Discover the World of Beaches, Bluffs and Marine Life
WSU CLASSROOM, 97 Oak Bay Road, Port Hadlock
This training cancelled until further notice.
Explore East Jefferson County in this engaging course that combines classroom lectures with field trips guided by local and regional experts. This 6-week course is designed for anyone interested in nearshore 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.
What Will I Learn?
Coastal Geography – Learn about bluff erosion, drift cells and beach formation. You’ll never look at a beach the same way again!
Belly 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…
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!
Jefferson County Beach Naturalists and Stream Stewards can report their hours in an on-line database.