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One of 8 core courses in the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program.

The world teems with mystery, beauty, and fleeting glimpses.  What is the naturalist’s role? The naturalist learns from nature first-hand.  Becoming a naturalist is a lifelong process of noticing, exploring, discovering, and experiencing a rich sense of wonder 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 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 probe the secrets of the world around us.   

We have expanded this course from a half day to a full weekend based on years of feedback from participants – from the beginner to the more advanced naturalist, we welcome all to join us on the journey!

Cost: $367. Includes instruction, food and lodging in our dorm inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Cost for National Park Service employees: $139. Please call 865-448-6709 for discount code. Enter discount code when you register online below.

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”.


Register Online

Download Registration & Waiver Form



Please note: Online registration forms also serve as your health and wavier form which includes medical information. Please allow 20-30 minutes to complete the online form and have your information ready. All fields must be completed.

If you wish to register by mail, please complete registration pdf and waiver form. Mail both forms and your check to:

Tremont Institute
9275 Tremont Road
Townsend, TN 37882


Welcome Letter

Tentative Schedule

Your Visit to Tremont


Photo by David Bryant