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WSU Beach Naturalists

Program Contact: Monica Montgomery, Beach Naturalist/MRC Coordinator
(360) 379.5610 x 230 •

Discover the World of Beaches, Bluffs and Marine Life


WSU CLASSROOM, 97 Oak Bay Road, Port Hadlock

Version 2Information about the Spring 2020 class will be announced in February.


Please check back here or contact Bob Simmons at for more information. about the 2020 class. In the meantime here is the information from the 2019 class:

Explore East Jefferson County in this engaging course that mixes classroom lectures by regional experts with local outings and fun. 2019 classes are on Thursdays from 9 am to 4 pm and designed for anyone interested in shoreline habitats and marine resources.

Participants in this course receive comprehensive, science-based training and become better stewards, citizen scientists, and educators in the local community.

Beach Naturalist course participants must commit to volunteering 40 hours for local marine-related programs and organizations, such as WSU Extension, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee, NOSC, Northwest Watershed Institute and others. Volunteer activities range from citizen science monitoring to assisting with public programs or restoring habitat.

Class is full. If you are interested the next year’s class, please mark your calendars to check this website in February 2020. For more information, contact Bob Simmons.

What Will I Learn?

Coastal Geography–Hugh Shipman, coastal geomorphologist with WA Dept of Ecology and one of our top-rated instructors, is a passionate and skilled educator. After learning about bluff erosion, drift cells and beach formation, you’ll never look at a beach the same way again.

Intertidal CRBelly Biology – Intertidal life and habitats is always a favorite topic. Jeff Adams, WA Sea Grant marine water quality specialist, talks about intertidal zones and shows students where to find beautiful giant green and plumose anemones. This year we’ll also tackle seaweed and kelp identification.

Plankton Are Amazing! – Collect plankton and then watch them zoom around under microscopes at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. It’s a window into a whole new world…

Rock Point Oyster facilities tour

Clams, Oysters, Crabs and More – Students learn about all kinds of shellfish, from clams and oysters to crabs and geoducks.  Field trips vary from year to year—we’ve toured Taylor Shellfish and Rock Point Oyster hatcheries, a geoduck farm, and learned from experts about growing and harvesting shellfish. Taste-testing is usually part of the class!


How Do We Volunteer and Where?

Beach Naturalists (and Stream Stewards) volunteer with many organizations in the community. We help with salmon spawning surveys (North Olympic Salmon Coalition); serve as docent volunteers at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center; organize clammer education programs like Diggin’ for Dinner (with WDFW); hobnob with tourists and friends at the annual Wooden Boat Festival; assist with Olympia oysters habitat restoration (Jefferson Marine Resources Committee) and more! If your volunteer activity is closely related to water resources, it counts!

SalmonSpawnNOSC_P1010375Volunteer Hours

Jefferson County Beach Naturalists and Stream Stewards  can report their hours in an on-line database.

Click here to log your volunteer hours.
Click HERE for instructions on how to report your hours.
group at Snow-Salmon Cr restoration
Beach Naturalists at Snow-Salmon Creek restoration