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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.

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

Cost: $390 – includes instruction, food and lodging in our dorm inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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 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”.

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 this registration PDF and waiver form. Mail both forms and your check to:

Tremont Institute
9275 Tremont Road
Townsend, TN 37882


Important Information Regarding Programs During COVID-19

Thank you for your interest in our program! During this prolonged period of pandemic and isolation, our work of connecting people and nature has never felt more essential.

We are planning to move forward with this program, though we are keeping a close watch on trends and best practices. Given the uncertainties right now, we are holding off on the specific details we normally include in a welcome letter, i.e. arrival time and procedures, etc. Please check back at this website for more specific information as we get closer to the date of your program.

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.

If you have any questions or concerns between now and then, please feel free to get in touch by email or phone: [email protected] or 865-448-9732 ext. 18.


Photo by David Bryant