Naturalist Ed Series: Reptiles of Sonoma Mountain

Reptiles are “cold-blooded” vertebrates, including but not limited to turtles, snakes and lizards. Join Sonoma State University’s Vertebrate Biology Instructor, Wendy St. John, to explore the habitats of various reptile species as we travel through Osborn Preserve. You will also learn about SSU research involving the Western Pond Turtle, a special-status species that occurs at the preserve.


Wendy St. John, Vertebrate Biology Instructor, Sonoma State University


Reptiles are ectotherms, animals whose blood temperature changes with the outside temperature. We will explore oak woodland, grassland, pond, creek, riparian and other vegetation communities at the Osborn Preserve to find and observe a variety of these amazing vertebrates which have skin covered in scales. Along the way, Wendy St. John, will teach about the biology of these reptiles, how they are affected by climate, habitat loss and environmental degradation, and what we can do to support the conservation of these amazing animals.

This event is part of the Naturalist Ed Series. The event within this Series allows participants the option to become Osborn Naturalists to address nature-deficit disorder. No experience required. Must be age 18 years or older.


The events within the Naturalist Ed Series are held outdoors at SSU’s Fairfield Osborn Preserve, a 15-minute drive from SSU’s main campus. All events occur rain or shine.

The maximum hike is 1 mile with a 300-foot elevation gain. 

Directions are provided in your registration confirmation email. A sink for handwashing, potable water and restrooms are available on site. Please arrive to park in advance of the registered event start time. The preserve gate will be unlocked 20 minutes before the event start time. You will be asked to sign a liability waiver upon your arrival. We will meet outside at the Osborn Education Center which is across the footbridge on the east side of the parking lot. Pets and smoking are not permitted.

Parking is limited so please consider carpooling, and let us know if you plan to do this so we can open more registration spots accordingly.

COVID-19 Safety

Do not attend if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you have any symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19. All SSU updated guidelines can be found here.

What to Bring

Please bring a backpack, water bottle, and snacks for the trail. We recommend layered clothing, covered shoes, a hat, rain gear, sun protection and insect protection.

How to Sign Up

See registration link below. Each participant should register separately.

This event is free of charge.

About the Center

Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry empowers university students to work with community members on the environmental challenges of the North Bay. Our mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where all people have the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing our earth. SSU Preserves are open to everyone engaged in education or research. Reservations are required.

Osborn Naturalists

We offer a Naturalist Ed Series to become an Osborn Naturalist. Please contact Julie Wittmann for more information about how to become an Osborn Naturalist at You can also learn more about becoming an Osborn naturalist here.

Fairfield Osborn Preserve
Admission Fees
Contact Email
Contact Name
Kerry Wininger
Date & Time Registration Link
Saturday, August, 17, 2024, 1:30pm to 4:30pm