Image: Banner image of campus logo Merritt College

Natural History & Sustainability Home

Last Update: 3/18/19

Go Green in 2019.
Welcome to Natural History & Sustainability (NHS)
Spring Semester 2019
Click here for a listing of Spring NHS classes!
Click here to enroll.

Late-start Spring 2019 classes

GEOL 21: Bay Area Field Studies, Prof. Teresa Williams, Course #23387, 1 Mon., 6 Saturdays, 2/4-4/20

BIOL 60C: Herpetology, Prof. Andrew Gottscho, Course #24194, 6 Tuesdays and 4 Saturdays, 2/19-5/4.

NATAM 76E: Indian Ecology of the Central Coast, Prof. Darby Price, Course #24239, 3 Fridays and 5 weekend trips, 3/1-3/17.

BIOL 62W: Wisconsin’s Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Prof. Ron Felzer, Course #24027, 5 Thursdays and 1 Saturday, 3/7-5/18.

BIOL 62S: Natural History of the Islands of California, Prof. Brad Balukjian, Course #23388, 9 Wednesday evenings and 3 weekend trips, 3/13-5/15.

  • Vote yourself ON the island--everything about the natural history of our unique California ecosystems. BIOL 62S - Islands of California (click photo)

Job Training. Transfer Prep.

Your career in the environment starts here.

Merritt’s new Natural History & Sustainability (NHS) Program emphasizes the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to tackle the major environmental challenges of the 21st century. The interdepartmental program offers career- and transfer-driven coursework in three tracks: (1) Natural History and Resources; (2) Conservation and Resource Management; and (3) Urban Agroecology. It is ideal for students interested in the basic science of the natural world and its effect on human society, and provides training for the following jobs: Park ranger, naturalist, field technician, urban farmer, food production analyst, water quality technician, environmental consultant, interpretive aide, environmental educator. Certificates of Achievement are currently being developed for each track and are expected to be active by the Spring 2020 semester.

Latest News

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities:

  • GARDEN: Golden Gate Park Alvord Lake. Saturday, March 23rd, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Please join us for a Saturday morning volunteer work party at the Eastern entrance to Golden Gate Park. Volunteers may participate in a wide range of gardening tasks such as weeding, planting, mulching and clean-up. San Francisco, CA. Spaces limited. For more info click here
  • RESTORE HABITAT: Friends of Sausal Creek (Beaconsfield Canyon). Saturday, March 30th, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The Friends of Sausal Creek (FOSC) is a group of community members protecting Sausal Creek at a grassroots level. The Friends recognize that civic participation is critical for building long-term, sustainable commitment to protecting Sausal Creek as a natural resource for the greater Oakland community. Beaconsfield is a beautiful canyon tucked into the hills of Montclair. Volunteers will help pull invasive plants to restore the hillsides, plant natives, and work on trails to make more of the canyon accessible. Tools and gloves are provided. Oakland, CA. Spaces limited. For more info click here.


Free Lectures and Presentations Around the Bay Area: 

  • “Understanding and Reconciling Different Estimates of Global Warming.” Lecture. Wednesday, March 20th, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. This talk will assess different observational records, and look at independent ways to try and determine which are most accurately capturing changes in global temperatures of the surface, atmosphere, and oceans over the past century. Barrows Hall Rm 126, UC Berkeley. Speaker: Zeke Hausfather of UC Berkeley. For more info click here
  • “Sea Change – Plastic Straws to Local Laws.” Panel Discussion. Wednesday, March 20th, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Join an engaging panel on solutions to plastic pollution and learn about Berkeley’s groundbreaking Single Use Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance. David Brower Center, Berkeley, CA. Costs: $5 -$10. For more info click here.

Group Outings:

Marin Headlands’ Plant Stroll. Outing. Saturday, March 23rd, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Curious about the Marin Headland’s wild plants? Come join Ranger Jamie on a short guided walk as she identifies plants, their medicinal uses, and purposes of these amazing plant species in the Headland’s ecosystem. Meet at the Marin Headlands Visitor Center parking lot 15 minutes before the program. Spaces limited. Please call (415) 331- 1540. For more info click here.

NHS Logo


Why a lichen (a combination of fungi and algae) for our logo? Read more about why we chose the mottled tube lichen, Hypogymnia inactiva, to represent our program. Fun fact: The lichen in our logo was drawn by Merritt student Mary Ann King in Prof. Sheila Metcalf-Tobin’s “Botanical Drawing” class.