Press Release

Contact: Lori Whalen

Phone: (949) 645-8489





Environmental Nature Center Presents New and Improved

Raptorology Assembly Program

Nature Center’s Traveling Naturalist program brings live birds of prey

to schools and community organizations.

Newport Beach, Calif., January 3, 2019 – The Environmental Nature Center’s education team refurbished an old program about birds of prey and will start booking this new and improved assembly-style program immediately.  This program, called ‘Raptorology’, introduces students and community members to live birds of prey, which have been rehabilitated and trained to be used as animal ambassadors.

“We are so pleased to be working in collaboration with the OC Bird of Prey Center, who has made their rehabilitated birds accessible to us for these educational experiences,” said Community Outreach Coordinator Mindy Schwartz.  “We have hired one of OCBPC’s specially trained raptor handlers, Harmonie Wooley, and she is a wonderful addition to our education team.”

In this hour-long program, students will meet 3-4 live birds of prey that are native to Southern California.  Harmonie will share information about what makes these birds so special – including their adaptations for hunting, flying, and digesting prey.  Additionally, students will have a unique opportunity to touch skulls, talons, and feathers from birds of prey.  Harmonie will scaffold the information presented to be appropriate for different grade levels, and all students will leave with an understanding of why these birds of prey are such a vital component of our ecosystem.

“We are confident that our Raptorology program will flow seamlessly with the rest of our NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards)-aligned curriculum, and provide students the opportunity to ask informed questions,” said Harmonie Wooley. “Meeting raptors up close can be a truly captivating and transformative experience for people – especially for those kids that live in more urban areas, where they might not normally get this experience.”

 This program will be an addition to the ENC’s long-standing Traveling Naturalist program, which facilitates in-school field trips at schools all over Orange County.  While approximately 80% of these programs do take place in schools, the remaining 20% take place at community organizations such as libraries, churches, senior centers, and festivals. 


About the ENC

Founded in 1972, the ENC is a fascinating combination of 15 California native plant communities, wildlife habitat, walking trails, and sustainably designed, LEED Platinum certified learning center. For over 45 years, the ENC has been shaped and caressed into a 5-acre landscape for learning, a sanctuary from life's pressures and a place of preservation and instruction. Serving over 28,000 students and thousands of visitors annually, the ENC is recognized as a leader in science and social science education providing opportunities for increasing our community's knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

With a mission of providing quality education through hands-on experience with nature, the ENC inspires all generations to protect the natural world by serving as our community's foremost authority on ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education.  The ENC is a non-profit 501(c)-3 public benefit corporation.  For more information call 949-645-8489, or visit The ENC is located at 1601 16th St. in Newport Beach.