Volunteer › Nature University
Learn how to help children and adults discover nature by enrolling in Metro's unique and intensive naturalist training program.
The application process for the class of 2014 is now closed. To be added to the mailing list to receive next year’s Nature University brochure and application, contact Sandy Jamison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-972-8543. Application materials will be available in July.
Nature University is a 12-session training course that starts people along the path of becoming naturalists and teachers. Nature University students are introduced to time-honored techniques of nature observation and principles of discovery learning. Students learn about common wildlife and plants, the ecology of wetlands and ancient forests, and effective teaching techniques. Student naturalists go into the field with experienced naturalists to learn how to recognize animal tracks and signs, bird sounds and much more. Learn the importance of careful observation and the use of field guides, skills that can be applied in a lifelong process of learning and sharing with others.
No special experience is required but a background in natural history and biology and working with groups is helpful. At Nature University, you receive the training needed to become a qualified and confident Metro volunteer naturalist.
Note: Because Metro receives more applications than there are spaces available in Nature University, not all applicants can be accepted.
Every year thousands of children and adults visit Metro’s parks and natural areas on school field trips and for summer programs. Volunteer naturalists make these wonderful experiences possible by helping Metro staff naturalists lead these activities and programs.
If you love nature, enjoy working with children and have access to personal transportation, consider becoming a volunteer naturalist by attending Nature University.
Nature University classes meet from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, starting the last Tuesday in January and running through mid-April. Classes meet at different locations. There is some homework between class meetings.
To view MOV files, download free QuickTime.
Looking for a new way to experience nature in this neck of the woods? Consider a simple practice known as “The Secret Spot” taught to Metro's Nature University students each year.