Nature Detectives Pre K-1st Grade Program

Over three weeks each Spring we are very fortunate to host a field trip every T-K, kindergarten, and first grade class from the three Marina, Ca elementary schools. This program is called "Nature Detectives". Donor funds raised in the annual UCSC Giving Day event pay for transportation for all of these classes from Marina Vista, J.C. Crumpton, and Olsen Elementary schools.

Marina CA students learn about natural history from a CSMUB Volunteer

Donor funds are also used to provide paid undergraduate internship hours for students from CSUMB Habitat Stewardship Project Monterey Bay (formerly known as Return of the Natives), a community and school based environmental education program who are our partners in this program each year. These field trips reach about 450 young people, educators, and parents.Nature hiking with kindergarteners

There are two components to the event: an in-class visit from reserve staff and university students, as well as a field trip at the UCSC Fort Ord Natural Reserve. Attendees learn about flora, fauna, and how exciting a nature hike can be!  This is a program that we are very proud of, that has been ongoing for over 10 years.  After two years of cancellation due to pandemic related concerns, it was an amazing experience having everyone back in 2022!  In addition to paid interns, dozens of UCSC and CSUMB students also volunteer to make it happen. The experiences that University students receive from Nature Detectives field trips are just as valuable as that of the elementary school students. Fort Ord Natural Reserve Director Joe Miller speaks with kindergarteners at Marina elementary schools