Students will be able to:
1. Explain the discipline and scope of natural history.
2. Interpret the land use and natural history of the Pepperwood Preserve.
3. Orient oneself to the geography of the Pepperwood Preserve.
4. Record field observations in a field journal.
5. Interpret the geologic history, including the formation of rocks and soil in the Pepperwood Preserve.
6. Identify common rocks at the Pepperwood Preserve.
7. Correlate climatic factors with local weather patterns.
8. Describe factors affecting water movement and accumulation in the landscape.
9. Describe the influence of abiotic and biotic factors on vegetation patterns and ecosystem processes.
10. Relate the influence of native cultures to the natural history of the Pepperwood Preserve.
11. Demonstrate naturalist and/or land steward skills.
I. Introduction to Natural History
A. The discipline of natural history and the scientific method
B. Natural history of Pepperwood
1. Overview of regional and local natural history at Pepperwood
2. Land use history at Pepperwood
3. Orientation to the preserve
C. Field journal
A. Overview of geology
1. Plate tectonics
2. The rock cycle and rock types at Pepperwood
B. Brief geologic history of California and Sonoma County
1. Coastal ranges geologic setting
2. Regional and local fault systems
C. Common igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks at Pepperwood Preserve
III. Weather and Climate
A. Insolation and temperature
B. Air pressure and wind
C. Atmospheric moisture
D. Regional climate and the microclimates of Pepperwood
A. Soil profiles and horizons
B. Soil properties
C. Soil formation
D. Sonoma County and Pepperwood soil regions
A. Hydrologic cycle
1. Groundwater movement
2. Groundwater resources at Pepperwood
C. Surface water
1. Surface water movement
2. Surface water resources at Pepperwood
VI. Vegetation and Ecosystem Ecology
A. Ecological determinants of vegetation patterns
B. Vegetation patterns in Sonoma County and at Pepperwood
C. Ecosystems processes
1. Trophic levels and food webs
2. Energy flow and nutrient cycles
VII. Archaeology and Native American Culture
A. Ethnography of native peoples in Sonoma County
B. Traditional cultural uses of the Pepperwood biota
C. The Pepperwood collection of cultural resources and obsidian stone tool technology
D. Archeological field survey of the cultural resources of the Pepperwood Preserve
VIII. Methods of Natural History Interpretation
A. Effective oral communication for target audience
B. Use of demonstration materials
C. Planning of interpretation event for target audience
All topics are covered in the lecture and lab portions of the course.
The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling. Laws, John Muir. Heyday Publishers. 2018
The California Naturalist Handbook, de Nevers, Greg and Edelman, Deborah and Merenlender, Adina. University of California Press. 2013 (classic)
An Island called California, Bakker, Elna. University of California Press. 1984 (classic)
A Natural History of California. 2nd ed. Schoenherr, Allan. University of California Press. 2017
Roadside Geology of Northern and Central California. 2nd ed. Alt, David. and Hyndman, Donald and Baylor, Katherine. Mountain Press Publishing. 2016
Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region (California Natural History Guides, 63). 2nd ed. Gilliam, Harold. University of California Press. 2002 (classic)
Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region (California Natural History Guides, 79). Sloan, Doris. University of California Press. 2006 (classic)
Introduction to California Soils and Plants (California Natural History Guides, 86). Kruckeberg, Arthur. University of California Press. 2006 (classic)