Naturalist, Environmental/Historical Interpreter & Educator
Learn about this occupation – including typical duties, education required, salary and job outlook information, job boards and more.
Interpretive Naturalists explain the natural and scientific features of parks, botanical gardens and wilderness areas to visitors (alis). They study not only living things, such as plants and wildlife, but non-living things, such as minerals and fossils. Naturalists often use their knowledge to educate others, for example visitors to parks, through nature hikes and interpretive centres. Naturalists may also work for environmental organizations planning special events or write for newsletters, television, and radio. Naturalists may work in government departments, non-profit organizations, and private companies involved in eco-tourism. (Eco.ca)
Find detailed information about the occupation, including typical duties and working conditions, in the links below:
- National Occupation Classification (NOC) - Canadian Occupational Descriptions
- O*NET Online - U.S resource for occupational descriptions and information
- OCCinfo by alis - Alberta-based occupational information:
- Career profiles and roles model spotlight from ECO Canada:
- Sokanu - Career Info & Videos:
- A Year in the Life of a Nature Interpreter – National Capital Commission
Most interpretive naturalists have related post-secondary education. This is a multidisciplinary field that draws from a wide range of academic disciplines including biology, environmental science/studies, education, recreation, and leisure studies. Other related fields of education can include the performing arts, anthropology, history, and native studies. (alis) Educational requirements may vary based on the location and requirements of the worksite.
U of M Academic Calendar
The Academic Calendar & Catalogue outlines program admission and course requirements. Use the left menu to navigate to a specific faculty and program. To determine which degree path suits your unique occupational goals, speak with a Career Consultant. For support with course registration and academic issues, speak with an Academic Advisor.
Faculty and Department Homepages
Visit U of M's faculty and department homepage to learn about program application deadlines and processes, as well as additional in-house resources and opportunities.
- Faculty of Arts
- Department of Biological Sciences - Faculty of Science
- Department of Environment and Geography – Clayton Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth and Resources
- Faculty of Education
- Recreation Management & Community Development - Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management
Exploring Other Education Options
Information for foreign-trained Naturalists - Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials
Labour market information
Labour market information informs users of supply and demand for specific occupations and sectors. It includes such things as salary and job outlook information. These resources support informed career decision making and job search efforts.
Professional associations organize events and directories, job postings, career and labour market information. Student membership opportunities are also available. This is a great way to learn and network.
- Interpretation Canada
- Global, Environmental & Outdoor Education Council (GEOEC)
- Interpretive Guides Association
- National Association for Interpretation (U.S)
- North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)
Directories, Industry Associations, and Sector Councils
These resources provide industry news, labour market information and a list of potential employers. Remember, there are usually multiple industries worth exploring.
- Manitoba Parks
- Manitoba Eco-Network
- Climate Change Network – See Organizations in the “Education” Category
- Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM)
- Guiding Companies – Interpretive Guides Association (require accreditation)
Search occupations of interest in the industry-specific job boards below to learn about skill requirements, employers, job duties and available jobs. You may also wish to search more general online job boards.
External resources that will provide you with additional information about the occupation, areas of work and opportunities to build experience:
- Podcasts with Park Rangers (U.S) – See show notes for biographies and education of park rangers
- Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE)
- Green Teacher – Non-profit with a variety of educational resources
- Environmental Education and Training Partnership (U.S)
- World Environmental Education Congresses Network
- Green Mentor Program: Project Learning Tree Canada - for youth aged 18 to 30 with an interest in forestry and conservation