Become a better naturalist, communicator, and land steward by learning the ecology and natural history of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
The Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program provides fundamental and specialty skills in Southern Appalachian ecology and interpretive techniques. This is accomplished through field courses covering a variety of subjects including ecological communities, plant identification, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, stream ecology, the history of nature study, naturalist skills, and skills for sharing nature.
Upon completion of the core courses, you will receive the non-credit Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certificate from the University of Tennessee.
Courses are held at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont with excursions throughout Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Participants may commute from home or stay onsite, and all meals are provided. All our core SANCP courses are listed as Elective Criteria I Workshops in the North Carolina Environmental Education Certification program (NC-EE).
PLEASE NOTE: The previous weekend combination of courses, “Interpretation & Naturalist Skills” is now expanded to two full weekends: “Skills for Sharing Nature” [NEW name for Interpretation] and “Naturalist Skills.” We have expanded the length of the Naturalist Skills course based on feedback from participants, as well as our own interest in this critical component.
If you have previously completed the “Interpretation & Naturalist Skills” weekend, you are not required to retake “Skills for Sharing Nature” or “Naturalist Skills” to receive your certification. However, if you have not completed either “Interpretation” or the “Naturalist Skills” course, you will need to complete them to receive your certification—keeping in mind that “Skills for Sharing Nature” is the NEW course name for what was called “Interpretation: a Teachable Art”.