Dive into Vail Valley nature this summer | VailDaily.com

Dive into Vail Valley nature this summer

Carolyn Connolly
Gore Range Natural Science School
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyMushroom instructor Ellen Jacobson, right, lead a mushroom class for the Gore Range Natural Science School last summer in Colorado's Vail Valley

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado- Gore Range Natural Science School has a fabulous line-up for its adult summer programs appealing to learners of all abilities. The Vail Valley-based science school’s field curriculum caters to a diversity of interests.

Participants can choose from courses in wildflowers, wildlife, birds and ecology. Within each subject, the school offers basic, classic and master level instruction.

“By providing multiple course levels, we meet the needs of beginners and experts, and everything in between,” says Ann Stevenson, the school’s community program director.

Basic level courses are for nature enthusiasts eager to learn a new skill, or for anyone seeking to refresh their naturalist knowledge. Stevenson says it’s imperative the basic level courses are identical year after year.

“These courses are fundamental naturalist stepping stones,” she says. “They should be a consistent and reliable source of nature knowledge, especially given that so many people are new to the valley year after year.”

Classic level courses are for those seeking more in-depth study. Master level courses are for experienced nature enthusiasts keen on continuing their education or conservation-related projects.

Master Naturalist candidates can earn their certification over the course of just one or many summers. Outside of program registration fees, there’s no cost to enroll in the program. This summer, already five valley residents have enrolled in the Master Naturalist program.

The Science School’s comprehensive adult program offerings are further complemented this summer by several special interest courses, including a family photography day at the Knapp Ranch in Lake Creek with John Fielder, and Musing Over Mushrooms with local expert Ellen Jacobsen.

Learn more about the Science School’s summer program line-up online at http://www.gorerange.org. Adult programs begin Monday and run through Aug. 28. Courses range in cost from $30 to $100. For more information on the Master Naturalist Certification program, contact Ann Stevenson at 970-827-9725 ext. 14 or e-mail anns@gorerange.org.

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