In May 2022, the Environmental Center of San Diego welcomed a new intern, Charlie Schooner, a high school senior from High Tech High International. A public charter school in Point Loma that focuses on project-based learning, High Tech High International connects local organizations with students as part of its 12th grade internship program. Charlie Schooner was a great match for ECOSD based on his plans to major in City and Regional Planning at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California starting with the fall 2022 semester.

Charlie brought a fresh perspective to ECOSD and, under the supervision of Board of Directors member Marie Brown, he helped to research youth environmental activism in the San Diego region. The data collected through this internship research revealed that 55 student-led local environmental high school clubs exist. Click here to see Charlie’s entire report. ECOSD is thankful for the research conducted by Charlie Schooner as this data will assist in the preparation for panel discussions at the September 17, 2022 6th Annual Environmental Leadership Summit focused on ‘The Future of Conservation.’

If you have any questions or would like more information about internships with ECOSD, please contact Marie Brown at


“For in the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”  (Baba Dioum)

ECO San Diego’s education programs are focused on K-12 children.  We help them connect, understand, appreciate, and love our local species.


ECO is working to involve, educate, and activate people by conducting a Save Our Special San Diego Species education campaign. We offer presentations for schools and groups of all ages on keystone species threatened in our region that are present in their own ‘habitat’.  In South County, we help children become more aware of Burrowing Owls, Golden Eagles, and quino checkerspot butterflies.  In North County, we share about the needs of Bobcats, California Gnatcatchers, and Horned Lizards. We also have presentations on sensitive habitats like Vernal Pools and how to protect them.   We use creative activities to encourage hands-on learning such as making a Burrowing Owl stuffed animal, Eagle flag/kite, and Butterfly mask while learning the natural history and challenges faced by these special species.

To learn more, please join our Special Species Education Crew by emailing  If you are a teacher, we’d love your help or to come to your class!



A Save Our Special Species Campaign 

Learn more here Respect the Eagle WebPage

Join us here  Sign up to Support


We have a pattern so that anyone can ‘make’ their own Burrowing Owl to keep them company.

Special challenges faced by vernal pools, our most endangered habitat

Vernal pools have special challenges since much of the year they are dry.  However, with rain these sensitive habitats come to life.  It will take education and awareness to protect these habitats in the future.   These photos are from the very rich Otay Mesa vernal pools that get heavily impacted by bikers in the park and need protection.

Role of rain in our local landscapes:  Anza Borrego Desert Superbloom

Vernal Pools aren’t the only landscape that is significantly changed by rain.  This year’s ‘superbloom’ in Anza Borrego was our best local example.

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Sign up for the ECONews email list to get alerts and news from environmental organizations. This is an announcement-only list, not a discussion list. We will limit it to a maximum of one message per week, except in cases of urgent requests from local organizations. To request an alert or provide a news item, send an email to ecosandiego6 at

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