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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008


Berkeley, California (Thursday, October 13, 2016) - Get trained on the ecology of the Bay so that you can share that knowledge with children and adults. 

Volunteers help kids explore the outdoors. They investigate beaches, ride boats on the Bay, look under rocks for crabs, or bird watch from the shore. Some docents find new careers in teaching environmental education. Some retirees find a community of friends and the opportunity to do something they enjoy...All you need are the desire to teach and a love for kids and the outdoors. 

The Bay Interpretive Training or BayIT, established in 1985, trains volunteers to assist naturalists in teaching the ecology of the San Francisco Bay to adults as well as children ages 5 to 18 years.  The environmental education programs include low tide walks, research and sailing programs, Summer Marine Biology and Boating programs. These programs are unique in the central East Bay and have taught more than 127,000 children and adults in the past 30 years. 

Training sessions cover such topics as: 

  • Quacks, Quakes and Conquistadors
  • The Bay Today
  • Straw Bale Buildings
  • How To Have Fun Teaching Children Creatively
  • Fins, Scales and Gills
  • Feathered Friends
  • Blubber and Flukes
  • Seashore Secrets
  • Mud Glorious Mud
  • Bay Scientist- ME?
  • Animals With No Eyeballs
  • Waste in our Watershed
  • Sailing Take Me Away!

Each session includes hands-on experience and then spend time in our indoor labs and outside in each of the local estuarine environments: rocky shore, intertidal zone, dock, pier and open water. Microscopes connected to a large screen allow close viewing of the smallest of the Bay's creatures. The 200 gallon local lake and Bay aquariums make these environments come alive. Learn how to teach about "green" building because our office and visitors' center is made out of straw bales. This environmentally sensitive building has passive and active solar, a windmill and utilizes recycled wood products.  

The training takes place in the Shorebird Park Nature Center, 160 University Ave. at the Berkeley Marina on Thursday and Friday mornings 9:00am-12:00pm, starting on Oct 13, 2016 and continuing until August. A 14 hour per month commitment is required. 

Training is on-going and new volunteers are encouraged at any time. For more information and details on dates and times, visit our web site at http://www.cityofberkeley.info/naturecenter, email us at naturecenter@cityofberkeley.info , or call 510-981-6720. 

This program is run by the City's Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department, whose Recreation Division organizes dozens of camps, classes and other activities for people of all ages. Get a glimpse at the Recreation division's offerings through the Activity Guide and sign up via our online registration portal.



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