Additional Natural History Opportunities

Check out the following local organizations that offer classes or outings to learn more about California natural history.

  1. California Native Plant Society- Santa Cruz chapter
  2. Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz
  3. Santa Cruz Bird Club
  4. Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
  5. Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
  6. Science Illustration Program at Cal State Monterey Bay

We welcome suggestions for additional links.  Please send them to


UCSC Natural History Club

The Natural History Club aims to explore the natural spaces on and around the beautiful UCSC campus. There are weekly walks led by various student and staff naturalists that focus on different aspects of campus natural history. Overall, the club seeks to deepen understanding, awareness and connection with nature as well as build a naturalist community at UC Santa Cruz.

The Natural History Club is open to any and all participants; there are no club fees and no prior experience is required.

Check out the Natural History Club's Facebook page for upcoming events, view the schedule of walks for Winter 2016, or send an email to for more information.



UC Natural Reserve System

The UC Natural Reserve System consists of protected lands around the state that are dedicated to research and teaching.  UCSC staff currently manage 5 of the 39 total reserves.  Each reserve can be used by classes for teaching or research opportunities.

  1. UCSC Campus Natural Reserve
  2. Younger Lagoon Natural Reserve
  3. Fort Ord Natural Reserve
  4. Ano Nuevo Island Natural Reserve
  5. Landels-Hill Big Creek Natural Reserve

The administrative director of the UCSC-managed reserves is Gage Dayton.  He can be contacted via phone at (831) 459-4867 or email at


The Bird School Project

The Bird School Project (BSP) is an affiliated program of the Norris Center working to engage the broader community in natural history studies. Their mission is to inspire students and teachers to develop a scientific understanding and appreciation for their local environment through natural history field methods and outdoor experiential learning focused on birds in neighborhoods and schoolyards. 

Beginning in the Fall of 2014 as an educational bike tour of the California coast, The Bird School Project has been dedicated to providing meaningful bird education to California students on a large scale. The founders, Kevin Condon and Darrow Feldstein are graduates of the UCSC Environmental Studies program and Natural History Field Quarter. Through their studies, they developed a deep appreciation for studying the natural world. Along with interns from UCSC, Kevin and Darrow offer 5-week life science units to 5th-8th graders in the Monterey Bay.

BSP works closely with the Norris Center to provide opportunities for interested undergraduate students to gain experience teaching hands-on environmental education in local schools. Further, BSP puts the Norris Center teaching collections to use in the classrooms they visit.

To learn more about The Bird School Project or to get involved with their work, please visit their website at For specific inquiries, e-mail BSP at