Conservation Lecture Series Available to the Public

Two small brown birds -- cactus wrens -- stand atop a cactus

Cactus wren. Steve Brad/USGS photo

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering a Conservation Lecture Series to the general public via the department’s website, starting Thursday, April 17.

This lecture series introduces participants to California’s diverse wildlife. Each lecture focuses on a unique plant or animal. The conservation, protection and enhancement of these species and their habitat is of statewide concern. To date, the series has hosted lectures from distinguished researchers on a variety of species including giant garter snakes, fishers, endemic fishes, Northern spotted owls and more.

The Conservation Lecture Series webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/lectures features a list of upcoming lectures and speakers. These scientific lectures are open to anyone who is interested. Advance registration is required and people may attend either in person or remotely via WebEx.

In addition to a schedule of upcoming lectures, the website has videos of past lectures and lecture materials such as PowerPoint slides saved as portable document files (PDF).

In the April 17 lecture (1-3 p.m.), Dr. Kristine Preston will discuss research on the coastal cactus wren. To attend – either in person or by WebEx – visit www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/lectures, then click on, complete and submit the enrollment form that is appropriate for you.

Upcoming lecture subjects include the Alameda Striped Racer, California Tiger Salamander, Shasta Crayfish and Desert Tortoise.

Participants may earn credit for watching the videos. Up to eight hours spent participating in the Conservation Lecture Series may be used toward The Wildlife Society (TWS) Category I requirements of the Certified Wildlife Biologist Renewal/Professional Development Certificate Program. Please see www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/lecturesfor more information and to register for lectures.

Media Contacts:
Margaret Mantor, CDFW Habitat Conservation Planning Branch, (916) 651-1278
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

Natural Resource Volunteer Program Seeks San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay Area Residents

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking applicants for the Natural Resource Volunteer Program (NRVP) to serve as team members in the Belmont and Monterey NRVP chapters.

“The natural resource volunteers do not have law enforcement authority, but they are trained to be educational ambassadors and to provide assistance and support for CDFW,” said program coordinator Lt. Joshua Nicholas. “The mission of the Natural Resource Volunteer Program is to provide conservation and enforcement education in public service while providing biological, enforcement and administrative staff support to CDFW.”

CDFW will begin its NRVP training academy from May 21-23 in San Jose. Classes will continue one day each month from June through October. These positions are unpaid. Interested individuals go through a selection process, which includes an initial screening, application, interview and background check. If selected, individuals attend and complete an 80-hour conservation course to prepare them for a monthly service commitment of at least 16 hours. Volunteers will work with a trained mentor to implement their newly acquired skills during a six-month probationary period.

Applicants should be teachable, accountable, have basic computer and writing skills and a willingness to talk about conservation principles to the public in the field and in a classroom setting. Applicants must show a desire to work well with others in a team environment to do tasks that free up time for paid CDFW staff.

Natural resource volunteer duties may include responding to human/wildlife conflict calls, instructing at NRVP academies, representing CDFW at community outreach events, working on CDFW lands, ecological reserves, and coastal and inland fishing areas, and disseminating useful information to the public.

Further information and the application are available at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/volunteer/NRVP/. Applications are to be mailed to the CDFW Bay Delta Region Office, 7329 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558 no later than April 19, 2013. Please contact Lt. Joshua Nicholas at (707) 944-5562 with any questions.

Media Contact:
Lt. Joshua Nicholas, CDFW Law Enforcement, (707) 944-5562
Warden Mark Michilizzi, CDFW Enforcement, (916) 651-2084

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CDFW to Host Southern California Natural Resource Volunteer Academy

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking applicants for the Natural Resource Volunteer Program (NRVP) to serve in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

“The natural resource volunteers do not have law enforcement authority, but they are trained to be educational ambassadors for the Department,” said program coordinator Lt. Kent Smirl. “The mission of the Natural Resource Volunteer Program is to provide conservation and enforcement education in public service while providing biological, enforcement and administrative staff support to CDFW.”

CDFW is holding an NRVP training academy in Los Alamitos from April 10-23. Graduates of the academy become volunteers for CDFW. These positions are unpaid. Interested individuals go through a selection process, which includes an initial screening, application, interview and background check. If selected, individuals attend an 80-hour conservation course to prepare them for a monthly service commitment of at least 24 hours. After completing the academy, volunteers work with a trained volunteer mentor to implement their newly acquired skills during a six-month probationary period.

Applicants should be teachable, accountable, have basic computer and writing skills and a willingness to talk about conservation principles to the public in the field and in a classroom setting. Applicants must show a desire to work well with others in a team environment to do tasks that free up time for paid CDFW staff.

Natural resource volunteer duties may include responding to human/wildlife incident calls, instructing at NRVP academies, representing CDFW at community outreach events, patrolling CDFW lands, ecological reserves, and coastal and inland fishing areas, and disseminating useful information to the public.

Please contact Lt. Kent Smirl at (714) 448-4215 prior to submitting an application.

Further information and an application can be found on the NRVP website at www.dfg.ca.gov/volunteer/NRVP/.

Media Contacts:    
Kent Smirl, CDFW Law Enforcement, (714) 448-4215
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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Registration Opens for Nature Bowl Science and Conservation Competition

Media Contacts:
Bruce Forman, DFG Interpretive Services, (916) 358-2353 or (916) 591-1161
Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420

A girl and a boy sitting on a lawn, working on projects.

2011 Nature Bowl competitors. JoeFerreira/DFG photo.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) invites parents and teachers to help their children have fun learning about California’s natural resources. Registration is now open for the 28th annual Nature Bowl, an elementary school activity-based competition held each spring. This popular program increases the science and conservation literacy of third- to sixth-grade students in the Sacramento Valley and Foothills.

“The participants learn about the natural environments where they live, as well as how to employ teamwork, creativity and critical thinking,” said Nature Bowl Coordinator Bruce Forman.

The Nature Bowl is open to students from any school, group or organized youth club in the area. Teams will consist of three to seven children each. The day-long, semi-final events are held during March and April in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. Several groups will advance to the final event that will be held May 5, 2012.

Prior to the semi-finals, there will be a series of workshops for coaches. Integrating environmental science concepts and conservation information into the classroom curriculum (following the State Science Standards), these workshops help prepare students for the competition. Teachers, youth group leaders or parents may sign up to coach a team. The entry fee for each team is $20, which pays for materials provided.

A coaches’ workshop will be held on Jan. 17, 2012 from 3:45 to 5 p.m. at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Rancho Cordova. Make reservations by calling (916) 358-2884. Students in Sacramento County will have a choice of two semi-finals to attend at Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Gold River, on April 10 or April 12.

For more information about the Nature Bowl please call DFG at (916) 358-2353 or go to the DFG website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/education/Naturebowl.

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