Published on April 17, 2020

New Series! "Neighborhood Naturalist Online"


Practice physical distancing and public health safety, but stay social and connected to nature. This unprecedented time does not need to prevent us from engaging in and learning about our outdoor environment.

Our series of six online natural history programs will enhance your observation skills, explore questions, and help you make connections while engaging in an appreciation of the world we live in.

During this series, study and discuss plants, invertebrates, birds, mammals, and more! You will get tools for learning and exploration on your own to achieve greater understanding of natural science and contribute to ongoing community science databases.

Each program will consist of three components:

  • Live online presentation of topic content along with questions and discussion.  
  • A week to complete guided outside exploration, observations, gather data, and develop questions. 
  • Live online follow-up for feedback, questions, and discussion.  


Members: $25/program • Nonmembers: $30/program

Register online >

→ Save $25 by enrolling in the whole series! To receive the discount, please email or call 781-259-2220 to register.

Topics & Dates

Program 1: Science, Observations, & iNaturalist 

  • Presentation: Wednesday, April 29, 7:00-8:30 pm 
  • Follow-up Discussion: Wednesday, May 6, 7:00-7:45 pm 

Discuss the nature of science and the science of nature as you start our exploration of observing and connecting to our environment and its biodiversity. Get to know iNaturalist, which provides an interactive community platform for learning about, recording, and organizing your natural history observations.  

Program 2: Biodiversity

  • Presentation: Wednesday, May 6, 8:00-9:00 pm 
  • Follow-up Discussion: Wednesday, May 13, 7:00-7:45 pm  

Biodiversity is vital to a healthy earth and climate. Find out how to use observation and documentation to better understand the significance of biodiversity and how to maintain it in our own neighborhood habitats.

Program 3: Habitats 

  • Presentation: Wednesday, May 13, 8:00-9:00 pm 
  • Follow-up Discussion: Wednesday, May 20, 7:00-7:45 pm

From urban park to rural landscape, habitats are all around us. Living organisms need viable habitats to survive. Through our explorations, we will look at the essential components of habitats and start to understand how our local ecosystems function.

Program 4: Communities 

  • Presentation: Wednesday, May 20, 8:00-9:00 pm 
  • Follow-up Discussion: Wednesday, May 27, 7:00-7:45 pm 

Just like humans, all organisms live in and depend on their local communities for survival. What are the biological communities in our neighborhoods and how can we identify them? We will explore how these communities function within our local habitats.

Program 5: Ecosystems 

  • Presentation: Wednesday, May 27, 8:00-9:00 pm 
  • Follow-up Discussion: Wednesday, June 3, 7:00-7:45 pm  

As naturalists, we want to understand the roles of organisms in their habitats and how they interact with both living and non-living components of their environment. Through observation and nature journaling we will explore behavior and niche and the significance of dynamic relationships within our neighborhood ecosystems. 

Program 6: Being a Natural Scientist 

  • Presentation: Wednesday, June 3, 8:00-9:00 pm 
  • Follow-up Discussion: Wednesday, June 10, 7:00-8:30 pm 

As with any practiced skill, we can become better natural scientists, enhance our appreciation and understanding of the world we live in, and contribute to the scientific community through what we see in our own backyards and neighborhoods. Together we will develop our naturalist skills as we practice asking questions and collecting information to pursue our own curiosities and record them in our nature journals.