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.

August 2022, Marine Naturalist Teachers' Program: A special virtual session for current teachers will be offered for FREE in late August.  Registration is open now. Our thanks to NOAA for making this program possible and free for teachers. For more information, download the flyer.

What to Expect for the special Marine Naturalist Teachers' Program

Lectures and site visits will take place virtually through pre-recorded and webinar/videoconferencing platforms Whova. A full schedule with log-on information will be provided to registered students. The main focus of the training is the ecology, current status and conservation of Southern Resident Killer Whales and other local marine species as well as discussions about the environments they live in. The course includes presentations on cetaceans, pinnipeds, otters, intertidal invertebrates, seabirds, and a variety of other topics such as geology and marine conservation. Faculty includes Whale Museum staff, professional naturalists, marine scientists, and environmental educators active in the region. There are no live/in-person requirements for this program. As all presentations are recorded, they can be watched at your leisure. Recordings will be accessible by registered Teacher-participants begining August 22 and will be available for up to 6 months.


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

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