Sonoma Valley Field Zoology Course with Dr. Dan Levitis

  • Recurring weekly on Sunday until May 29, 2022


Sonoma Creek Watershed is full of amazing wildlife discoveries for those that know how to make them. From the mountain lions of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park to the shorebirds of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and from tiny plankton, through dragonflies, to big old bears, thousands of species of wild animals call Sonoma Valley home.

In this course, students will learn how to find, document, and observe a wide variety of our native animals through a series of field trips to natural areas. Emphasis will be on learning field methods that students can employ with only low-cost equipment, and on recognizing the major groups of animals and how to photograph them. We’ll learn some ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation biology along the way, but our focus will be on the field methods.

Instructor: Dr. Dan Levitis studied zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught zoology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation biology at the university level. For Sonoma Ecology Center he has previously taught New Ecological Scientist Training, California Naturalist Training, and Climate Stewardship, as well as leading programs to document the biodiversity of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and the Sonoma Developmental Center. He is Community Science Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator for Sonoma Ecology Center.



Preliminary Topics and Locations List:

Sundays 8-12 unless otherwise noted*

April 10:  San Pablo Bay: Introductions, Shorebirds and wetland life (7-11am)*

April 17: Sugarloaf Ridge State Park: Camera Trapping, and Digital Tools

April 24: Sugarloaf Ridge State Park: Creek Life, Camera Trapping Results

May 1: No Class,  Optional City Nature Challenge event w/ iNaturalist

May 8: Buckeye Knob: Scat, Tracks, and Sign

May 15 Sonoma Garden Park: Urban and Agricultural Wildlife

May 22: Keen Property: Cover objects and soil dwellers

May 29: Perry Property: Insect netting, black and light trapping (6-10pm)*