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UC CalNat Certification by Nature Up Close Class Schedule
Course Instructors & Guest Speakers
Chris Cameron: Chris Cameron is a naturalist. He helps run the Morro Bay Bird Festival. A retired Camp/Conference Center director, he presently spends his time as a naturalist/instructor leading UC California Naturalist courses and Road Scholar trips on the Central Coast, Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon national parks. Chris is a master falconer. His retirement business is NatureUpClose.com
Cindy Roessler: Cindy Roessler is an ecologist who has worked for decades with agencies and non-profit organizations to preserve and restore natural lands. She has designed, installed, and maintained hundreds of acres of oak woodland, evergreen forest, native bunch grasses, riparian forest, freshwater marsh, and salt marsh restoration projects in coastal California and Florida. She likes weeding, spys on wildlife with trail cameras, is fanatical about native bees, and makes pinwheels for kids to encourage them to not release balloons outdoors. She shares her natural history observations with thoughtful writing and beautiful photographs at dipperanch.blogspot.com.
Dean Thompson: Dean Thompson is a naturalist who also happens to enjoy birding. Trained as a wildlife biologist, he has worked with a variety of raptors in California, Arizona and Wyoming for The Peregrine Fund and the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Group. He traveled to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji before finally settling down here in SLO county. Since then, he has worked as an outdoor science school instructor in Montana de Oro State Park. For the last 35 years he has led natural history tours along the central coast, conducted Least Tern surveys, raised 2 children, coached, and managed to stay sane by spending as much time as possible outdoors . Dean's skill as a professional storyteller makes his tours both entertaining and educational.
Mike Bush: Mike Bush has a botany degree from South Florida in Tampa. He worked and directed many botanical gardens: Two botanical gardens in Florida, the public gardens in Oklahoma City, OK and Charlotte, NC, Lotusland in Santa Barbara, the Singapore’s horticultural extravaganza, Gardens by the Bay, and the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden. Mike has a broad background directing gardens in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical regions, and his experience in conservatories and with tropical plants allows him to successfully manage the orchids and succulents at the Horticulture Unit at Cal Poly, where he has taught 20 different labs and classes for the Horticulture and Crop Science Department since 2013.
George Trevelyan: PhD marine biologist, George is the founder and owner of Grassy Bar Oyster Company in Morro Bay, bringing over 20 years of experience in the shellfish business to this wild site in Morro Bay. He says "I nominated to the national buffoon society, but I would never join any organization that would have me as a member!"
David Chipping: Dr. David Chipping was born in Scotland in 1943. He has a BA from Cambridge University (1965), came to the U.S., and earned a MS (1967) and PhD (1971) in Geology at Stanford University. He has taught at U.C Davis (1968 -1971), and Cal Poly State University (1971-present), where he is Emeritus Professor of Geology. He joined California Native Plant Society in 1987 as Conservation Chair and has served as Chapter President, on the Executive Council, and as Conservation Director. Dr Chipping is also involved with The Friends of the Carrizo Plain.
Jodie Nelson: Plant ecologist at Piedras Blancas Light station, San Simeon, CA
Toni Artho: Wastewater Operator III, has worked at the Cambria wastewater plant since 2016
Keith Seydel: Manager of Rancho Marino UC Reserve, Cambria
Bob Putney: Bob Putney is a Council Commissioner at Boy Scouts of America, a Community Emergency Response Team trainer, and Wildfire Preparedness leader. His 35-year career spans five fire departments, from volunteer to Fire Chief. Bob has a Teaching Credential from UC Berkeley and graduated from the Medical Center training program a Stanford. Bob is an expert in wildfire command, hazardous materials, chemical & biological agents, and rescue operations as verified by certification in SEMS/NIMS/ICS to IS-800. Bob is also a Rotarian, a leader in the fight against polio, a California Naturalist, and a rock collector.
Dennis Sheridan: Dennis Sheridan is a biologist and photographer with a special love entomology, herpetology, and mycology. His global travels have led to captivating nature photography which have been featured in prominent journals and publications including National Geographic, Audubon field guides, various books, award winning calendars, and even the cover California Wild. His own unique animals have appeared on television and films (ask about his (ask about his Academy award!). Dennis is a long time Central coast resident and supporter of conservation groups like the California Native Plant Society, Audubon Society, Small Wilderness Area Preservation, and Morro Estuary Greenbelt Alliance and more.
Donny Pierce: Donald Pierce, elder of Salinan Tribe in San Luis Obispo County. His Native American heritage comes from his father withlineage dating back to the 1670’s.
Ethan Bertrando: Archaeologist.
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