Naturalist Guides

Naturalist guides serve as volunteer and paid informal educators with children in nature activities and walks. Many nature education organizations offer nature activities and walks for children and families, and these activities are generally led by a trained naturalist.  About a dozen organizations in San Diego offer training for naturalist guides.

Certified Interpretive Guide Training

This course is from the National Association for Interpretation, and is generally offered locally several times each year.  It is a 32-hour professional certification course for individuals for anyone who delivers interpretive programs to the public. It combines the theoretical foundations of the profession with practical skills in delivering quality interpretive programming to audiences.  More information here.

California Naturalist program

This program was developed by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) to foster a committed corps of trained volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists taking active roles in natural resource conservation, education, and restoration.  More information about the California Naturalist Program at

Birding for Naturalists

It’s all about noticing birds and their habitats, and developing a curiosity and wonder about birds. Six sections: I. Importance of Birds, II. How to Think Like a Bird, III. Bird Basics, IV. The Tools of Birding, IV. Bird Identification, and VI. Birding in Nature Walks. The class was developed by bird specialists, experienced naturalists, and educators, and will be taught by local naturalists. The classes were taught on March 8, 16, and 30, 2013, and May 4, 2014.

Presentation materials:   HandoutsSlides in B&WSlides in Color. For more information, contact Rebekah Angona, San Diego Audubon Society, gro.nobuduaogeidnasnull@anogna

Interpretive Skills

Interpretive Skills for Nature Walks class was taught on March 8 and 30, 2013 and May 17, 2014 by Anne Marie Tipton, California State Parks and Recreation.  Handout to develop programs and themes. Links to California State Parks modules on Programs and Walks. For more information, contact

The Basic Interpretation Learning System from California State Parks. It provides comprehensive, standardized resource for introductory interpretation training, for any interpreter who provides programs and services directly to the public. Thirteen modules are posted at website,, and include planning, programs, talks, walk, kids, roving, audiovisual and evaluation.