School Programs

To sign up for a field trip, or for for more information, email the Education Coordinator at

Bay to Dunes


This is our tried and true environmental education program. During this 4-5 hour field trip students spend half the day in small groups of 8-15 exploring the dunes at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, where we identify animal tracks, talk about plant adaptations, learn ecosystem restoration, and have some free time at the beach. The other half of the day is spent at the bay and freshwater marshes of the Manila Community Park where we dip net for invertebrates in a freshwater pond, explore the saltmarsh and mudflats, and observe birds on the bay. The trip is preceded by a classroom presentation with an interactive PowerPoint and hands-on activities to prepare students. Shorter 'Dunes Only' trips are also available upon request. Bussing costs are on us!

The Fall 2022 season runs from September 16th - November 18th

Coastal Stewards

Coastal Stewards is a 3 to 3.5 hour program designed for middle to high school aged students. At the Northern unit of Ma-le’l Dunes, students explore the varying habitats within the dune ecosystem and use tools like dichotomous keys to make discoveries. Topics include dune morphology, animal tracking, plant identification, and more! A pre-field trip classroom presentation familiarizes students with the dune habitats and its inhabitants. Bussing costs are on us!


This program is by request only.

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Kids Ocean Day

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Kids Ocean Day is a state-wide marine debris education program funded by the California Coastal Commission and coordinated locally by Friends of the Dunes and the Bureau of Land Management. About 600 Humboldt County students will receive classroom lessons focusing on the health of coastal and marine environments. At the Lids Ocean Day event, students gather at the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area on the South Spit of the Humboldt Bay for a day of beach clean-up and invasive plant removal. After all this hard work, students will sit in an aerial art design while a plane flies over to capture the image. This program is completely free for schools - even the buses are paid for!


Visit our Ocean Day page for more information.


Jr. Naturalist Kits

Can't make it to one of our field trips? Check out our Junior Naturalist kits for your own exploration! Hands-on experiences in nature are crucial for developing a true understanding of the natural world, and these kits are the perfect tool! Equipped with kid-friendly tools to learn about birds, bugs, and other creatures, your student(s) will be exploring in no time. Check out our YouTube video to learn how to create your own nature journal, too!

Jr. Naturalist kits contain supplemental material such as bird, plant, and animal tracking guides, binoculars, dip nets, binoculars and much more!
To check out Jr. Naturalist kits for your students, please contact us at or 707.444.1397.