2019 California Naturalist Flyer - Wishtoyo - v3.png

what is a certified california naturalist?

The mission of the UCANR Certified California Naturalist Program is to foster a diverse community of naturalists and promote stewardship of California’s natural resources through education and service. Wishtoyo Foundation’s training course is designed to provide First Nations community members with an in-depth understanding of natural and cultural resources in Central/South Coast, with a strong emphasis on integrating Traditional and scientific knowledge.

Find more information on the statewide UC California Naturalist Program HERE.

Apply to Wishtoyo's California Naturalist Program HERE.

Wishtoyo's Summer 2019 program

Wishtoyo Foundation is a Native-led environmental non-profit based in Malibu, CA. Since 1997, Wishtoyo has served coastal communities in traditional Chumash territory, from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo Counties. Our mission is to preserve and utilize the history, lifeways, and legal protections of Chumash and First Nations peoples, and to mobilize the public and its youth to actively engage as protectors of natural and cultural resources.

Wishtoyo’s 3rd Annual California Naturalist course will be held in Summer 2019. Our unique program is designed specifically for an audience of California’s Native Nations and their communities, serving to facilitate community and capacity building and provide adult education opportunities that incorporate and elevate indigenous perspectives. [Please note: this is not a class for teaching the general public about Native people, but rather a course that is geared toward a Native community audience.]

The 11-week training course combines 10 weeks of online instruction culminating in a mandatory 1-week in-person Immersion to be held at Wishtoyo Chumash Village in Malibu, CA. This extended curriculum will focus on Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, coastal ecology, and marine science in addition to the standard California Naturalist curriculum. We are seeking students who can commit to this time frame, have demonstrated interest in furthering their understanding of course topics, and who wish to serve the needs of their community using skills gained through this program.

Participants who successfully complete all course requirements will earn their California Naturalist Certification, and will be eligible for 4 UC general education credits (additional fee). This course is intensive and requires approximately 5 hours of dedicated time per week (including class time).

Course Dates:
Online: May 29 - July 31, 2019
Immersive: Aug 7-11, 2019

Online: Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30PM
Immersive: Overnight camping in Malibu, CA

Registration Fee: $100 to $600. 

The cost to Wishtoyo to host this program totals over $600 per person. However, we do not want your financial situation to prohibit you from participating in our program in any way. If accepted into our course, we ask that you contribute any amount between $100 and $600 that is within your financial means and reflects the value of the course to you.

The registration fee does not include the required textbook. The course handbook is available from Amazon (new) for $30, but you can also find used copies, electronic copies, and some public libraries may carry the handbook for lending.

Please email aliciacordero@wishtoyo.org if you receive any type of public assistance or are a full-time student to qualify for a further adjusted fee. Also payment plans are available upon request.

Course fees are non-refundable and can be paid anytime between now and the second week of class. 

Apply to Wishtoyo's California Naturalist Program HERE.

CLICK HERE to pay online and "Apply My Donation To: California Naturalist Program"
Or mail a check to:

Wishtoyo Foundation
9452 Telephone Rd. #432
Ventura, CA 93004

Lead Instructor and Contact:
Alicia Cordero

How do i apply?

Apply to Wishtoyo's California Naturalist Program HERE. Applications are due by midnight, May 15th, 2019. If the number of applications exceeds the class capacity, a waiting list will be created. If the class is not at full capacity, late applications may be accepted. 

All participants will be notified of acceptances by May 17th.


Can I apply if I am younger than 18 years old?
High school students through elders are invited to apply!

Do I need a science or naturalist background to apply for this program?
No - we welcome students of all backgrounds, academic experiences, and levels of knowledge. Please note that this course will require some intensive college-level reading assignments.

What if I cannot complete the course?
Unfortunately, your registration fee is non-refundable and you will not be eligible for the UC California Naturalist Certification. However, it is possible to complete the certification by completing the missing requirements in subsequent courses. There are no additional fees.

Am I required to attend the entire immersion part of the class?
Yes. The immersion week is the primary component of the class where we get time together in the field and learn hands-on practices. It is a wonderful opportunity to bond with other naturalists in the course and build community. We even have evening and nighttime activities!

What are the accommodations for immersion week?
Immersion week is held at Wishtoyo Chumash Village in Malibu. We provide large canvas tents or you are welcome to bring your own. The village has an outdoor kitchen, port-a-potties, portable showers, electricity, running water, picnic tables, solar lighting, and plenty of shaded areas. Students must bring their own bedding.

Do you offer other course dates throughout the year?
We will continue to host this class annually and will be adding Advanced Trainings in the near future.

Do you offer a California Naturalist course geared toward the general public?
We will be hosting Advanced Training Classes for the public in the future.

Are there other locations of California Naturalist courses?
Yes - organizations throughout the state have similar courses which you can find HERE.

How can I make a donation specifically towards this program?
CLICK HERE to make a donation and "Apply My Donation To: California Naturalist Program."