Eco SEAL Program
This program for youth and adults aims to provide hands-on education in the sciences, while also teaching wilderness life skills. The scientific themes will range from biology, ecology, biogeography, conservation, and environmental science. Students will have practical experiences to learn to engage in the outdoor lifestyle safely. The educational themes and practical skills will be taught in the classroom, mountains, and ocean. The program consists of one classroom seminar and four field trips. Each session, the students will learn lifelong skills to explore and enjoy nature in a safe and exciting way.
Our goal is to have fun outside safely, while teaching you about science & nature, and encourage you to become respectful stewards of Mother Earth. We all fall victim to device addiction, where social media and screen time have been replacing practical outdoor learning experiences. This lack of outdoor exposure has been dubbed “nature deficit disorder” (a term coined by author Richard Louv) and has been linked to issues such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and obesity. Research has shown that spending time outdoors provides benefits such as improving mood and self-esteem, stimulating creativity and imagination, improving attention, memory, and reasoning skills, and developing social skills and emotional awareness. We believe that physical interaction and connection with nature, rather than through a phone or TV screen, is essential for our well-being.
- To spark interest for the outdoors, science, and nature.
- Learn life-saving and wilderness skills.
- Master field competencies that will allow students to comfortably and safely enjoy the outdoors.
- Learn about the unique biogeography, ecology, and biology of the plants and animals found locally.
- Experience active learning styles via hands-on classroom sessions and outdoor field outings.
- Identify various edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants found in our local mountains.
- Participate in an intro to scuba session in the pool to experience breathing & swimming underwater.
1. Learn to be a Wilderness Explorer classroom seminar (3 hours)
2. Poisonous and Medicinal Plants hike (3 hours)
3. Backcountry Wilderness hike (6 hours)
4. Learning via Smell: Aromatic Plants for Health and Medicine hike (duration varies)
5. Observing Nature’s Patterns hike (duration varies)
The program courses are scheduled routinely and can be completed in any order, on any date that matches your schedule.
- Certificate of completion of Eco SEAL program after participating in all 5 activities.
- About 20 hours of scientific & outdoor education and activities.
- Scientific education provided by knowledgeable staff biologist.
- Outdoor activities led & instructed by experienced wilderness guides.
- Park access fees.
- Meals provided on field trips.
- Some Parking fees
We do not provide transportation to and from activities. However, we may have participants or staff members who may volunteer to drive. Please help offset the cost of transportation and gas expense to the volunteer driver. Parents of minor children will be asked to sign a permission slip to allow a volunteer adult to drive and waive any liability.
Classroom Seminar: Ocean Safari Outdoors, 125 E. Las Tunas Dr. San Gabriel
Field Trips: Meeting location and times will depend on the specific outing you sign up for, and will be given out after signing up.