Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Five adults in the field examining something.

Field Naturalist Certificate Program

Become a certified Mass Audubon Field Naturalist! During the 12-week Field Naturalist Certificate Program (FNCP), you'll gain in-depth knowledge of organismal groups and how they are connected while taking part in field research, monitoring, and communication training.  

As a Mass Audubon Certified Field Naturalist, you will make a difference in your community through a volunteer service project that supports local natural resources. Upon successful completion of the classes, fieldwork, and volunteering component, you will receive certification, signifying your expertise as a Field Naturalist. 

Program Details

We run two sessions each year. Generally, spring sessions begin in late March, Fall sessions in late August. 

Each session includes 12 Wednesday evenings online, 6 Saturdays in the field.

Registration for FNCP is by invitation through our waitlist. Please add your name to the list and you will be contacted when there is space available.


Online evening presentations & field days at various sanctuaries.

Spring 2024: Metro West (course full - please join the waitlist)

Fall 2024: Boston

Spring 2025: South East


Members: $1,500 • Nonmembers: $1,800
(Prices subject to change for Fall 2024)

Sample Schedule

  • Class 1: Coffee Hour & Introduction
  • Class 2: Introduction & Connecting with Nature as Lifelong Learners
  • Class 3: Ecology
  • Field Trip 1
  • Class 4: Mammalogy
  • Class 5: Freshwater Ecology
  • Field Trip 2
  • Class 6: Ornithology  
  • Class 7: Dendrology
  • Field Trip 3
  • Class 8: Entomology
  • Class 9: Herpetology
  • Field Trip 4
  • Class 10: Mycology
  • Class 11: Botany
  • Field Trip 5
  • Class 12: Climate Justice
  • Field Trip 6

Who Should Attend 

This college-level course is geared to anyone looking to gain deeper knowledge of the natural world in a professional setting. Ideal for those who want to take a more active role in habitat management, educational programming, advocacy, and community science as a volunteer, or for those that are beginning a career in the environmental field. 

Course Modules

Through lectures and hands-on field work participants will gain a comprehensive, integrated understanding of:

  • General ecology
  • Trees (dendrology)
  • Plants (botany)
  • Birds (ornithology)
  • Insects (entomology)
  • Amphibians & reptiles (herpetology)
  • Mammals
  • Fungi (mycology)
  • Aquatic biology
  • Climate & weather
  • Environmental interpretation

Course Goals

  • Understand and be able to articulate the importance of sound ecological management principles, climate change resilience, and land protection 
  • Sharpen your ability to advocate for the environment 
  • Develop a sound base of knowledge of Massachusetts ecology and natural history 
  • Learn field research techniques and methodologies 
  • Gain the skills to continue learning about the environment on your own 


Please email us.