Posted by: Renee Owens | March 3, 2011

Wildlife Conservationist Certification Training

In case you haven’t seen it yet, I invite you to check out information on our new pilot project,

Wildlife Conservationist Training Certification

It is announced in this month’s Hi Sierran, page 9 or for more information you can also read about it here on San Diego Audubon’s website. We will be offering this program annually.

So what is it?

This is a new program directed by San Diego Audubon’s Conservation Coordinator Shannon Dougherty, with lead instruction and curriculum development by yours truly.

I developed this program from an idea I had, one that came about over the years as I repeatedly heard from friends, acquaintances, even strangers who would tell me how much they are interested in wildlife. They’d say they wanted to do something to enhance wildlife conservation or awareness in their community, but really didn’t know where to begin or with whom. Many felt they could contribute, but didn’t have the ‘expertise’ necessary, or felt shy about dropping in on a conservation committee or board room and announcing their interest.

So I decided to come up with a short series of classes and field trips to help them do just that: get involved in a way that is collaborative, hands-on, and yes, definitely fun. The program is part evening classes, part field trips, and part volunteer time commitment.

There will be field trips (Mission Trails, San Diego River, Tijuana Estuary, Anza Borrego desert) and guest instructors, wildlife and conservation experts who are familiar with our region’s conservation history and priorities. Thanks to a generous grant from Audubon, the program is FREE (pending a fully refundable deposit).

This unique series of classes has been organized to train a small group of dedicated volunteers who are interested in wildlife and want to become more involved in conservation efforts or programs locally. We are currently seeking endorsement from a couple government wildlife agencies, if acquired it would apply to all individuals receiving certificates.

The certification requires a modest volunteer time investment in lieu of payment (other courses like this typically cost several hundred dollars at least), but that volunteer time is the real meat of the training, it will give you an opportunity to work with others on a project or conservation issue of interest to you. And, you will have an entire year to fulfill your 30 hour commitment.

The volunteer effort will incorporate a conservation project or issue that the Audubon Society is interested in, however the program encourages collaboration with other conservation related groups. After all, successful conservation often crosses many borders, Board room tables, and community organizations.

So feel free to share this with any interested parties, and thanks much for checking it out!



  1. I would be interested in this program. When does it start?

    • Thanks Janet, I’ve sent you an email with information. The classes begin end of March.

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