Frequently Asked Questions
What is 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 Environmental Forum of Marin 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 Environmental Forum offer?
We offer two educational programs—our seminar series sheds light on critical environmental issues of the day; our Master Class is an intensive, 9-meeting program that immerses the student in the natural environment and its challenges.
The Master Class begins at the end of August and meets from 8:30am-3:30pm on 6 Saturdays and 3 Tuesdays through September, October and November. Classroom and field study is led by experts in their respective fields, as students gain hands-on experience regarding the historical and current environmental challenges in Marin County. Each student will also complete a project, either individually or as part of a team, to explore a subject of particular interest.
The Lecture Series is a collection of presentations offered each Spring, on weekday evenings or Saturday mornings, in which a team of relevant experts will expound upon a single, compelling and popular environmental topic of the day. Lectures may be attended singly or as a series.
What is the difference between 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 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 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.
Master Class scholarships are valued at over $400 and cover all class expenses, including tuition for the full series, class materials, field trips, and field trip transportation. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to class.
What are the graduation requirements for the educational programs?
To qualify for graduation, a student must attend a minimum of 7 out of 9 classes, present a brief advocacy speech, and complete a Stewardship Project. Missed classes may be made up in the following year’s program, allowing the student to graduate with the latter class.
All students who graduate from the Master Class receive a one-year free membership in Environmental Forum.
What are the benefits of membership in Environmental Forum?
There are two levels of membership in Environmental Forum—graduate members and non-graduate members.
While there are various levels of membership and associated benefits, ALL members will:
Depending on the level of membership, Lecture Series attendance will be discounted or offered free of charge. In addition, the higher levels of membership may include an invitation to attend Master Class project presentations, or to another special event.
Graduate members receive the benefits above, plus:
How do I become a member of Environmental Forum?
Graduate students are automatically granted complimentary membership for one year. Anyone else may apply for membership on our JOIN page, by paying the appropriate dues at the level they select.
Is there an annual membership fee?
Membership at any level requires a fee; choose the level that’s right for you.
My member login is not working. Who should I contact?
Current graduate members experiencing login difficulty should contact the Membership Director.
I have other questions. Who should I contact?
The Contact Us page lists the various people to contact for any questions not answered here.