Naturalists at Large is the leading environmental education group in California.

Every year, we provide successful education programs for over eight thousand students from one hundred of California's independent and public schools.

We introduce students to environments as diverse as the pygmy forest of Sonoma, the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park, the Sonoran Desert and Catalina Island. Naturalists at Large is the only organization offering an integrated program of outdoor and environmental education in all the major ecosystems of California the Sierra, the desert, the chaparral, the Channel Islands and the redwoods.

We are continually impressed with students' enthusiasm and enjoyment while learning about the environment. 

Click here for information on Naturalists at Large Spring Familiarization Trips,

to the redwoods, March 2526, and the desert, April 89.

We pride ourselves on our ability to design outdoor programs that are exciting and fun, while giving students an understanding of the beauty and diversity of our planet. Naturalists at Large is committed to teaching people of all ages the skills to be at ease in the outdoors and to fully understand all of the unique ecosystems of the West. We work with each client every step of the way to help them identify their outdoor education goals and then tailor a program to meet those specific needs.

Naturalists at Large was founded in 1985 by Richard Stowell. Formerly an independent school administrator, Mr. Stowell recognized the void existing in available outdoor education programs where providers offered only "packaged" programs. Schools had to fit themselves into a company's rigid, predefined program and this often failed to meet unique needs and requirements of students and teachers.

Anyone who participates with Naturalists at Large learns the important art of being comfortable in the outdoors while having fun. Skills, awareness and education are always stressed but the ability to truly enjoy the outdoors is never sacrificed.

Since its beginning in 1985, Naturalists at Large has introduced more than sixty thousand students to the outdoors. For many schools, Naturalists at Large provides multiple years of outdoor education. Our familiarity with California and the West, and our individually designed programs with qualified and capable instructors make it possible for us to offer a complete outdoor curriculum for primary through high school level students.

Schools have come to rely on Naturalists at Large more and more to help them design outdoor education programs for their entire student body.


Why Use NAL?

Sites by Region

North Coast

San Francisco Bay Area

Sierra Nevada

Central Coast

Santa Monica Mountains

Catalina Island

Southern Mountains


Colorado River

Sites by Program


Challenge Courses


Marine Science

Lodge-Based Programs

Outdoor Learning Sites

Odysseys: Custom Trips

Sites by Name

Safety & Our Instructors


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