Completed another great California Naturalist Course on July 21

We had a terrific and high energy Spring CalNat course, including visits with Master Gardeners, phycologists, water conservation specialists, and field trips to the Central Coast Aquarium, elephant seals at San Simeon and a special peek at the hagfish fishery in Avila Beach. Great information, lots of learning and lots of fun! The next California Naturalist Class will run from September 13 to November 1, 2019. Here’s the link:

Michele Roest
Becoming A Naturalist - A College For Kids Course June 17 - 30
This California Kingsnake was found and released at Montana de Oro State Park on April 13. Photo by Brad Opstad.

This California Kingsnake was found and released at Montana de Oro State Park on April 13. Photo by Brad Opstad.

I’ll be teaching a course for youth on becoming a naturalist. Teens will learn techniques to help them understand and document the natural world. It will be fun for everyone!

To sign your child up for the course go to Cuesta Community Programs or click the link below.

Michele Roest
New California Naturalist Program at Cuesta College

I'm very excited to offer a California Naturalist Program through Cuesta College Community Education. The CalNat Program is a 40-hour college-level natural history course that provides a comprehensive overview of California's natural ecosystems including energy, water, ecosystems, and habitats. Completion of the program provides certification as a "California Naturalist." This is a great way to improve comprehensive knowledge of California's ecosystems, and it offers 4 units of UC credit for a fee. I'm excited about this program and think you will be too! Please see the link to learn more:

Michele Roest
Highway 1 overpass in San Simeon is highlighted in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine

See the Spring edition of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine for an update on the Highway 1 overpass and a quote about the elephant seals in March. 

Hwy 1 Realign 1 010718.jpeg

About 22,000 elephant seals (at last count) haul out on beaches near Point Piedras Blancas every year. They typically arrive in November and December to give birth and mate. By early March, all adult seals and most sub-adults and juveniles have returned to sea. The weaned pups (weaners) remain, explor­ing their beach environment and using stored fat to grow. “This age is as cute as elephant seals get,” says Michele Roest, founder and principal of Science and Environmental Edu­cation Development (SEED). By mid-April, females begin to arrive for the spring molt.

Michele Roest
Los Angeles County Arboretum Visit

I had a wonderful visit to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden, located in Arcadia, CA, just east of Pasadena. The 127-acre site is rich with cultural and natural history. The grounds are centered around ancient natural lakes, used by Native Peoples for thousands of years. Settled by Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin in 1875, the property traded hands many times until 1948, when it became part of Los Angeles County and began its transition to the beautiful park that it is today. 

The arboretum includes wonderful examples of interpretive signs, outreach messages and education. One of its great attractions is the peacocks that wander freely throughout the property. Their calls and majestic plumage enchant visitors, as they patiently pose for photos at no charge. 


The mission of the The Arboretum is to cultivate southern California’s natural, horticultural and historic resources for learning, enjoyment and inspiration. In addition to concerts and tours, they offer activities and events for every audience.

Docent-led walking tours are available daily and with reservations for large groups.

Regular admission is $9 adults: $6 seniors and student with ID; $4 children 5-12; Children under age 4 and members are free.

Learn more about this beautiful and historic gem in the heart of Los Angeles.


Michele Roest