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To provide Cal Poly students, faculty, staff and the public with a unique interdisciplinary environment in which to foster the Learn by Doing philosophy by providing educational experiences on a working ranch, supporting diversified agriculture and forest resources while maintaining the integrity of ranch operations.

  —Our Mission

Field Trips and Short Courses

Field Trips and Short Courses

Short Courses

We're honored to welcome experts from various professions who see Swanton Valley as a great location to host short courses, workshops and field demonstrations. Courses include Fluvial Geomorphology offered by Wildland Hydrology's David Rosgen, Salmonid Restoration Foundation field tours, "Coho Salmon and Steelhead Enhancement Projects on Santa Cruz County's North Coast," and an on-site horse facility waste water management design demonstration site. We encourage interested professionals to contact us with new ideas for field-based learning and skills training.

Cal Poly courses such as Sustainable Forestry & Environmental Practices, Sustainable Rangeland & Livestock Management and Vertebrate Field Zoology: Field Techniques in Wildlife Studies are also offered.

Field Trips

Swanton Pacific Ranch welcomes hands-on learning. As an integral component to the ranch's living and learning laboratory, we work hard to provide opportunities for learning and discovery. Instructors are encouraged to utilize the ranch to its fullest educational extent. Recognized for its high biodiversity, the Swanton Valley represents approximately 20% of California's native botanicals, rare and endangered species, conserved lands and sustainably managed resource use across a mosaic landscape.

Over 500 students, from equally diverse backgrounds, find new ground to grow and explore as they engage in guided learning, lecture and field-based activities. A wide range of disciplines have benefited from field trips to the Swanton Valley including Hydrology, Forestry, Restoration, Sustainable Agriculture, Soil Science, Environmental Geology, Watershed Management, Botany, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Art. We invite interest from new participants. Please contact us with your course interests and to schedule your use of this wonderful facility.