Class Description

Revealing the Naturalist Intelligence through the Study of Nature

“The pattern recognizing talents of artists, poets, social scientists, and natural scientists are all built on the fundamental perceptual skills of the naturalist intelligence”Howard Gardner identifying the eighth form of intelligence in his recent book Intelligence Reframed
  1. Nature Observation Class:
    An Introductory class designed to acclimate your students to the outdoor environment, initiate the concept of Critical Thinking Skills, and focus attention on the unique aspects of each of our five senses. Your students are then led through a series of exercises that are designed to enhance sensory effectiveness in a wilderness setting.
  2. Team Challenge:
    A series of Team Building group initiatives at the ground level. Your students will experience of the
    dynamic transition from an assembled group of individuals into a cooperative, supportive, coordinated, problem solving “team”. Correct “spotting techniques
    as they are introduced to basic team initiative and Ropes Course safety procedures.
  3. Climbing Wall Activity
    While safely on “team belay”, students face the challenge of climbing this 24’ vertical surface on man-made climbing holds. The concept of “climbing with your feet” is introduced, as our trained instructors guide and encourage your students through this personal self-confidence building experience.
  4. Ornithology Class:
    097ornithologyStudents will explore the Riparian Habitat that borders Brush Creek and its rich diversity of bird life. Bird Shelter, feeding, nesting and species interaction is introduced and discussed. At our “Classroom-in-a-Box” your students will the details of feather design and learn about the nature of flight. Using our private collection, students will investigate the differences and complexity of various bird nests. This class concludes with an Owl Pellet dissection activity.
  5. Archery Class:
    Your students are introduced to the Bow and Arrow, their history and proper use. With a strong emphasis on safety, students are given the opportunity to test their skills on our professional Archery Range.
  6. Compass Orienteering Class:
    After an introduction to the proper use of the compass and location of basic coordinates, your students proceed in teams of two to navigate their way through our multiple station wilderness course. During the course of this class, your students are also introduced to topographical maps from the local area and given a series of tasks to perform to familiarize them with these navigational tools.
  7. Vertical Playpen Activity:
    077vppinkduoWhile safely on “team belay” your students face the challenge of climbing this 60’ vertical surface on man-made climbing holds. The concept of “climbing with your feet” is revisited as your students are guided through this team building and self-confidence strengthening experience.
  8. Riparian Studies Class:
    100_0267The unique properties of water are introduced and its importance to all of life is discussed. After a description of the chemical composition of water, students will conduct their own water surface tension test. After the “cycles” of the Riparian Habitat are observed and discussed, your students are divided into smaller research groups to perform 4 different chemical tests on water samples that have been collected. Invertebrates and aquatic animals are identified and data from research teams is recorded and shared.
  9. Stalking and Tracking Class:
    100_0385Exploring a variety of trails along the perimeters of our Riparian Habitats, students are introduced to the basic skills and techniques of identifying, tracking, and stalking animals that are indigenous to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges. Diversity of animal life, various gaits, associated behaviors, and interaction are explained as animal prints are located, studied, and discussed.
  10. Zip-Line Activity:
    While in a climbing harness and safely on belay, your students will ascend 40’ to the Zip-Line launch platform. Our instructors will assist each student in preparation for their launch beginning a 370 yard elevated “zip” through the forest canopy: an experience that no one will ever forget!
  11. Herpetology Class:
    031sandyIn this exciting, hands-on, class your students will be introduced to several species of snakes, lizards, and amphibians. Both indigenous and non-indigenous species are presented as a
    depth of Herpetology facts and information are explained and discussed. Students will be allowed to handle the animals under strictly controlled conditions.
  12. Entomology Class:
    Entomology 1 shutterstock_124397884Posters and models are used to illustrate and explain insect identification. Professional insect collections are on display and are used for an introduction to insect order, identification, and classification. Students are then led on an actual insect hunt and participate in creating personal insect collections.
  13. Trees Class:
    Trees 1 shutterstock_145558600Following our trail bordering Rock Creek, and beyond, the students are introduced to the trees which are found in the Chapparral, Riparian, and Mixed-Coniferous Ecological Zones of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges. The parts of a tree, including the function of each, are identified and discussed as are the interrelationship with the other life forms of this habitat. Students will investigate large diameter tree rounds and take professional “core samples” to determine rates of growth and related environmental conditions present in the past, as the students are introduced to the concept of Intelligent Design in an ecosystem.
  14. Exploring Evolution:
    chapelsUsing short video presentations and charts the students are introduced to the significance of the Cambrian Explosion and its relationship to the concept of Darwin’s Tree of Life. The
    most recent discoveries and developments within this area of science are presented and discussed as your students are challenged to strengthen their Critical Thinking Skills.
  15. Nocturnal Excursion Class:
    Nocturnal 1 shutterstock_155572946Beginning after dark, students are introduced to night vision and the structure of the human eye as compared to various indigenous nocturnal animals. The design characteristics, habitats, and behavior of nocturnal animals are introduced
    and discussed. Using a powerful laser light constellations of the night sky are identified. The class concludes with an exciting experiment that creates light through friction.