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 spring 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 Spring 2022 You can still 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

Spring Session Dates:

April 23, 24, 30, & May 1, 7, & 8, 2022

Class days will mostly be full days, starting around 10 am and ending around 5:00 pm. Please refer all questions to Tracie Merrill, Education Curator, by email.

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).

• All class materials.

Registration applications are processed in the order they are received. You will be notified with a confirmation letter once your registration has been processed.

Refund Policy

If you cancel, tuition is fully refundable up until four weeks from the start date of your course. Within four weeks, we can only provide a full refund if your space in the program is filled. If not filled, if you cancel between two to four weeks before the start of the class a 50% refund can be issued. If you cancel within less than two weeks before the start of class, no refund can be issued. Your refund, if any, will be processed on or after the first day of class. The Whale Museum reserves the right to cancel the program at any time. In the event the program is canceled, you will be issued a full refund.

What to Expect for Spring 2022

Lectures and site visits will take place virtually through webinar/videoconferencing software, such as Zoom. A full schedule with 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. 

Most presentations will be recorded and made available to participants. There will likely be a few presentations that presenters will not want to be recorded.

Feel free to contact Tracie at any time with questions.

Want to get involved, stay informed and be engaged?