Orientations, Trainings & Seminars (OTS)

Stewards proudly partners with archaeologists, biologists, botanists, geologists, historians, and naturalists, as well as other skilled educators and State Parks personnel, to offer a wide spectrum of hikes, seminars and presentations throughout the year.

Some events require a registration fee. These fees cover the cost of our speakers' time and materials needed, as well as provide funding for free environmental education programs for school children. Note: Stewards does not turn anyone away for inability to pay. For more info, contact Jazzy.

Most events require registration to secure your place. To register for an event, click on the "Sign Up Now" button below each event description (login required) or call our office at (707) 869-9177.

Want to see what's coming up? Download a free copy of our 2017 OTS Brochure!


2017 OTS Schedule

August ribbon

General Volunteer in Parks Program (VIPP) Orientation #3

Meets: Saturday, August 19, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, AR Volunteer Center (Stewards Office)
Instructor(s): Stewards Staff & Program Coordinators

Stewards is offering a 3rd General Orientation covering available volunteer opportunities in the southern Russian River Sector of the Sonoma-Mendocino State Parks District. Come learn how you can get involved with State Parks!

Note: One General Orientation is REQUIRED for all new volunteers.

Mobile Marine Van/Steward Ship Volunteer Training #3

Meets: Saturday, August 19, 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM, AR Volunteer Center (Stewards Office)
Instructor(s): Stewards Staff & Naturalists

Learn to staff the “Steward Ship,” our Mobile Marine Education Van at schools, special events, and along the Sonoma Coast. Volunteers interpret marine artifacts, facilitate hands-on activities, perform retail transactions, and assist with community outreach! We will also focus on how to effectively engage children.

The Life & Legacy of the Burbanks, Armstrongs & Jones

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Tuesday, August 29, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, AR Volunteer Center (Stewards Office)
Instructor(s): Erin Sheffield (Manager at Luther Burbank ExperimentalFarm), Christy Staats (Stewards Volunteer)

Come celebrate Colonel Armstrong’s birthday (born August 29, 1824) by learning the story behind the preservation of Armstrong Redwoods.

Armstrong Redwoods Docent Training

Meets: Thursday, August 31, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Armstrong Visitor Center
Instructor(s): Stewards Staff & Docents

Learn to share fascinating redwood ecology tours and/or activities with adults and school children. Docents need to be available on weekdays for school groups. Roving Docents greet visitors along the trails or at the new Welcome Center. Mentoring and resource materials provided.

September ribbon

From Forest Exploitation toward Stewardship: The Remarkable Story of the Evolution of California's Redwood Industry

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Thursday, September 7, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, AR Volunteer Center (Stewards Office)
Instructor(s): Jason Grant (Sierra Club Forest Certification & Green Building Team member)

When Euro-Americans flooded into Northern California during and after the Gold Rush, they marveled at the grandeur of the region’s virgin redwood forest – and began logging it. Today, around 4% of the original old growth remains. Much of the remainder is second-growth forest where logging continues. Jason will present his film on logging history and the transition toward today’s enlightened forest management practices.


EcoAdventure: Fall Equinox Star Party Campout

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members, children 12 yrs & under FREE (additional camping & parking fees apply)
Meets: Friday, September 22, 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM, Vista Point (Austin Creek SRA)
Instructor(s): Jim Goodenough & Linda Sinkay (Astronomers)

Summer is gone, and winter is coming. At the equinox, days and nights areapproximately equal in length, but nightfall will start coming sooner. Join Stewardsand Wine Country Star Party as we celebrate this astronomical event andseasonal changes with a night of stargazing! Bring the entire family to learnabout the universe, solar system, and constellations. Vista Point is dark anddramatic with incredible views to the west. We recommend that families wantingto spend the night book a campsite at Bullfrog Pond Campground ( well in advance.

October ribbon

Willow Creek Watershed Education & Environmental Living Program Volunteer Training

Meets: Friday, October 6, 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM, Jenner Visitor Center, Shell Beach & Pomo Canyon Campground
Instructor(s): Stewards Staff & Docents

With your guided instruction, students learn how humans influence watersheds. This program highlights four cultural groups (Loggers, Ranchers, Russians, & Pomo) whose unique lifestyles were supported by the WC watershed. Students imagine how road construction, timber harvesting, and livestock grazing led to surface erosion and increased sediment in the watershed.Docents also guide students as they monitor water quality, sample benthic macro-invertebrates, and solve the mystery of why salmon disappeared. We will start the day with a general overview inside the Jenner Visitor Center, then drive to Shell Beach for the Environmental Living Program training, and end at Pomo Canyon Campground for the Watershed Program training.

EcoAdventre: Pelagic Seabird & Whale Watching Expedition

Fee: $160 members, $200 non-members
Meets: Sunday, October 8 (weather dependent), 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Boat departs from Bodega Bay Harbor
Instructor(s): Naturalists Peter Pyle, Steve Howell, and Sarah Allen

Join Stewards for a full day boat trip out to Cordell Bank on the 65 foot NewSea Angler. This marine sanctuary is a feeding destination for many migratorymarine mammals and seabirds. Early Fall is the best time of year for humpbackand blue whales. We may also encounter Pacific white-sided dolphins,Dall's porpoise, California and Steller sea lions, elephant seals, and numerousseabirds (including shearwaters, petrels, albatrosses, etc). Boat may encounterchallenging ocean conditions (personal discretion advised for those prone tomotion sickness) Plan to arrive early - the boat will depart at 7 am sharp.

Note: As space is limited, the max attendance will be 40 participants.

Geology of the Sonoma Coast

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Saturday, October 14, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Goat Rock State Beach
Instructor(s): Scott Lawyer (Geologist & Stewards Operations Manager)

Learn about unique geologic history, landforms, plate tectonics and their significance on our coast during this popular and engaging seminar with Scott Lawyer.

Archaeology & History of the Sonoma Coast

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Sunday, October 22, 9:00 AM-2:00 PM, Bodega Bay Fire Protection District
Instructor(s): Tom Origer (Archaeologist)

Join this popular field seminar about the fascinating changes that have taken place from an archaeological and historic perspective on the Sonoma Coast. This seminar will start inside and transition outdoors.

Emerging Climate Research

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Thursday, October 26, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, AR Volunteer Center (Stewards Office)
Instructor(s): Deborah Zierten (Education and Interpretation Manager, Save the Redwoods League)

Rising temperatures mean less coastal fog. Save the Redwoods League’s scientists are industriously studying impacts of climate change on redwood growth, carbon storage, and forest biodiversity. Come learn about recent findings that show how our ancient coast redwood and giant sequoia forests are faring as our climate changes.

November ribbon

Birding for Beginners

Fee: $16 members, $20 non-members
Meets: Saturday, November 4, 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM, Location TBA (Sonoma Coast State Park)
Instructor(s): Jazzy Dingler (Wildlife Biologist & Stewards’ Programs Manager)

Calling all early birds! This pre-dawn excursion will include an easy to moderate walk to spot a variety of resident and migratory bird species – you can expect to see and hear songbirds, shorebirds, and hawks. Learn birding basics: how to spot birds, places to go, finding the best field guides and optics for taking up a new hobby, etc.


Whale Watch Volunteer Training

Meets: Sunday, November 5, 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM, Bodega Bay Fire Protection Distric t& Bodega Head
Instructor(s): Stewards Staff & Docents

Assist the public in viewing the annual Pacific gray whale migration. Docents are at Bodega Head on weekends January through May.


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Orientations & Seminars: 2017 Schedule
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Office: 17000 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville, CA 95446
Mail: PO Box 2, Duncans Mills, CA 95430 · (707) 869-9177
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