The Spring 2019 graduating class!

love whales?  become an acs-oc certified NATURALIST!

american cetacean society - orange county 

The Spring 2016 class with their diplomas!

Species studied include:

•             Gray, Blue, Fin, Minke, Humpback and Orca whales

•             Common, Bottlenose, Risso's and Pacific Whitesided dolphins

•             California Sea Lions

The Fall 2019 graduating class!


ACS-OC Naturalist Steve O'Toole (right) explains some finer points aboard a boat out of Dana Point.

The Spring 2018 graduating class!

ACS-OC Naturalist Hannah Rich (right), talks about echolocation with a young passenger, aboard a boat out of Newport Beach.

The Summer 2017 class with their diplomas!

ACS-OC conducts naturalist training once or twice a year.  The 2020 class that was expected to being in May, is currently postponed due to Covid-19. We will announce the future course date once our State has reached a phase of safely being able to do so.  To express interest for this and future classes (no obligation), please email the course instructor and facilitator, Jill Lemon, at

This is a great chance to learn more about whales and dolphins!  Once you’re certified, you can represent ACS-OC on board whale-watching vessels, at schools and at other venues.

Some of our Naturalists have science backgrounds, but most do not. To be certified, you'll need a sincere interest in the subject, an aptitude for learning, good interpersonal/communication skills, and a willingness to devote time to learning more about these beautiful animals and how to teach people about them.

Naturalist candidates are expected to attend at least 10 sessions, make short presentations in front of the group on all species studied, and pass a 2-page written quiz.