Field Biology Workshops


Middle School, High School

  • Bring the world into your classroom!
Our workshops are designed to bring the practices of the NGSS directly into the classroom using real-life conservation challenges. These workshops are an innovative way to introduce technology, animal-related careers and the skills of field biology into your classroom. Each two-session workshop will incorporate a field biology problem based on real life, such as the California Condor Recovery Program, and ask students to evaluate and analyze real data and make recommendations for the conservation of affected species.
Technologies used may include GPS tracking and radio telemetry. Emphasis is placed on practicing the skills of scientists (asking questions, arguing from evidence, making models, etc.) and encouraging students to think critically when making scientific recommendations.
Workshops are offered in full-day sessions designed to fit in to a school day. Workshops run 9:30am-2:30pm with an hour break for lunch (lunch not provided). Teachers also have the option to take and complete follow-up assignments related to the workshops.
We currently offer three different programs: Conservation Field Biology, Watersheds Field Biology, and Zoo Conservation History & Careers.
Conservation Field Biology
Students learn:
  • The historical overview of the CA Condor Reintroduction Program, and introduction to techniques used in that project.
  • How to use GPS and/or radio telemetry to map home ranges and do a mock tracking in the zoo.
Conservation Challenge Questions:
  • How do field biologists make decisions?
  • What decisions would you advise in these situations? Why or why not?
  • What are the pros and cons to different decisions?
  • What are the possible outcomes?
  • What information do you need to make an informed decision as a field biologist?
  • How can you obtain that information?


Watershed Field Biology

Students learn:
  • About watersheds, their place in the watershed, and local ecology of the Arroyo Viejo watershed.
  • About the restoration efforts for this creek, and how those efforts extend beyond the range of the creek bed and banks, right up to their front doors.
  • About the local ecology, including indicator species such as frogs and newts.
Conservation Challenge:
  • Students will conduct water quality testing (pH, phosphates, nitrates, dissolved oxygen) and make hypotheses regarding the quality of the creek, as well as the tap water in the fountains.
  • Depending on the time of year, students may see animals such as frogs or newts, or their eggs in the creek. We also look for other signs of a healthy creek while at the site and come up with solutions to problems that affect the health of the watershed.


Zoo Conservation History and Careers

Students learn: 

  • About the evolution of zoos from being collections of animals, to their current, conservation-focused existence and about different zoo careers.             
  • The history of worldwide zoos, with a focus on the history of Oakland Zoo, and the current challenges faced by zoos. 
  • About the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos and what differentiates them from other, non-accredited zoos. 
  • Includes a zoo tour, focusing on aspects of animal well-being in captivity, while allowing for public engagement. As well as, seeing and discussing different career opportunities. 
Conservation Challenge Questions:
  • How can zoos help animals in the field? 
  • What responsibilities exist for modern zoos? 
  • What are best practices for the well-being of captive animals? 
  • How to engage the public with conservation messages (i.e. think globally, act locally) 
  • What are some different zoo careers? 

Registration Information
When to Book
Our programs are very popular, so we recommend that you fax or email your request form 4- 6 weeks in advance of the date you would like to reserve. We cannot accommodate requests for bookings less than two weeks prior to the event.
How to Book
Please fill out the
Field Biology Workshop Request Form
and email it to our Reservations Associate or you may fax it to 510-729-7324.
A copy of your PO or payment in full is due at least 45 days in advance.
Changes to Your Reservation
One change to your reservation date can be made as long as it is requested at least 45 days prior to your originally-scheduled program. Should you need to make a change, we will gladly work with you to reschedule a date for later in the same school year, pending availability, and any previous payments will be applied to the new reservation.
If you need to cancel your reservation, you will receive a full refund if you cancel more than 45 days prior to the event. We are sorry, but we cannot give any refunds for cancelations made less than 45 days in advance.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Teen Programs Manager Katie Garchar. 
Sponsored by:

P.O. Box 5238

9777 Golf Links Road Oakland, CA 94605