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

Fall 2017 Program (South Sound) - has been cancelled

Naturalists are welcome to attend The Whale Museum’s Annual Gear Down Workshop for Marine Naturalists & Research Symposium in Friday Harbor on Nov 11 and 12. Register & pay for Gear Down / Research Symposium here: Members  Non-Members

Reserve your spot for the Spring 2018 Program - coming soon

Reserve your spot for the Summer 2018 Program - coming soon

Informational Flyers and Registration Forms will be available soon!

Tuition Rates:

  • $ 425 Member Rate (for members of The Whale Museum/Orca Adopters)
  • $ 475 Non-Member Rate (includes membership/Orca Adoption)
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 (Sept 22nd). Within 4 weeks, we can only provide a full refund if your space in the program is filled. Refunds will be processed on or after the first day of class.

    Arranging Transportation

    Students provide their own transportation to and from class and field trip venues, including ferry fare to Friday Harbor and associated lodging costs. Carpooling is encouraged. 

    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 us at any time with questions.

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