We've been training marine naturalists since 1994.

Our marine naturalist training course (MNTP) is an intensive 6-day overview of the natural history of the San Juan Islands and the marine waters of Washington and Southern British Columbia (known as the Salish Sea). This course includes an in-depth treatment of the ecology and conservation of local marine species, presented by highly trained local naturalists, environmental educators and scientists. A mix of lectures and field trips provides a hands-on learning experience that leaves graduates qualified as a regional professional or volunteer naturalist. 

Come Interested, Leave Qualified

You can earn a Whale Museum naturalist certification by completing an extra 10-hour practicum, which can be arranged during this course. Completion of this course also entitles you to become a member of the Salish Sea Association of Marine Naturalists (SSAMN),. 

Course Registration

Marine Naturalist Training Program has Two Offerings in 2017

Spring 2017 Program - program dates are April 29, 30, May 6, 7, 13, and 14

  • Click here to download Informational Flyer for Spring 2017.
  • Click here to download Registration Form for Spring 2017.
  • Click here to pay your deposit or full tuition for Spring 2017

Summer 2017 Program - program dates are August 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8

  • Click here to download Informational Flyer for Summer 2017.
  • Click here to download Registration Form for Summer 2017.
  • Click here to pay your deposit or full tuition for Summer 2017.

Tuition Rates:

  • $ 425 Member Rate (for members of The Whale Museum/Orca Adopters)
  • $ 475 Non-Member Rate (includes membership/Orca Adoption)

Tuition includes the following:

  • Six class sessions (lectures and on location).
  • A boat-based marine field trip.
  • All class materials.
  • Morning and afternoon refreshments; lunch is not provided.

A minimum deposit of 50% must be paid at the time of registration to ensure your space in the program. Any balance is due 30 days prior to the program's start date.

Registration applications are processed in the order they are received. You will be notified with a confirmation letter once your registration has been processed. This course has a maximum class size 30 students, so please register quickly!

Refund Policy

All deposits are refundable up until 4 weeks from the start date of your course. Within 4 weeks, we can only provide refunds if your space in the program is filled. The Whale Museum reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. In the event of a cancellation, you will be issued a full refund.

Arranging Transportation

This course meets at the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor (click here for help finding us). Transportation for field trips is provided by The Whale Museum so it is not necessary to bring your car to Friday Harbor. Parking is available at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal for a fee; details available through Washington State Ferries. Carpools are encouraged and we can help get you in touch with other participants for that purpose.

What To Expect

Lectures will take place in a classroom setting, but fields trips will be taken around the parks, shorelines and waters of San Juan Island and Orcas Island. You should be prepared for a variety of conditions including wind, cold, rain, and sun. On field trip days, we suggest that you also bring:

  • A sack lunch and water
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Field Guides
  • Sunscreen

Feel free to contact us at any time with questions.

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