In Metro’s free volunteer naturalist training program, Nature University, students gain skills and experiences that enable them to lead field trips in Metro natural areas.
Metro’s volunteer naturalists are an integral part of connecting hundreds of students each year to the natural world through the field trip program. Naturalists also help lead groups of adults and kids on explorations of Metro’s parks and natural areas through other events and special projects.
In Nature University, future volunteer naturalists receive field and classroom instruction from Metro naturalists about common wildlife and plants, animal tracking, bird identification, the ecology of wetlands and ancient forests and effective teaching techniques. You’ll learn techniques of nature observation and principles of discovery learning.
Nature University is a nine month commitment that includes weekly courses late winter through spring, as well as monthly summer and fall training sessions. Graduates assist with programming April through early November. Courses and programming occurs during regular business hours. There is some homework between class meetings. Students are expected to attend every class session. Graduates are required to provide a minimum of 40 hours leading outdoor education programs within the first year.
The application deadline is Nov. 7, 2014 and information session is Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, 1:30 to 3 p.m.