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

Tuition Rates:

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

Tuition rates for the South Sound program may be slightly higher to cover staff transportation and lodging.

You may pay 1/2 or full tuition to reserve your spot. If you make a deposit, the other half is due 2 weeks before the start of class. 

    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.

    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

    Tuition is fully refundable up until 4 weeks from the start date of your course. Cancellations within 4 weeks can only be provided a full refund if your space in the program is filled, and these refunds will be processed on or after the first day of class.

    Arranging Transportation

    Spring & Summer (San Juan Island-based) sessions: students meet in at designated location(s) in Friday Harbor. Transportation to field locations is provided. 

    What To Expect

    Lectures will take place in a classroom setting, and fields trips will be taken to locations listed above. A full schedule with be provided to registered students. 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 tracie@whalemuseum.org at any time with questions.

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