Urban Naturalist Program

The NYBG Urban Naturalist Certificate Program equips you with the observation, identification, and documentation skills you need to become a citizen scientist and an effective environmental steward. Led by Mike Feller and a team of expert naturalists, you’ll use NYBG grounds and select New York City Parks as living labs to investigate the interrelationships between species and discover how our urban environment sustains those ecosystems. NYBG Urban Naturalists will learn to keenly observe the natural world using a variety of scientific tools. You’ll also create scientifically useful records—written, hand-drawn, and photographs—of your observations. Current NYBG Urban Naturalists are using the knowledge and skills they gained to develop their own projects, help manage invasive species in local parks, and document NYC plant species as volunteers in NYBG’s EcoFlora project.

Location Day/Night Instructor Sort Keywords  

Trees may appear to be strong and silent, but they can "talk"—to one another, to other plants, and to animals and insects. Discover how trees communicate via chemical signals in the air (to warn each other of insect attacks), as more...
12/04 Tu 06:00pm-09:00pm Kutos
Explore the rocky coastline in search of harbor seals basking in the sun, loons, and other wintering waterfowl. Then move into the woods to try to spot the owls' "fly out" at dusk. Prerequisite: Introduction to Natural History
12/15 Sa 02:00pm-06:00pm Feller
From the field to the folder, this course covers the essentials of making museum- quality preserved plant specimens suitable for research, education, and decoration. Learn techniques and skills for collecting and preserving plants of your interest, wild or cultivated. Build more...
01/09 We 05:00pm-08:00pm Atha
Learn to recognize the characteristics of native and common woody and herbaceous plants in the winter. While in their dormant, leafless state, trees and shrubs can be identified by bud types, leaf scars, fruit remnants, and other distinguishing marks. Specimens more...
01/11 Fr 10:00am-01:00pm Slowik
Microscopic organisms are the hidden force behind so much in our lives. They make the weather and the soil; they live inside almost every one of our cells; they created the air we breathe. They are even a key to more...
02/09 Sa 11:00am-12:30pm Bone
Rock pimples, fog fingers, old man's beard— their common names are amusing, but lichens are among Earth's most amazing and oldest living things, and display incredibly beautiful colors and shapes. They grow on bark, rock, and barren soil, and thrive more...
02/21 Th 06:00pm-09:00pm Lendemer, Ph.D.