Conservation Biology Service Learning Info Sheet:


What is Service Learning?

Service Learning is a pedagogical method that engages students in organized service activities and guided reflection; the service activities benefit the client or community and, in combination with reflection, enhance the academic curriculum of participating students.

In accordance with its Mission*, service learning at the University of San Francisco promotes interaction with diverse communities and organizations, in order to help students and faculty develop the knowledge, skills, and sensitivities to be effective agents of social change. Service learning is distinct from acts of charity because it is reciprocal; students, faculty, and community organizations teach and learn through their interactions. Teaching and learning are informed by the realities of the world, and service is informed by theoretical and conceptual understanding.


How is service learning different from volunteering?

  • Service activities are mandatory;
  • Clear connections exist between service activities and the academic discipline;
  • Service activities benefit the client or community in a meaningful way;
  • Students engage in a carefully articulated reflection process around the service, the discipline, and themselves; and,
  • Faculty assess the student learning outcomes of the service experience.

* Undergraduate Course Sections with an SL designation would meet the graduation requirement for a service learning course experience. SL-designated courses are specifically directed to meet mission identity in curricular structure.


What do I need to do for this class?

For this class- you are REQUIRED to participate in a minimum of 40 hours of service work during the semester.  Working in pairs, you must choose an organization to work with – you must contact them and find out whether or not they can use your help and if they would be a good “fit” for you.  Then, you must report back to me who you are working with and what your schedule will be. There are a limited number of conservation NGOs to work with and they will be determined on a first-come-first-serve basis... only one group per organization! Your group must be selected by October 2nd


Hopefully, you will find the experience to be something enlightening and worthwhile.  The idea is to link your mind (what you are learning in lecture/lab) to your heart (a true feeling of responsibility towards others in your community.  In the field of conservation, you will learn that nothing happens without dedication and commitment to making the world a better place for all life, not just humans.





Service Learning Organizations List:


Approved Organizations:  The following is a list of organizations in the area that would be great SL groups for you to work with (students from this class have worked w/them in the past).  Only 1 group can work at each organization, and they are given on a first come-first serve basis, meaning that once you have chosen the organization, you tell me and then it is off the list.



Acterra was formed in 2000 by the merger of two of the region's most respected and effective environmental organizations: the Peninsula Conservation Center Foundation (founded in 1970) and Bay Area Action (formed in 1990). Our long history of innovation and partnership enables us to draw on the wisdom and experience of two generations of environmental leaders.

Trust Restoration

Help enhance and expand rare native plant habitat while focusing on different aspects of ecological restoration in the Presidio.  Learn about dune and serpentine ecosystems, and resource management challenges and successes within an urban context.


Nature in the City:

A non-profit organization dedicated to restorationstewardship of San Francisco’s natural heritage, Nature in the City plays a critical role in securing our city’s wildlands for future generations.

Candlestick Connect: Based out of Candlestick Point State Recreation Area CPSRA, and a formal partner of California State Parks, the goal of Candlestick Point Eco-stewards (CPE) is to work through ecological restoration, community engagement and public education to restore the ecology of Southeast San Francisco parkland, and help residents both reconnect to their natural heritage and enjoy their right to a healthy and biologically diverse environment.

Golden Gate Audubon:

Golden Gate Audubon is a volunteer-oriented organization dedicated to protecting Bay Area birds and other wildlife. Come and join us. Help us restore and protect natural areas. Get involved, enjoy Bay Area wildlife, and have fun!



Tree Frog Treks strives to create critical thinkers who will work to save, preserve and maintain our planet’s biodiversity by introducing them to live rescued reptiles and amphibians, offering fun, hands-on science and art programming, and exploring nature.

Contact: Chris Giorni, Director, 415.876.3764 -

Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association


Marine Mammal Center

They are the premier marine mammal rehabilitation center in the bay area, specializing on rescuing marine mammals and returning them to their native habitat.


Richardson Bay Audubon Center - In Tiburon


San Francisco Nature Education - Connecting children to the wonders of Golden Gate Park


Salmon and Protection Watershed Network

San Bruno Mountainwatch - A non-profit organization dedicated to expanding and preserving native ecosystems at San Bruno State and County Park (home of several endangered butterfly species).


Curiodyssey (formally known as Coyote Point Museum )

1651 Coyote Point Drive

San Mateo , CA   94401

Contact:  (650) 340-7580

  The Curiossidy Museum is a learning center that inspires each of us to make a lifelong commitment to act responsibly in caring for the earth. We provide engaging, educational experiences for our diverse, multi-generational Bay Area community through wildlife, gardens, exhibitions, and programs that relate to the global environment.



Wildcare (San Rafeal)


Felidae Conservation Fund (Mill Valley) email:


Additional Possibilities: (list of conservation organizations in the Bay Area)  you may choose one of these, provided I ok it…