Audubon Canyon Ranch has long recognized that nature education is a community process. Through an integrated program structure unique among outdoor education organizations, ACR Nature Education relies on its docent, nature guide and hike leader volunteers to deliver both our School and Public programs. Volunteers, in turn, receive comprehensive science-based training and lifelong learning opportunities

ACR Education Docents

Education docents of Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen and Martin Griffin Preserve in Stinson Beach are devoted, enthusiastic nature-lovers who help connect schoolchildren with the magic and mystery of the natural world through ACR's School Program. Docents guide children in exploring the wonders of our preserves. 

"I love this program! It affords a unique opportunity to share nature with children on a substantial hike. I love seeing that spark of wonderment that shows up frequently upon holding a newt or observing birds or examining scat on the trail."  An ACR docent

Docent Training
California NaturalistACR’s training program gives education docents a firm grounding in local natural history and the ability to recognize and capitalize on teachable moments. Docents receive 17-20 weeks of core training in natural history, ecology and nature interpretation for children. Classes are taught by experts and trainees are mentored by experienced docents who know how to make learning fun.

ACR partners with UC Extension’s California Naturalist program, allowing graduates to become certified California Naturalists and eligible to receive four UC Davis Extension undergraduate academic credits. CalNat certification connects ACR docents with a statewide community of naturalists who convene regularly for advanced training, citizen science projects, conferences and other events.

After graduating from the core training, docents receive a rich menu of lifelong learning opportunities, including expert lectures and hikes.

Dates for our next education docent training have not been set. To receive updates or information about our training program, please use the volunteer interest form.




Photo by Jocelyn Knight

Nature Guides

Calling all nature lovers, birders and friendly folks! Become an ACR nature guide of the Martin Griffin Preserve in Stinson Beach and share your knowledge and appreciation of nature. ACR nature guides interpret the natural environment of Martin Griffin Preserve for hundreds of visitors during our public season (Saturdays in May - July and October).

Participants learn about birds, plants, aquatic critters, Bolinas Lagoon ecology and more! Training includes techniques for interpreting natural history and leading guided nature walks.

ACR’s Nature Guide program is an ideal opportunity for working professionals and college students to spend time in nature and gain hands-on field experience. Volunteer times are on weekends and holidays and are flexible.

PLEASE NOTE: Nature Guide training may be adjusted, postponed, or canceled. Any individuals who sign up will be notified of any changes to the structure or dates of the program, including recruitment/orientation hikes. The safety and health of our volunteers and future volunteers are of the utmost importance to ACR.

Interested? Please use our volunteer interest form.

Preserve Hosts

Preserve hosts greet and orient visitors as they arrive at the Martin Griffin Preserve on weekends and holidays during the spring and early summer. There is no training or experience necessary.

Interested? Please use our volunteer interest form.


Contact us

To learn more about any of these volunteer opportunities, please use our volunteer interest form.