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. The upcoming summer session will be a dynamic, high-quality virtual experience that leaves graduates qualified as a regional professional or volunteer naturalist. 

Come Interested, Leave Qualified

We are virtual for Summer 2022. You can still earn The Whale Museum naturalist certification by completing an extra 10-hour practicum, which can be arranged during the course. Completion also entitles you to become a member of the Salish Sea Association of Marine Naturalists (SSAMN). Clock hour credits are also available.

2023 Winter MNTP Field Trip Weekend -  Only for MNTP participants who have taken the course virtually

The Whale Museum is offering a special opportunity from February 10-12, 2023. If you have taken our MNTP virtually and want to participate in in-person field trips here on San Juan Island, we have put together a weekend of excursions with instructors meant to supplement the educational content previously presented during the sessions. Field trips will include a tour of The Whale Museum; bird watching; a tour of Friday Harbor Laboratories, and a west side field trip to San Juan County Conservation Land Bank properties and salmon habitat restoration sites, and Lime Kiln Point State Park, featuring a geology hike as well tours of the lighthouse. The price is $135 for TWM/SSAMN members and $150 for non-members. Price includes light refreshments on Friday evening, as well as snacks and lunches on Saturday and Sunday and transportation to all field site locations from TWM. The weekend runs from 5:30 pm Friday evening until 4:30 pm Sunday. Saturday and Sunday will be full days. Participants are responsible for their own accommodations and travel to SJI if needed. The link for registration can be accessed here. Spots are limited to just 17 so don't wait to reserve your spot!  


Please refer all questions to Tracie Merrill, Education Curator, by email.

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