2020 Volunteer Naturalist Training Class
By Thomas Anderson

2020 Volunteer Naturalist Training ClassThe Perimeter Tour. From left: Vic Leipzig,
Nancy Curtis, Amber Davis, Charlie Chavez,
Vina Nguyen, Dan Dawes and David Lasky.
Photo by Thomas Anderson.
The last class of the 2020 Volunteer Naturalist training has been postponed due to the closure of the Bolsa Chica State Beach Visitor Center to fight the spread of COVID-19. But when we resume with the distribution of name badges, Certificates of Completion, the class photo, and a discussion of the test answers, we will be officially welcoming six new Naturalists to the world: Charlie Chavez, Amber Davis, Dan Dawes, David Lasky, Vina Nguyen and Jared Sanchez. Established Naturalists Susan Hardgrave, Nancy Boyd-Batstone, Nancy Curtis and Bob Johnson sat in on all or some nights to refresh themselves on the information.

The class began on January 30 with a presentation of the Amigos-produced short film, Saving the Bolsa Chica, introduced by Bill Stern. Presentations started with Matthew Teutimez (Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians) who spoke on the local Native American cultural life, followed by Brian Westcott on History, Jim Robins on Bolsa Chica Restoration, Vic Leipzig on Ecology, Elissa Warantz on Birds, Kelly O’Reilly on Fish and Invertebrates, and Kim DiPasquale on Native Wetland Plants. Amber Davis, FLOW Program Manager, explained what FLOW is and how volunteers can become Citizen Scientists and teach school groups about the importance of water quality. In addition to the weekly classes, the Naturalists also participated in Vic Leipzig’s perimeter tour, Kim DiPasquale’s Plant Walk, and Elissa Warrantz’s or Terry Hill’s Bird Talk. Facilitating the class and providing support were Tom Anderson, Kim DiPasquale and Jennifer Robins.