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History and Nature Classes

 

 

 

 

Elkhorn Slough Safari – Spring Wildlife

Spend a day at Elkhorn Slough learning about and viewing wetland wildlife at close range aboard a comfortable, easily boardable boat, floating on calm inland slough water. This day trip will offer a unique spring-time spectrum of wildlife, including shore bird species. Join two experienced naturalists as we see sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters during the otter and seal pupping season. There will be a significant variety of aquatic birds, and close-in views of a thriving heron and cormorant rookery shore side. We rarely record fewer than 50 bird species on our trips, including many northbound migrants, during the three-hour outing. This trip offers a view of the Elkhorn slough, and the wildlife that live there, that is only visible when you are moving through the slough on a boat!

Please bring $8 for parking meters, in $1 bills or change. These meters do not give change!     

Dress warm, wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Please check our Class Resources web page for maps, directions, and other important information.

Sat., May 11
10:30 am - 2:30 pm
Participants will meet at Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing.

Register before March 25: $78
Register after March 25: $85

Register 2 or more: $70 each

 

register online

 

Bruce Elliott is a retired senior Biologist Supervisor for the California Dept. of Fish and Game. He is a skilled field trip leader who conducts a variety of tours and explorations of the area's natural resources.

"Bruce Elliot is excellent; he's an expert in Natural History, excited about his subject,
and a great instructor."


 

 

 

 

Elkhorn Slough Safari – Summer Shorebirds

 

Mid-summer in Central California marks the return of northern tundra-nesting water-associated birds, especially shorebirds on their southbound migration to winter area south of Old Mexico. Pausing here to ‘re-fuel’ body fat from the rich invertebrate animal life of the Elkhorn Slough provides in an opportunity to enjoy views of, and discuss the biology of the spectrum of transient species.

We will observe wetland wildlife at close range aboard a comfortable, easily boardable watercraft, floating on calm inland slough water. Join two experienced naturalists as we see sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters. There will be added a significant variety of aquatic birds, and close-in views of a thriving heron and cormorant rookery shoreside. We rarely record fewer than 50 bird species, including many northbound migrants, during the three-hour outing.

Please bring $8 for parking meters, in $1 bills or change. These meters do not give change!     

Please check our Class Resources web page for a detailed map, directions, meeting place, and information about what to wear, what to bring and other details to make your day enjoyable!

Sat., August 17
2:00 - 4:30 pm
Participants will meet at Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing.

Register before May 30: $85
Register after May 30: $92

Register 2 or more: $82 each

 

register online

 

Bruce Elliott is a retired senior Biologist Supervisor for the California Dept. of Fish and Game. He is a skilled field trip leader who conducts a variety of tours and explorations of the area's natural resources.

"Bruce Elliot is excellent; he's an expert in Natural History, excited about his subject,
and a great instructor."


 

 

 

 

Wildlife, Wildflowers and Condors at Pinnacles West

 

This gem of a pristine wildland tucked into the center of the Inner Coast Range along the boundary of Monterey and San Benito County features towering, brightly-hued volcanic cliffs, cool riparian streamside woodland, riotous spring flower displays, and is home to nesting prairie and peregrine falcon and wide variety of songbird species. An extra inducement for this visit is the introduction and breeding of the California condor within the park, which now roam free at the Pinnacles. We may have opportunities to observe these birds during our time on the trail.

We will explore portions of this fascinating wildlife mecca at the height of the spring wildflower season and the onset of the annual bird migration. An excellent, easily navigated trail system provides comfortable access to excellent viewing opportunities.

Our early meeting time puts us in the park when parking is easier to find closer to our trailheads, so be sure to plan for travel time.

Park entrance fees apply, unless you have a National Park Service annual pass or Golden Eagle Passport.

Please check our Class Resources web page for meeting location, maps, directions, and other important information.

Sat., May 4
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Pinnacles National Monument - West

Register before March 25: $78
Register after March 25: $85

Register 2 or more: $70 each

 

register online

 

Bruce Elliott- see bio

 


Hummingbirds - Beauty and Biological Wonder

The biological characteristics of the hummingbird is absolutely fascinating! Restricted to the Americas, these incredible avian acrobats hover, fly backwards (even upside-down!), endure a metabolic marathon that may only narrowly permit them to survive through a single day, and exhibit plumages that exceed that of Birds-of-Paradise, and are often even iridescent. Several score of the more than 350 described species carry names of precious gems, reflecting their unique brilliant feathery. Join us for a evening learning about the birds our Latin American neighbors call the “Zum-yums.”

Sat., June 15
2:00 – 4:30 pm
Room: 406
Register before May 30:  $48
Register after May 30:  $55

 

register online


Bruce Elliott is a retired senior Biologist Supervisor for the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. He is a skilled field trip leader who conducts a variety of tours and explorations of the area's natural resources.

 


Hiking: The Path Less Traveled

 

 

Explore the green belts and State Parks of Santa Cruz County in this fun and challenging hiking class. Although you will learn some natural history, flora and fauna, the emphasis is exercise and movement. Participants should have at least average fitness levels and be able to hike at a fairly fast pace of 2 1/2 miles per hour. This class is not for beginning hikers as we will be hiking on steep terrain. Each week will feature a different hike on trails not commonly known.

Please go to Extension’s Class Resources webpage for important information about what to bring and wear.

6 Sat., June 15 - July 20
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Meet at Parking Lot K, next to Gymnasium

Register before May 30:  $98
Register after May 30:  $114

register online

 

Phil Kaplan has taught in the Kinesiology Department at Cabrillo for over 25 years and has been teaching hiking classes for the past 15 years.



Backyard Astronomer

beekeeping

 

Learn how to identify the stars and constellations in our local skies in this fun hands-on workshop. Using the Cabrillo planetarium and observatory discover the wonders of the universe and learn about astronomy history, methods, equipment, and recent discoveries. We’ll show some of the newest images from the Hubble of Mercury and talk about the 400+ newly discovered planets.

Participants should dress warmly for outdoor observation on the hill. In case of rain or fog, class assembles in the planetarium.

This class is appropriate for students aged 10 to adult.

2 Fri., April 26 & May 3
6:30 - 9:30 pm
Room: 707

Register before March 25: $58
Register after March 25: $65
Plus a $5 materials fee paid at registration

register online

 

Karl von Ahnen is the retired director of the Fujitsu Planetarium at De Anza College, and is president of the Pacific Planetarium Association, representing planetariums in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii. He has been teaching 'Back Yard Astronomy' classes at Cabrillo College since 1988. His infatuation with astronomy started with a trip to Lick Observatory when he was 9 years old.


Explore Astronomy at Lick Observatory

The Lick Observatory, a world class observatory and historic site, was founded in 1888, and was the first mountain top observatory in the US! It sits high atop Mount Hamilton at 4,200 feet elevation. The property includes historic and important modern research telescopes, beautiful architecture, and breathtaking views of the valley below and sky above like no other!

The first class meeting takes place at the Cabrillo planetarium to explore basic astronomical concepts, historic and modern instruments and methods. A discussion of astronomical history and the development of telescopes will help prepare students to get the most out of our evening at the Lick Observatory.

Our second class meeting at the Lick Observatory includes a guided walking tour, a lecture on the history of Lick: the man and the observatory, and a visit to the dome of the famous 36 inch refractor. Weather permitting, we will look through this awesome instrument. It was once the largest—and remains the 2nd largest refracting telescope in the world!


Please note, the trip to Lick Observatory includes 365 turns as you wind your way up Mount Hamilton road to the observatory!

Plan to take it slow and take in the views as you make your way up the mountain. You may even plan to arrive at the site early for a picnic dinner as you enjoy some of the most spectacular views of the bay area you’ll ever see!

Bring warm clothes; the nights can be quite cool.

2 Fri., August 23 & 30
August 23: 6:30 - 9:30 pm in room 707 on Aptos Campus
August 30: 5:30 - 10:30 pm at the Lick Observatory

Register before May 30: $98
Register after May 30: $115
Register 2 or more: $95 each

register online

 

Karl von Ahnen is the retired director of the Fujitsu Planetarium at De Anza College, and is president of the Pacific Planetarium Association, representing planetariums in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii. He has been teaching 'Back Yard Astronomy' classes at Cabrillo College since 1988. His infatuation with astronomy started with a trip to Lick Observatory when he was 9 years old.

PHOTO CREDIt: @UC Regents/Lick Observatory

 


Beekeeping Basics and Honeybee Biology

beekeeping

 

Whether you are interested in learning sustainable backyard beekeeping practices or just want a better understanding of how these delicate, intricate creatures benefit us and our planet, you will leave this class a-buzz with new energy!

This course covers hive structure, colony dynamics and delve into basic honeybee biology. We will discuss the history of beekeeping, from honey production to pollination contracts, and discuss current trends (and rifts) in colony management practices. Weather permitting, there will be a field trip to Emily's Apiary in Santa Cruz for a real-life "hive dive".

By the end of the course, students who are interested in obtaining their own hive will have a good working understanding of equipment, tools, management practices, bee biology, and how we can work together to support these very vital pollinators.

This class is appropriate for adults with little to no experience in keeping bees.

Sat., June 8
9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Room: 1606

Register before May 30: $68
Register after May 30: $75

plus $5 materials fee payable at registration

register online

 

Emily Bondor - see bio below




bees

Intermediate Beekeeping

 

 

This class is designed for students with knowledge of beekeeping, and those who have beehives. We will discuss keeping bees locally, the way to start a hive (package versus nucleus), and different option for foundation. The class will focus on IPM approaches, different options for tackling parasitic Varroa mites, and seasonal hive management techniques. We will review natural approaches to IPM in place of harsh chemicals.

Students will be encouraged to compare notes and strategies, and to foster community engagement and mentorship. Students will leave with detailed knowledge about treating for Varroa mites, and a seasonal outline for hive management. 

Sat., April 13
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Room: 1605

Register before Jan. 28: $68
Register after Jan. 28: $75

register online

 

Emily Bondor - see bio



Small Scale Queen Bee Rearing

Do you consider yourself an intermediate to advanced beekeeper, and want to try your hand at raising queen bees? In the morning portion of this class we will cover different methods and techniques for raising queen bees, including methods to split a hive, breeding programs, and an intro to grafting. In the afternoon, we will head up to the hives at the Cabrillo Horticulture Center for a demonstration of basic grafting.

Beekeepers will leave with a more intimate knowledge of queen bee biology and development, and information about techniques to harvest and incubate queen cells.

Your materials fee will include a grafting tool, several cell cups, and a special langstroth grafting frame.

Bring your bee veil & optional bag lunch.

Sat., April 27
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Room: 1605

Register before March 25: $68
Register after March 25: $75

plus $15 materials fee payable in class

register online


Emily Bondor is a bay area Beekeeper and Educator. Her expertise is in promoting responsible honeybee genetics and breeding queens from locally adapted genetic stock. She works in Napa Valley managing bee-hives and is currently pursuing Master Beekeeping Classes through the Honeybee Lab at UC Davis.

"Instructor Emily Bondor is a wonderful teacher. She has a wealth of knowledge about bees and is able to convey her passion and mastery of beekeeping in a delightful way. The class was informative and fun. I highly recommend Ms. Bondor as an instructor. "

-Beekeeping Basics student



Sea Otters on the California Coast

 

 

Sea Otters are amazing, adorable, and vitally important to our coastal ecosystems. Discover the captivating sea otter survival story, and explore the beautiful sea otter habitat in Moss Landing, with an expert guide. This updated version of our ever-popular annual Sea Otter Adventure begins with a presentation and photographic journey, including the latest sea otter conservation news, then a break for lunch before heading to Moss Landing to search for the otters.  This annual adventure always yields rich photo opportunities, the chance to view the sea otters, and to make new friends!

Kim will also discuss some of the topics from The Edge: The Pressured Past and Precarious Future of California’s Coast, a new book he has co-authored with local marine expert Dr. Gary Griggs, exploring the sometimes-complex relationship between humans and nature.

The afternoon includes about a mile of light hiking. Students should bring a lunch. Detailed directions to the field trip location are provided in the morning lecture portion of class.

Please check our Class Resources web page for maps, directions, and other important information.

Sat., June 22 - NEW DATE
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Room: 2501 and off-site in Moss Landing
Register before March 25: $68
Register after March 25: $72
Register 2 or more: $65 each

register online

 

Kim Steinhardt is a former administrative law judge who now writes about the coast and photographs marine wildlife. His photographic work and storytelling has been recognized by National Geographic Books, where he has served as a consultant and photo contributor regarding sea otters.

 


Landmarks, Legends and Local Lore of Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz is known for iconic places and events, like the Boardwalk, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the Cement Ship, incomparable surf and sunsets, and even for being “weird.” Spend 3 Saturdays exploring our beloved local oddities and hear the stories behind them, with expert guides for three unique adventures. Each week we will meet at a different location, with the first class at the Boardwalk for a behind-the-scenes tour. The second class starts with a talk at Cabrillo about the fascinating history of our local disasters, then followed by a field trip to several notorious disaster locations (of which there have been quite a few!). The final class starts at Cabrillo, and is followed by another field trip, this time to the Monterey Bay’s enigmatic curiosity, the Cement Ship, which turned 100 years old this year, at Seacliff State Beach.

  • The first Saturday offers a presentation and “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Boardwalk, led by Ted Whiting, who has worked at the Boardwalk since his middle- school years. Ted will share the rich, colorful history of this California Historic Landmark and one of Santa Cruz’s most beloved and enduring treasures.
  • For the second Saturday Gary Griggs will take students on a trip back through time, both in the classroom and then in the field. With unique photos, facts, and in-depth stories, Gary will lead students through the many natural perils that have faced Santa Cruz residents over the years, many of which are documented in his recent book “Between Paradise and Peril.”  
  • For the third Saturday Kim Steinhardt will take students through the fascinating story of the landmark Cement Ship of Aptos, the SS Palo Alto, and other lore of Seacliff State Beach, with an extraordinary photo journey, and a visit to shore and pier.

For each class please dress for the weather, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring a lunch and something to drink!

Please go to Class Resources web page for details about parking, meeting place, and other important information about this class.

A portion of the proceeds from this class will be used to support scholarships for Cabrillo Extension’s Summer Youth Program.

3 Sat., Sept. 21, 28 & Oct. 5

Sept. 21, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, meet at Main Entrance

Sept. 28., 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cabrillo College, Room: 314 and off-site at various Santa Cruz County locations

October 5, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cabrillo College, Room: 314 and Seacliff State Beach

Register before Sept. 9:  $98
Register after Sept. 9:  $110
Register 2 or more:  $90 each

register online

 

Kim Steinhardt is a former administrative law judge who now writes about the coast and photographs marine wildlife. His photographic work and storytelling have been recognized by National Geographic Books, where he has served as a consultant and photo contributor regarding sea otters. His popular walks at Seacliff State Beach have introduced many to the historic Cement Ship.

Gary Griggs writes the popular bi-weekly Santa Cruz Sentinel column "Our Ocean Backyard,” and has made Santa Cruz County his home for fifty years. He has also written or co-written ten books about the California coast, including his recent “Between Paradise and Peril: The Natural Disaster History of the Monterey Bay Region.” He is a Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UCSC.

Ted Whiting III was born and raised in Santa Cruz.  He has worked at the Boardwalk since his middle-school years starting with his family’s business, Whiting Foods.  He has also been associated with the Seaside Company in varying capacities over four-decades. In semi-retirement mode, he is working on a Legacy Project for the company.  This includes conveying the Boardwalk’s legacy to current staff and our community. His archival research adds to the work previously initiated by legendary Boardwalk historian Skip Littlefield.  Ted’s 60-year association with the Boardwalk allows him to speak passionately of a bygone era.

 

 

 

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