Biogeographic Data Branch Tutorials and Training

Tutorials and Training by Program

The following training videos and documents provide the basic information needed to get started using our applications and data.

California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) / RareFind

Spotted Owl Observations Database (SPOWDB)

Biogeographic Information and Observation System (BIOS)



CNDDB/BIOS Live Training Courses


The CNDDB/RareFind/BIOS class is a six-hour course describing the background, purpose, and use of both the CNDDB dataset and the BIOS web-based map viewing tool (which includes access to the CNDDB). The class includes instruction and exercises on using many of the tools in both the online RareFind 5 and in BIOS 5, as well as viewing and querying the CNDDB dataset in BIOS.

Who should attend:
Wildlife and fisheries biologists, botanists, GIS analysts, and others involved with collecting and analyzing biological data and information. Applications include conservation planning, developing study designs, and developing baseline environmental review information. This class is open to people outside of the Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as to CDFW staff. The fee is waived for CDFW staff.

Course Outline:

  • CNDDB background, definitions, and proper use
  • Online RareFind 5 query tools and reports
  • RareFind 5 exercises
  • BIOS 5 background, toolset and usage
  • BIOS/CNDDB exercises

Course Length: about 6 hours

Course Cost: $125 (payment required in advance)

To sign up and get information on payment options contact

Vegetation Classification and Mapping Program (VegCAMP)

Survey of California Vegetation

VegCAMP focuses on developing and maintaining maps and classifying all vegetation and habitats in the state to support conservation and management decisions at the local, regional, and state levels using the Survey of California Vegetation Standards.

Using Survey of California Vegetation Data

Sensitive Natural Communities

Training Schedule

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, in-person training sessions have been temporarily cancelled.