Catalina Island News

Mobile Nature Station to Bring Catalina’s Wild Side to Avalon

Catalina Island Conservancy

To provide information and education about Catalina’s wild side to Avalon’s visitors, the Catalina Island Conservancy will station its Mobile Nature Station near the Mole this summer. It will be located at the corner of Pebbly Beach Road and Crescent Avenue, the future site of the Conservancy’s new visitor center, The Trailhead.

The Mobile Nature Station is a moveable outpost that features displays and information on Catalina’s endemic plants and animals as well as its conservation programs. The displays are designed to educate and entertain visitors, as well as answer questions about conservation and the future of the Island and the planet. The Mobile Nature Station will also feature information about the Conservancy’s exciting, naturalist-led Jeep Eco Tours and Wildlands Express and ways to reserve them.

The Mobile Nature Station is scheduled to begin operating at the site on June 19 and be open to the public Friday through Tuesday of every week this summer, from approximately 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The Conservancy launched the Mobile Nature Station in 2012 as the first of its projects under Imagine Catalina, the Conservancy’s long-range strategic vision and master plan.  The Mobile Nature Station helps the Conservancy reach more people in different locations around the Island. Last summer, for instance, the Mobile Nature Station was located at Two Harbors.

The Conservancy’s Summer Naturalists will be on hand to answer questions and educate visitors about Island habitats and the many species found only on Catalina. The Summer Naturalists are recent college graduates or undergraduates with a background in the natural sciences.

Each undergoes the Conservancy’s Naturalist Training at the beginning of the summer, and then the Summer Naturalists spend the rest of the summer educating the public about the Island. In addition to working at the Mobile Nature Station, they will lead tours of the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden. This summer, they also will be offering a new naturalist-led hiking tour from Avalon. Watch for additional information about this new offering.

Each year, the Conservancy is fortunate to get an outstanding group of Summer Naturalists, and this year’s group continues that tradition. They have studied environmental education and have experience in educating the public about nature. They are:

  • Morgan Fleming of Jupiter, FL, who recently completed a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. She has worked in several internships where she led field trips and guided private tours, conducted research and helped with sea turtle rehabilitation.
  • Trevor Hall, from Lancaster, PA, who is earning his bachelor’s degree in environmental science at the University of Delaware. He has interned with the Lancaster County Conservancy, where he worked with community groups for elementary and middle school students in outdoor education programs and helped with the maintenance of local trails and an environmental education center.
  • Katherine Liccione of Annapolis, MD, who just graduated from Washington College with a degree in biology. She worked at the La Brea Tar Pits (Page Museum) in Los Angeles, providing information to visitors, and she’s served in Habitat for Humanity programs.
  • Collin Michael Raff of Berkeley, CA, who just graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology. He is an Eagle Scout with experience in research and with managing children and adult campers.

Please stop by the Mobile Nature Station and the botanic garden to welcome them and to ask any questions you may have about conservation, Catalina and the Island’s native ecosystem.

By Alexa Johnson
Catalina Island Conservancy Outreach and Naturalist Training Specialist