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Gore Range Natural Science School offers adult classes

Special to the DailyLocal mushroom expert Ellen Jacobsen shares a mushroom find with Gore Range Natural Science School students.
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In its tenth summer of programming, Gore Range Natural Science School has put a new twist on its adult lineup. The science schools new Field School Curriculum caters to many interests and abilities, designed to take students from novice to master, program director Ann Stevenson said.The science school offers courses in wildflowers, wildlife, birds, ecology, and many other subject, and within each category of interest, the science school offers basic, classic and master level instruction.

We need to offer classes differentiated to the varying experience levels of people in this valley, Stevenson said. By providing multiple course levels, we meet the needs of beginners and experts, and everything in between.Basic level courses are for nature enthusiasts eager to learn a new skill, or for anyone seeking to refresh their naturalist knowledge. Classic level courses are for enthusiasts seeking a more in-depth study of a particular subject. Master level courses are for experienced nature enthusiasts keen on continuing education or conservation-related projects.

Take, for instance, courses offered this summer in wildlife. The basic level course, Colorado Critters, covers the tricks of the trade for managing and monitoring animals that inhabit Colorados Rockies. Alarm in the Alpine, the classic level course, specifically features the pika and how climate change is impacting this alpine species. Lastly, the master level course, Beaver Contractors, looks closely at beaver relocation with specialist Sherri Tippie. For Stevenson, its imperative that the science school offer nearly identical basic level courses year after year. These courses are fundamental naturalist stepping stones, she said. 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.Participants can follow Stevensons Field School Curriculum guidelines to earn a Master Naturalist Certification. By completing the coursework, Stevenson said, youll gain an understanding of the natural history in our valley and discover exciting opportunities to get involved in caring for our natural world. I really want to encourage people to progress from understanding to action.



Master Naturalist candidates can earn their certification over the course of just one summer or many summers. Outside of program registration fees, theres no cost to enroll in the program. This summer,five valley residents have enrolled in the Master Naturalist program. The science school also offers special interest courses, including the return of Botanical Illustration with Susan Fisher and Musing Over Mushrooms with local expert Ellen Jacobsen, as well as the new Legendary Locals hiking series, which features well-known local hikes led by well-known locals. Adult programs run through Aug. 29. Courses range in cost from $20 to $50. For more information on the Master Naturalist Certification program, contact Ann Stevenson at 827-9725 ext. 14 or email anns@gorerange.org. Visit http://www.gorerange.org for the schools full program lineup.


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