Tennessee Naturalist Program

Tennessee Naturalist Course

The Tennessee Naturalist Course is offered at least once per year at each of our chapters. The course provides a minimum of 40 hours of instruction on various aspects of the state's natural history -- geology, flora, wildlife, watersheds -- as well as exposure to ecological concepts and conservation issues. Half of the instruction may be in the classroom and at least half in the field. Any classes missed MUST be made up during the next course or at a course offered by another Tennessee chapter.

In addition to the course students must complete 40 hours of volunteer service to earn certification. Usually this is done at the local chapter, but may include other areas. Students keep track of their volunteer hours which should then be turned in to their coordinator.

Students in the past received course materials in the form of a large 3-ring binder. In 2015 these materials were distributed instead on a flash drive. All course materials have been updated and are now available through your course coordinator. Those with flash drives should speak to their coordinator about downloading up-to-date materials.

To determine which of your course materials need upgrading, dates that each section was updated are listed below.

Materials Provided on Flash Drive

So You Want to Be a Naturalist Study Guide, 8/2015

Birds Study Guide, 2/2015

Forests Study Guide, 5/2016

Geology and Ecology Study Guide, 7/2018

Herbaceous Plants and Fungi Study Guide, 10/2015

Invertebrates Study Guide, 1/2018

Living Waters Study Guide, 7/2014

Mammals Study Guide, 7/2018

Nocturnal Naturalist Study Guide, 7/2018

Reptiles and Amphibians Study Guide, 7/2018


To enroll in the program, please contact the chapter closest to you. The Chapters page shows locations of chapters. Select a chapter for details of their upcoming courses.

If you wish to learn more about the Tennessee Naturalist program, email us at info@TNnaturalist.org.