Urban Naturalist Program

The NYBG Urban Naturalist Program will equip you with the observation, identification, and documentation skills you need to become a citizen scientist and an effective environmental steward. Our team of experienced naturalists will use the NYBG’s grounds and select NYC City Parks as living labs to investigate the interrelationships between species and discover how our urban environment sustains those ecosystems.

To become an official NYBG Urban Naturalist, you must complete each of these required classes: Foundations, Woodlands, and Waterways. Within a month of completing your third class, you must submit an in-depth study of a “patch” (natural spot) of your choosing. Your study will include the geology and human history of your patch, a survey of the plants and animals found there, and a plan for how the site can be improved to benefit the landscape and community.  Choose from individual classes or the six-week Fall Intensive below.

Location Day/Night Instructor Sort Keywords  
Classes

May
Don waders (we'll supply!) and help tag the prehistoric horseshoe crabs that arrive on our shores every summer to mate. This trip will be in the evening in mid-May to early June, depending on mating season. Please call 718.817.8720 to more...
05/29 Tu 06:00pm-10:00pm Feller
OFS
July
Naturalists are keen observers of the world around them and have played an integral role in the evolution of scientific thought. Now, you can be one too! With the help of experts, hone your ability to identify plants and animals, more...
07/14 Sa 10:00am-02:00pm Feller
Slowik
Chaya
NYBG
September
Enhance your ability to identify and understand the complex relationships among the diverse plants and animals that live in our city's woodlands and forests. We'll take a close look at learning to identify the trees found in our eastern woodland more...
09/15 Sa 10:00am-02:00pm Slowik
Chaya
NYBG
Document seasonal changes while reveling in the brilliant autumnal color in this six-week intensive that includes all three classes required to become a NYBG Urban Naturalist. In Foundations, you'll use a 10x hand lens, dichotomous keys, and field guides to more...
09/26 We 10:00am-02:00pm Feller
Slowik
Chaya
NYBG