly volunteer friendly-Ha! Moonrise is around 11:30pm and you can't survey until its clearly above the horizon and bright outside.

The Nightjar Survey instructions are as follows:

"Moonlight influences Nightjar calling rates. You can only survey during suitable time frames that coincide with bright moon nights within these dates:
Window 1: April 29 – May 12, 2012
Window 2: May 28 – June 11, 2012
Window 3: June 27 – July 11, 2012

Survey only at night (30 min after sunset) and when the moon is above the horizon.

Avoid nights with dense cloud cover: Cloudy nights will obscure the moon and quiet nightjars

Do not survey during precipitation or high winds

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Citizen Science Volunteer Program

June 29, July 13, July 27, and August 3, 2013

For Immediate Release: 4-25-13
Contact: Kaitlin Backlund, 530-582-1489, Truckee
Rick Ramos, 530-274-8678, Nevada City
Faerthen Felix, Assistant Manager, Saghen Creek Field Station,

Sagehen Creek Field Station Offers Citizen Science Volunteer Program

Sagehen Creek Field Station is seeking volunteers. We are looking for people to help photograph plants and animals located within the 9,000 acre research reserve to post to the website iNaturalist. You do not have to be a professional photographer to make a difference. If you can take a basic photo with any type of cell phone, tablet or digital camera and enjoy observing nature, the Field Station could really use your help!

Located twelve miles north of Truckee, CA., Sagehen Creek Field Station & the Sagehen Experimental Forest are research and teaching facilities of the University of California at Berkeley. Established with the assistance of Starker and Luna Leopold, sons of renowned conservationist, Aldo Leopold, the Field Station has a collection of over 60 years worth of scientific data that is used in diverse fields of study such as climate change, hydrology, and forest ecology.

As a volunteer, you will explore and learn more about the Field Station and Aldo Leopold’s idea of a “land ethic”, receive instruction on using the iNaturalist website, collect data and have an opportunity to meet others with similar interests. Land
managers and scientists rely upon the information being gathered in this citizen science project. began as the Master's final project of three students at UC Berkeley's School of Information in 2008. The website is curated by experts and is linked to other open datasets such as the Catalogue of Life.

As graduates of Sagehen’s California Naturalist Program, Kaitlin Backlund and Rick Ramos have partnered with Sagehen Creek Field Station Managers Jeff Brown and Faerthen Felix to develop and launch this citizen science volunteer opportunity.

Reserve your place today! The program will be limited to 15 participants each day, and no experience is necessary other than a basic understanding of using a cell phone camera or digital camera.

The program will run on Saturdays 11:30 to 5:00pm, June 29, July 13, July 27, and August 3.

For questions or to make a reservation: email, write “INAT” in the subject heading. Thank you.

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Youth Fishing Camp

July 5-7, 2013

"Boys and Girls ages 9-11 are encouraged to apply for a chance at one of 15 spots. Cost is $150 to cover UC expenses, lodging and food. All equipment and instruction is being donated. To get more information or want to volunteer, contact Trout Unlimited:"

Here's last year's flyer...

Fish camp


Press release.

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Kidzone Family Camp

August 2-4, 2013

Hikes * Bugology * Fishology * Star Gazing * Watersheds * Camping * Friends * Arts * Yummy Food!

A Science Experience for the Whole Family!

Bring your family for the most unique science experience in the Sierra! - Two nights of family camping fun

  • Hands on science exploration
  • Mini stream model
  • Meet live snakes, insects, and mammals
  • Identify plants of the Sierra
  • Arts, crafts, music, great food
  • PhD Teaching Staff
  • Learn about active research at the UC Field Station
  • Stream profile chamber

Dates: TBA
Times: 3pm, Friday Night - Noon on Sunday
Ages: All family members welcome, teens can be camp interns
Cost: Includes overnight camping/cabin, science instruction and delicious meals for the entire family.

Due to the hands on nature of this camp, participation is limited. We recommend that you sign up early. Can't stay the whole weekend? Come for the day! We are offering a one day option for Saturday. You still get hands on science education programs, arts & crafts, evening music program and great food.

Proceeds benefit KidZone Museum, a non-profit children’s museum.

More information and registration.


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August 5-9, 2013

Sagehen Creek Field Station near Lake Tahoe, California
Why take this course?

River restoration has become big business in the US, with well over $17b spent on over 40 thousand projects since 1990. Despite strong public support and the magnitude of the investment, the field has not advanced as quickly as one might expect, because learning through post-project evaluation is rare, and insights from current research are often not effectively incorporated in planning and design. River restoration can be more effective when it is designed with an understanding of processes and the larger context, when it benefits from systematic learning from previous built projects, and when it is based on predictive connections between objectives and actions.

 This shortcourse emphasizes sustainable river restoration through:

  • understanding geomorphic and ecological processes in rivers
  • watershed-scale and longer-time scale context
  • incorporating insights from recent research in fluvial geomorphology and ecology
  • developing predictive connections between objectives and actions
  • analyses of effectiveness of built restoration projects
  • strategies to restore (where possible) physical and ecological processes in rivers
  • setting goals in the context of a continuum from urban-to-wilderness settings
  • developing restoration strategies and innovative management approaches based on understanding of underlying causes of channel or ecosystem change, rather than prescriptive approaches
  • knowing when to intervene and when the river can heal itself without meddling
Photos from 2006 Summer Shortcourse in Lake Tahoe, California:
image image image
image image image
Registration & More information:

See this link for more information & contacts.

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Innovative Approaches to Wildlife/Highway Interactions

August 12-16, 2013

Highways, as well as low volume roads, are a major source of impacts affecting terrestrial wildlife and aquatic organisms on public and private lands.   This course will teach state-of-the-art approaches for addressing wildlife and highway interactions, providing participants with skills and resources that can be applied in highway project planning as well as enabling them to recognize innovative opportunities and solutions for existing highways with legacy impacts. Topics include an overview of terrestrial wildlife issues relative to existing highways and highway development planning, differences in impacts and solutions between low volume and high volume roads, structural and non-structural solutions to wildlife mortality and habitat connectivity, and an introduction to available resources on wildlife/highway crossings and interactions.  This course is taught through partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station and Tahoe National Forest.

The course is held adjacent to State Route 89, a 25-mile stretch of two-lane paved highway from Truckee to Sierraville, CA. The Highway 89 Stewardship Team conducts mitigation efforts, experimental designs, and public education here as part of a grass-roots, interagency team of professionals and local members. The course will use the lessons learned by the Highway 89 Stewardship Team to illustrate concepts and principles of transportation ecology, including field visits to mitigation sites and annual updates of ongoing research.

Who should attend: This course is designed for wildlife biologists and/or engineers from every geographic region of the country who need information on wildlife/highway interactions, with an emphasis on terrestrial wildlife. The primary audience includes employees from state, federal or local agencies (transportation, land management or natural resource management), academics in landscape ecology, and non-governmental organizations. Maximum attendance is 25 participants.

Length: 4 days/30 hours

Inform participants on highway interactions with terrestrial wildlife.
Utilize lessons learned, best available science, and innovative tools to identify and reduce wildlife impacts from highways.
Discuss the highway planning process, including large scale connectivity analyses.
Develop interdisciplinary contacts and networking opportunities.

Tuition:          $1200
Includes catered food and lodging at Sagehen Creek Field Station, instruction, field trip transportation, and course materials.


Sandra Jacobson, Wildlife Biologist, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, CA

Terry Brennan, P.E., Public Services Staff Officer, USDA Forest Service, Tahoe National Forest, Nevada City, CA

Additional Presenters TBD, vary annually.

Course Organizer: Jeff Brown, Director, Sagehen Creek Field Station

Registration and info:

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Sagehen Herbarium Plant Mounting and Collecting Days

2013 dates to be announced soon!

plant mounting

Printable Sagehen Plant Lists and Plant Photo collection.

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