Northwest Naturalist Certification


North Cascades Institute strongly supports the involvement of private citizens in the art of natural history. For over 25 years, we've been training people of all ages to be engaged naturalists, and therefore more responsible and appreciative inhabitants of the world we live in. The study of the natural world is interwoven in to everything we do, every day. Our professional staff infuses scientific knowledge, natural history wisdom and an enthusiasm for being an inhabitant of Planet Earth in to all of our programs and classes.

"Natural history is a practice of intentional, focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy. Simply put, it is paying attention to the bigger world outside our heads" ~Thomas Lowe Fleischner

You can become a better naturalist, communicator and land steward by learning about the natural and cultural history of the North Cascades and Pacific Northwest with Institute naturalists, agency field biologists and rangers.

Our certification process will track three main areas of study: Natural and Cultural History of the North Cascades, Interpretation Techniques and Citizen Science and Stewardship. Northwest Naturalists will fulfill the requirements for the certification by participating in North Cascades Institute classes and volunteering with citizen science or stewardship projects. Candidates for the certification will also present natural history presentations to the public and write critiques of classic and contemporary nature writings.

The purpose of this program is to set standards for proficiency as a naturalist, provide milestones for development as naturalists, provide opportunities to deepen and broaden our understanding of the natural world and reward students who complete the rigorous requirements for this certification. If you love the Northwest, the outdoors and learning about the unique ecology of our bioregion, deepen your connection and your knowledge with the Northwest Naturalist Certification program. This certification is one step in a lifelong process of improving naturalist skills.

For more information or to get started on your Northwest Naturalist Certification, contact North Cascades Institute, at or (360) 854-2599.