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ADULT NATURALIST IMMERSION COURSE

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Does your curiosity in the outdoors go beyond simply moving through it to get to your destination? Are you curious about the flora and fauna around you and how they relate to one another and to you? Do you want to go deeper with these curiosities and integrate these studies into your daily life?

This course focuses on a variety of ecological studies, including plant and animal identification, osteology, animal behavior, wildlife track and sign, bird language, ethnobotany and plant medicine, phenology, wild edibles and wild cooking, and more. It will culminate in a weekend camp-out where we will get to practice what we've learned throughout the course.

This will be a 10-month, 1-Saturday per month course, beginning each fall in September and going through June of the following year. Most classes will be Saturday 9am-5pm. There will be one two options for Sat-Sun overnight camping trips, including a joint trip with the Survival Course for their yearly trip to the Oregon Dunes for a Wildlife Tracking Weekend. 

The start date for 2024 is September 28th. See 2024-25's Schedule below. 

Questions? Check out our FAQ below or fill out this form!

2024-25 SCHOOL YEAR

Teachers: Tyler Doyle, Chelsea Ernst, guest instructors TBD

Below is an overview of the course. Activities and locations are subject be shifted around based on weather, especially in the cold months.

SEPTEMBER 28

Introduction: Nature Awareness, Ecological Identity, Sagebrush Steppe

We'll get to know one another and get a unique introduction to the world around us. This weekend will be a balance of sensory activities, nature awareness practices, and a sensory and intellectual "tour" of our other-than-human neighbors. Students will get a taste of all the topics we'll cover in the coming months.

OCTOBER 19

Plants and Plant Families

An introduction to plants and their families. Finding patterns in plant characteristics to help you be able to ID a plants' family, anywhere in North America.

NOVEMBER 16

Birding 101

Get to know local birds through studying their sounds, movements, and feathers. Learn how their sounds and movements indicate what is going on in the surrounding landscape.

DECEMBER 7

Osteology

Learn about animal tracking, morphology and anatomy through studying their "final tracks": bones and skulls.

JANUARY 25

Mountain Ecology & Winter Studies

Learn about the nature that abounds in winter! We'll focus on winter animals, winter tracking, and useful plants in winter time. We'll make a master list of all the species we observe that day.

FEBRUARY 22

Ethnobotany

How have humans connected to plants worldwide, since time immemorial? Ethnobotany plant walk and plant medicine.

MARCH 15

Wildlife Tracking

This month, we'll focus on wildlife tracking. We will learn about animal tracks, sign, foot morphology, gaits, and more in Central Oregon.

APRIL 19
(Optional overnight)

Geology + Nauralist Walk

We'll take our studies out to the Painted Hills area to learn about this unique landscape, including its deep history and its endless ethnobotanical opportunities. It's also a wonderful place to view new birds and plants that emerge in the spring time. This walk will combine all the topics we've already visited together as a class, and adding geology and more deserty plants. Students are welcome to camp together at a nearby campground, as well, if their schedule allows. If weather allows, a Sunday AM optional basketry class will be offered to those who camped and are interested.

MAY 10

Spring Naturalist Hike: Plants, Insects, Wild Edibles and more!

We'll visit the hilly ecosystem just east of Prineville, OR and see its different plants, trees, flowers, birds, rocks, insects and more! This walk will combine all the topics we've already visited together as a class, and adding insects and wild edibles as a bonus.

JUNE 6-8
(Fri-Sun Overnight)

Oregon Coast Dunes Trip!

Our final weekend together will be a celebration of our time together and a chance to culminate by practicing much of what we've already learned together. In this 2 night camping trip to the Oregon Dunes, we'll get to know a new ecosystem, practice all the skills we've learned together, go wildlife tracking in a place that is world-renouned for it, and connect with each other one last time as a group. 

Adult Naturalist Immersion Course: List

ENROLLMENT

Price: $1075

Payment Options:

Note: This course is meant to be taken in full. The Monthly payment option is a payment plan that represents the whole, not a choose-your-month option. You are responsible for paying the full tuition by the end of the course regardless of missed class time.

  • Enroll by paying a non-refundable (see our cancellation policy) deposit of $275 at the enrollment option below. Soon after, an instructor will contact you to ask for your payment option:

    • Option A) Pay the remaining $800 in full, up front, by our first meeting together.​

    • Option B) Pay the remaining $800 in full, in monthly $80 installments, due each month September-June (10x). Full payment is due by June, regardless of missed classes.

    • Other payment plan options (quarterly, etc.) can be made available upon request.

We offer tuition discounts for Veterans and Tribal Members. For info and inquiries on these discounts or need-based subsidy, email info@nighthawknaturalistschool.com

Adult Naturalist Immersion Course: Bookings Widget

FAQS

WHAT DOES MY TUITION INCLUDE?

Tuition includes the cost of instruction for all of our teachers, their time, class materials, class prep and planning, access to instructor help and materials outside of class, multiple weekend trip considerations, public land permits for land use and camping, firewood for our camping trips, group camping and cooking gear, skillshares, and business operations that make this course possible.

CLASS LOCATIONS?

We will change locations each weekend. Classes will be held on public and private lands in the greater Bend area. Some weekends, we will travel further (eg: Oregon Dunes Wildlife Tracking weekend). All participants will be informed of exact locations and meet-up spots via email weeks before each class.

TRANSPORTATION?

We will carpool for our classes, using teacher and participant vehicles. We'll coordinate carpooling and rendezvous locations well before each month's class. Students are responsible for their own vehicle expenses and liability.

ARE THERE PREREQUISITES FOR THIS CLASS?

No prior experience is needed. Instructors craft this course to cater to each group of participants. We are practiced in meeting students where they are at and challenging them appropriately.

HOMEWORK?

Homework is not a requirement for this course, but we will give optional challenges every month to take home. Since this class touches on many topics, we recommend continuing the learning outside the classroom. We believe this is the only way to truly do many of these skills well. Life-long learning in community is one of our strongest values and we encourage students to practice these skills outside of class with other students, roommates, friends, and family!

IF I'M PAYING MONTHLY AND MISS A CLASS, CAN I SKIP THAT MONTH'S PAYMENT?

No. If you choose this option, you must pay each month and complete the payment plan by the final course date, regardless of whether you choose to miss any of the classes. 


This option is the same price as the full course tuition. However, instead of paying a lump sum up front, students who choose this option pay a portion of the tuition monthly. This option is provided as a way to make the class accessible to those who cannot pay the full cost up front.

You pay for a month even if you miss that class because you are not paying just for that month with each monthly payment. You are paying for the work the instructors put into the full course, their time, prep, location considerations, supplies, materials, planning, instruction for the whole course, access to instructor help and materials outside of class, multiple extended weekend trip considerations, skillshares, and business operations that make this course possible. We appreciate you all and we couldn't do it without you.

Adult Naturalist Immersion Course: FAQ

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See our individual programs' pages for more details! Links above and in the dropdown menus. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, or ideas! We'd love to hear from you if you're wondering about courses or are curious for more information. Fill out the form or contact the number below and one of our instructors will get back to you ASAP!

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Adult Naturalist Immersion Course: Contact
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