Consider becoming a Wenatchee Naturalist!

If you are looking for a way to deepen your connection to both the natural and human aspects of our collective home, consider becoming a Wenatchee Naturalist! Registration opens in mid-August for the next 50-hour Wenatchee Naturalist in-person course offered by Wenatchee Valley College (WVC) Continuing Education, Sept. 21-Dec. 14, 2022. The course is designed to allow participants to meet new friends, discover lovely local places to visit again, and to gain new eyes for the natural wonders of North Central Washington. To date, over 225 people, ages 12-81, have completed the course and become Wenatchee Naturalists.

The Entiat River Exploration Field Trip includes gathering and examining macroinvertebrates that live in the river.

Instructor Susan Ballinger teaches the Wednesday evening courses at the Wenatchee college campus and leads four Saturday field trips on Oct. 8 & 22, Nov. 5, and Dec. 3. Field trips explore habitats along the White, Entiat, Columbia, and Wenatchee River corridors, guided by expert guest scientists.

Co-leaders Heather Murphy and Susan Ballinger begin the White River Exploration Field Trip at Lake Wenatchee.

The interdisciplinary course includes readings, lectures, handouts, guest scientists, labs, and nature journaling. Field trips explore three ecosystems (shrub-steppe, riparian, & dry forest) focusing on 100 common species of the Wenatchee watershed. Every class includes hands-on activities and practice using a science field journal. Tuition includes supplies, a field journal, and a loaned min-library and hand lens. Tuition is $385, with a 10% discount for people over 60 years old. Clock hours are available for teachers.

A visit to Peshastin Pinnacles State Park is part of the Lower Wenatchee and Icicle River Field Trip Exploration with a focus on geology and plant ecology.

The course is offered once/year in the fall and serves 24 adult learners. If you have questions, contact the course instructor, Susan Ballinger (; 509.669.7820). Visit the Wenatchee Naturalist website and review the syllabus here. To register please email to receive notice when registration is open and ready.

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