Environmental Education Programs

Kayakers rafting

Bring your Science curriculum to life with a kayaking, hiking or combination field trip to explore! Our programs correlate to state science curriculum standards, and can also be custom tailored to your curriculum needs for Language Arts, Math, and History/Social Science.  Look below for a lesson that will last a lifetime.

All the following programs can be adapted to suit the specific needs and educational goals of your students:

Ecosystems: Marine Mammal and Waterfowl Kayaking Exploration
While sea kayaking the northern shores of Tomales Bay, we explore the cliffs and protected coves of the Point Reyes Peninsula for seals, bat rays, waterfowl & raptors while learning about the habitat that supports this diverse array of wildlife.  Students will take a look at ecosystems, how they function, and explore what sometimes interrupts this natural process.

Life Zones, Watersheds, Adaptation: At the Beach
Planning a Beach trip: Make your day at the beach, more than just a day at the beach. The beach is a great place to introduce, explore, and solidify a mulititude of science concepts.  The environment, the wildlife therein, human influence, ecosystems comparisons, adaptations, invasive species, and more.

Tule Elk Hike on Tomales Point
This panoramic hike to the northern most tip of the Point Reyes Peninsula starts at Pierce Point Ranch. Hiking out towards the point along the peninsula’s ridge, we will observe the recovering herd of Tule elk while taking in spectacular views of the ocean & the bay. You will learn about the history of the Tule elk in Point Reyes, their day to day lives, and how they survive and thrive in this sometimes harsh environment.  This program can incorporate numerous concepts and outdoor studies such as: what makes a habitat, wildflower anatomy, population dynamics, carrying capacity, and ecosystem relationships.

Miwok History and Ways of Life: Kayak and Hike
Paddling on Tomales Bay, we will visit the beach village sites of the Miwok and learn about their society and how they lived. A local historians and naturalists will take us on a journey through time, sharing the history of the people that lived on and developed the peninsula.

Interdependence: Native & Non-Native Plant Life Hike
You will be amazed at how humans have altered our landscape by bringing in plant species from all over the world. Learn what plants are native, how non-native plants got here and how plants affect the native wildlife. This program can be done as a single ecosystem investigation or multiple ecosystems dependent on location.

Tidepools: Inter-Tidal Zone Investigation
Have you ever held a starfish? Discover the abundant life of the inter-tidal zone and observe ochre stars, crabs, sea anemones, sculpin, periwinkle snails, tube worms, and nudibranchs in their natural habitat. This program's availability is dependent on the tides.

Giacomini Wetlands and Marsh Exploration:
Students will paddle through a riparian creek environment into open wetlands following the water’s course into Tomales Bay.  These new waterways allow us to see firsthand the importance of marshes and wetlands to the health of our ecosystems and watersheds. With hands on activities, we will explore this transformed dairy pasture and investigate how it is returning to wetland.  This location is suitable for many concepts including watersheds, ecosystems, species dynamics, succession, invasive species, habitat, conservation, and restoration.

Migrating & Resident Birds: Hike or Paddle
Point Reyes is one of the world’s premier birding locations. Located on the Pacific Flyway this national park has over 450 species recorded, giving it more avian diversity than any other park in the United States. Birding adventures can be experienced while kayaking or hiking with multiple destinations providing a wide range of species and habitats.  Coastal wetlands surrounded by grasslands and the ocean shore make this a vibrant and abundant birding site for hawks, falcons, colorful and elaborate ducks, shorebirds, and waterfowl.

Plant Communities: Wildflowers and Whales Hike
In spring we begin to see beautiful colors popping up on our hillsides, coastal cliffs, river corridors, and grasslands.  Come with us to explore the revitalization of our plant communities with the growing day length. Many plant species that cannot be found anywhere else are present on the Point Reyes Peninsula, tucked away in locations your guide will gladly help you find. One of the premier wildflower viewing sites is also an excellent place to spot gray whales as they continue their migration back north to their summer feeding ground near Alaska. The combination of wildflower and whale viewing makes a great day of vistas and natural contrasts.

Marine Mammal Discovery Hikes
Spring is a very special time of year in Drake's Estero, where hundreds of mother seals haul out on the beaches to bring their newborn pups into the world. This protected sanctuary boasts one of the highest concentrations of harbor seals in all of California. Our biologist guides will explore with you the breeding behavior and conservation of California's marine mammals while taking in breathtaking coastal vistas. Ages 12 and up.

Adapatations: Raptor Rapture Paddle or Hike
Experience and learn about the hawks of Point Reyes. Every autumn, thousands of raptors migrate south along the California coast to seek warm climes and new foraging sites for the winter. We will locate, identify and discuss the life history of these magnificent hunters. The Point Reyes coastline is a perfect viewing point for juvenile and adult Red-tailed Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Kites, Merlins, Kestrels, and other birds of prey.

Point Reyes National Seashore is home to over 8000 identifiable species making it not only a premier wild life viewing location but an excellent platform for outdoor education. We believe hands-on learning experiences assist young minds to absorb new information and concepts. By offering stimulating outdoor adventures, we are able to combine educational and experiential learning for your students in authentic wilderness settings.  It is our hope to empower students to recognize their role in the interdependence of all life on this earth and provide them with an unforgettable learning experience.

Please call us at 415 663-8192 to learn more about creating a unique and exciting educational adventure.