Master Class Program: Education for Action
A unique, comprehensive program of field trips, interactive lectures and advocacy training; with particular focus on the root causes and global impacts of climate change, and effective environmental advocacy to preserve our local ecosystems
2016 Master Class Schedule
8-27 Orientation to Environmental Advocacy
This remarkable program, offered only once per year, is now accepting applications.
The Master Class
For more than 40 years, the Environmental Forum of Marin’s highly acclaimed Master Class has been educating advocates for the natural environment. Over 1,000 students have graduated, many of whom have gone on to work for environmental protection in various fields. Whether elected officials or ordinary citizens, the Master Class encourages advocacy work among its students.
Participants in this landmark class will develop an understanding of the natural world and the impact of environmental change. They’ll learn what’s at stake for our ecosystems, and where critical protections are needed. Emphasis is placed on how citizens can participate with intelligence and confidence in the civic planning process, helping to preserve a healthy environment for future generations.
The only course in the county to offer a hands-on, comprehensive experience that includes both docent led field trips and high-level advocacy training, it brings a small class (25-30 people) together to absorb, engage, and get involved in the fascinating issues of climate, habitat, and natural ecosystems.
An Exceptional Experience
The Master Class beginning August 27, 2016 will be our 43rd offering.
It is comprised of 11 day-long field trips and classes (8:00am to 3:30pm) held on 4 Tuesday's and 7 Saturday's. Graduation requires attendance at all classes, advocacy speech and completion of a project.
Every meeting is led by experts in their respective fields, offering history, insights, and critical detail about the subject matter of that day. Students learn: the historical efforts that were made to protect our open spaces; how our ecological systems have evolved; and identify meaningful and effective strategies for environmental advocacy.
Field excursions expose Master Class students to leaders in Marin’s agricultural history, such as Albert Strauss (founder of the first organic dairy in the country), Sue Conley (of Cowgirl Creamery), and the owners of Hog Island Oyster Company. Classes will visit the Tomales Bay watershed, and learn the importance of our wetlands and uplands, major defenders against rising tides and providers of critical habitat for our plant communities.
This Master Class includes a session on Government and Climate Change Management, which lays out the relationships between the State, County and local City/Town efforts to address climate action planning. A new class this year, "Getting in Front of Climate Change" will provide a broad perspective about the cultural impacts of climate change, generate local discourse and inspire people to take actions in support of the environment.
Communication and Advocacy Skills are also highlighted, in order to prepare participants to speak publicly with confidence and grace, stepping up to the podium defending his/her ideas, for preservation of our environment.
Another critical component of the Master Class is the design and completion of a Stewardship Project. The student(s) will select a topic of particular interest and design a goal-oriented project, either independently or as part of a team. Some of our past projects have inspired real change, such as the formation of MALT, the plastic bag ban in Marin County, and the Marin Open Garden Project.
Master Class Students Will Gain:
Is the Master Class for You?
Come join us for the Master Class Preview to learn about the Master Class on Saturday August 13th 2016 10am - noon! Location to be announced.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the schedule or timings of class meetings, please contact us at MasterClass@MarinEFM.org for a conversation. Our goal is to make this essential training available to everyone, so we’d be happy to talk with you about your situation.
Application and Payment
Total cost for this 11-week course, including field trips and lectures, is $600. This price includes free attendance at the Lecture Series and a 1-year membership to the Environmental Forum of Marin, upon completion of all course requirements.
A limited number of needs-based scholarships are available. Please email MasterClass@MarinEFM.org for information.