Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to frequent questions
What is the Environmental Forum of Marin?
Environmental Forum of Marin is an non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the environment by educating its members and the Marin citizenry about environmental issues. Founded in 1972, the Environmental Forum conducts programs on environmental issues, provides continuing education for its members and the public, and trains advocates how to influence local decision-making.
Graduates of the Environmental Forum include members of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, city and town councils, leaders of local environmental agencies and organizations, teachers, sustainability advocates, and concerned citizens.
What programs does the Environmental Forum offer?
The Environmental Forum of Marin offers two education programs:
The Master Class is a 9-week educational program starting in late August and concluding in November focusing on the natural world, human impact and stewardship. Classes, including field trips, are held on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.—3:30 p.m. Students complete a Stewardship Project between January and March.
The Lecture Series is an educational program, starting in late January, which focuses on current developments in environmental areas of concern.
What is the difference between the Master Class and the Lecture Series?
The two educational programs vary in length, day and time of year offered, and cost, as noted above. The programs are designed to complement each other.
The Master Class is for those seeking a comprehensive understanding of environmental and sustainability issues and the means for addressing those issues. Scholarships are available for the Master Class.
The Lecture Series is for those who want an in-depth exploration of specific topical issues. It is appropriate for those who are new to the world of environmentalism and those who want to stay current with leading-edge thinking in a particular field of interest.
What will I learn?
Students enroll in Environmental Forum programs for many reasons. Some students want to learn how to incorporate healthier practices in their workplaces and lives. Others are interested in a particular topic or issue and want to know more. Most students want to learn what they can do personally and professionally to influence decision-makers to improve local environmental policy.
Often, the most important thing students learn about is themselves, as they go about experiencing a growing passion in one subject area or another.
Who else will be in my class?
The Environmental Forum attracts a diverse student body representing a broad range of backgrounds, professions, and interests. Recent classes have included city council members, sustainability leaders, community land use advocates, accountants, a landfill manager, wildlife restoration specialists, educators, Marin Master Gardeners, writers, small business consultants, attorneys, permaculture practitioners, botanists, nurses, and health care providers.
While every group is unique, all share a vision for a sustainable future and a commitment to working with others to protect the environment.
How do I register for classes?
Students may register for both educational programs on this website or by sending in a completed application form. Mailing information is included on the application forms for each program.
Are scholarships available? How do I apply?
Two full scholarships to the Master Class are available, one for a proven environmental leader and the other for a resident of West Marin. Prospective recipients are invited to apply to our scholarship programs on their own or may be nominated by an organization, environmental leader, or public agency. Recipients are selected by the Environmental Forum of Marin and other sponsoring organizations.
Master Class scholarships are valued at over $500 and cover all class expenses, including tuition for the 9-week series, class materials, field trips, and field trip transportation. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to class.
Scholarship applications and nominations are due in July of each year for programs beginning in August.
What are the graduation requirements for the educational programs?
In order to graduate from the Master Class, a student must attend a minimum of seven out of nine classes, prepare and present a short advocacy speech, and complete a Stewardship Project. If a student attends fewer than seven classes, those classes may be made up during the following year's Master Class, allowing the student to graduate with the latter class.
All students who graduate from an educational program receive a one-year free membership in the Environmental Forum.
What are the benefits of membership in the Environmental Forum?
Upon graduating from an educational program, students receive a free one-year membership in the Environmental Forum.
Members are invited to members-only social and educational events. Members also have access to the members-only section of this website, which will include a social networking feature.
Many of Marin County's most prominent environmentalists and sustainability advocates are members of the Environmental Forum. By participating in events and connecting on the website, members are afforded frequent informal opportunities to communicate with classmates and leaders throughout the environmental community.
Members are also offered fee discounts for some events and educational programs from time to time.
How do I become a member of the Environmental Forum?
In order to become a member of the Environmental Forum, students must complete and graduate from one of the educational programs. A free one-year individual membership is provided to each student upon graduation from an educational program.
Is there an annual membership fee?
Yes. There are several membership fee levels. An individual annual membership costs $35.
My member login is not working. Who should I contact?
Current members experiencing difficulty logging on to the website should contact the Membership Director.
I have other questions. Who should I contact?
The Contact Us page lists the appropriate people to contact to answer questions about educational programs, membership, communications, and other topics.