Field Naturalist Certificate Program Registration Open
Michael P. O'Connor
WORCESTER, MA—Attention amateur naturalists and other wildlife enthusiasts interested in upping their game and sharing their knowledge: Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary is offering a Field Naturalist Certificate Program designed to prepare students for work in nature-based education, citizen science, habitat management, and other environmental fields.
The 11-week course taught at a college level, which runs from August 29 through November 17, is geared to individuals seeking to increase their understanding of the natural world in a professional setting. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of ecological connections and natural systems while taking part in field research, species monitoring, and communications training.
Classes will take place at the wildlife sanctuary’s Visitor Center, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester, on Wednesday evenings, (6:30-9 pm) and every other Saturday, all day (9 am-4 pm) at various locations throughout central Massachusetts.
In addition to the course meetings and experiences in the field, students will be required to complete 40 hours of independent environmental stewardship/volunteer work.
“We are continually impressed by sanctuary visitors’ appreciation of and enthusiasm for the natural world,” said Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Coordinator Martha Gach, who is overseeing the Field Naturalist Certificate Program. “In fact, it’s been apparent that people in central Massachusetts are eager to connect more deeply with nature, and Mass Audubon has developed this certificate program in response to that interest.”
Instructors for the program are experts in their fields and program participants will have a chance to learn from some very skilled and talented nature lovers including: Mass Audubon's Wayne Petersen, Joe Choiniere, Cindy Dunn, Martha Gach, Stephen Hutchinson, and Ron Wolanin; Robert Bertin, a biologist and expert on the natural history of central Massachusetts at Holy Cross; and Tom Tyning, a professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College and a former longtime Mass Audubon staff member.
Mass Audubon protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people's vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.
Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at www.massaudubon.org.