Parabotanist Training
Posted September 12, 2008

Training Schedule:

Parabotanist training is open to those who wish to do field work and collect plants for the San Diego County Plant Atlas Project. If you would like to sign up for one of these classes, please submit the museum's online Volunteer Application. Check the box Parabotanist under the heading Volunteer Group of Interest.

After attending the museum's General Volunteer Orientation, your name will be forwarded to the Botany department and added to the waiting list for parabotanist training. Classes are scheduled when there are enough people on the waiting list, and when staffing and field season permits. When the next Parabotanist training dates are scheduled, volunteers on the waiting list will be the first to be notified.

The San Diego County Plant Atlas offers training in three categories:

Training for New Parabotanists

This class is mandatory for all new volunteers. The classroom lecture introduces the project and the atlas grid square system, reviews guidelines for participation, and outlines procedures for collecting field data and keeping a field notebook. Included is a classroom demonstration of plant collecting and pressing techniques. Participants have the opportunity to purchase supplies (e.g., plant presses, field notebooks, maps) and sign up to adopt an atlas grid square. Held either on a weekday morning or in the evening at the San Diego Natural History Museum . Trainings are scheduled on an “as-needed” basis. Check the Schedule (above) for available dates.

Refresher for Trained Parabotanists
We occasionally offer this refresher class to parabotanists who have already completed the mandatory introductory training class but wish to receive further instruction. We meet at the San Diego Natural History Museum and walk over to Florida Canyon where we do a more detailed demonstration of plant collecting techniques, teach how to use maps to correctly find your site coordinates, and review how to record field data. This hands-on class is intended to allow parabotanists to review what they learned in the introductory class, find out what is new since taking their training class, and ask specific questions in a field setting.

Customized Training
Certain schools and organizations have made arrangements for us to travel to their facilities and hold introductory training classes tailored for their members. Please contact us by email at or phone 619.255.0298 to inquire about this type of arrangement.

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