Becoming a naturalist is an excellent career choice for those who connect with people and nature; naturalists get to observe nature and communicate the importance of our natural resources to people using various programs and activities.
Naturalists, also known as "Park and Wildlife Naturalists" are scientists who help people gain an appreciation for the natural world and our environment. They act as a link between the knowledge students acquire in school and real challenges involved in protecting plants and animals that live in the wild.
Naturalists participate in projects aimed at protecting and preserving geographical areas such as forests, parks, rivers and wetlands. Such projects may include teaching people how sustainable ecosystems can be established and maintained.
If you want to become a naturalist, you will likely need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as environmental science, forestry, botany, outdoor recreation or similar fields. Courses such as ornithology, plant taxonomy and urban planning can be very helpful towards your future career.
Ensure that while you are in school you maintain an open mind and ask a lot of questions from teachers working in the field. If you show an interest in becoming a naturalist, they will likely give you a lot of helpful tips.
Naturalists are public sector employees and are typically hired by government departments at all levels (municipal, provincial/state and federal). Examples of typical names for government agencies and departments that create naturalist jobs and hire naturalists include:
• Parks and Recreation Department (Municipal government)
• Ministry of Environment (Provincial Government)
• Department of Natural Resources (Federal Government)
• Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (Federal Government)
• Parks Canada (Federal Government)