In 1975, Jasper Ridge began developing community education programs that would enhance educational opportunities for both the university and the community. In 1977, Stanford students were incorporated into the docent program and a formal, rigorous class was established, Biology 105A/B (formerly 96A/B). During academic year 2004/2005, the JRBP docent program included about 100 affiliates, approximately 65 from the community and 35 Stanford students.
After completing the course work, JRBP docents help provide field education opportunities and increase community awareness of the work done at the Preserve by leading tours and/or assisting with other efforts at Jasper Ridge.
JR docents have opportunities to work with researchers and some projects at the Preserve are managed entirely by docents. For many years, members of the JRBP community have conducted regular bird surveys and produced invaluable bird lists and data bases. Docent efforts are also responsible for the outstanding teaching collection in the JRBP Herbarium and the Preserve's bat research.
The docent training course and the Jasper Ridge community exemplify the efforts of instructors and students to provide opportunities for inquiry-based education in ecology and provide a bridge between education (both formal and informal) and the volunteer base of the Preserve.
Looking to the future and the consistent increase in demand for meaningful environmental education, new collaborations at the Preserve are aimed at teacher education and intensive field classes for selected schools. Docent participation is key to the success of these new models.
Download 2008 Docent Class Album (PDF from Powerpoint Format)
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For more information about Biology 105A/B (the JRBP Docent Training Class), contact:
Please visit our Tour Information page for information about when tours are offered at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve and how to arrange tours.