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The world teems with mystery, beauty, and wonder only experienced only through fleeting glimpses. What is the naturalist’s role?

Becoming a naturalist is a lifelong process of nurturing one’s sense of wonder while discovering and experiencing the riches found in the natural world. We teach these skills as a way of looking at and living in the world. Come learn and practice skills that will connect you to nature in deep and meaningful ways. We will take inspiration and learn tips from the rich history of naturalist-explorers, learn to use a journal as a place to capture observations and grow, and share the wonder and joy with each other as we discover the secrets of the world around us.

From the beginner to the more advanced naturalist, we welcome all to join us on the journey.

Cost: $420
Registration includes instruction, food, and lodging in our dorm inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Register Online

This is one of eight core courses in the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program (SANCP). Please note, 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 SANCP certification. 

Already Registered? Check out the welcome letter for required readings, a tentative itinerary, and other essential details for your stay.

Important Information Regarding Programs During COVID-19

During this prolonged period of pandemic and isolation, our work of connecting people and nature has never felt more essential. We are making safety a top priority for visitors and staff — for the latest details about our COVID-19 response and policies, visit our COVID-19 updates page.


Cover photo by David Bryant.

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