In a world where everyone is privy to buzz words like “climate change”, “global warming”, and “endangered species” – just to name a few – it is hard to believe that there is such a lack of education on environmental issues. It is the duty of man kind to understand the planet they live on. Education is the solution, but the problem lies with a lack of information on just where you can go to get this education. Below are just a few resources to help you on your way to being a more responsible resident of Earth.

Community College

Community colleges offer a wide array of classes on environmental studies. Often, unlike 4 year universities, community colleges will allow the willing student to enroll in single classes, a single semester, etc. This flexibility can allow you to avoid the commitment of a 4 year school, but gain a valuable education at a great price. I teach courses at Coastline Community College, and provide students with a depth of education on environmental and life sciences. I also teach  teach the Natural History of California at Saddleback Community College.

Local Naturalist Classes

A local naturalist chapter can provide you with an education as well. You can also receive a certificate from local education organizations to become a master naturalist. A naturalist is someone who has an intimate understanding and therefore tight relationship with nature. They mainly focus on environmental sciences and strive for a better planet for everyone. A key facet of their studies is evolution and special studies. It is important to have some sort of scientific background to become a naturalist, however to attend courses held by naturalists, you simply have to come with an open mind and a desire to help our planet.

Become a Docent

At almost any environmental conservancy, lake, natural park, you name it, there is a solid docent program of (typically) volunteers that work to foster stewardship and education to those who would visit. A docent program typical lasts a few days and provides individuals with an overview of everything they need to know to disseminate the information to visitors. A docent’s responsibilities usually include leading tours, administrative work, outreach, and assisting with hands-on activities.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of how you can get out in your community and educate yourself on environmental issues, it covers the major bases. You can also educate yourself online, or take steps to being more eco-friendly in your own life. However you decide to do it, make sure to prioritize environmental education.