Become a Certified Tennessee Naturalist

To become a Certified Tennessee Naturalist students must complete both the classroom and field portions of all classes and perform 40 hours of approved volunteer service. They must also complete a pre- and post-assessment.

Volunteer hours must fall within these four categories of service:

  1. Environmental Education (e.g., lead guided hikes or activities, develop educational materials)
  2. Citizen Science (e.g., species monitoring, bioblitz, data collection)
  3. Stewardship (e.g., stream cleanups, trail maintenance, habitat restoration)
  4. Administrative Support for Chapter or TNP (e.g., assist a chapter or TNP event or administration) Students are limited to 10 hours of administrative work per milestone.

Sponsoring organizations of TNP chapters typically have many needs for volunteers, as do state and local parks, environmental non-profits, federal, state and local government agencies, and others.  TNP advertises volunteer needs in our quarterly newsletter.  For a suggested list of volunteer opportunities click here.

Missed Core Classes: Students missing a core class must make up that class within a year to become certified.  The make-up class must be arranged through their chapter coordinator and can be taken at any TNP chapter.  Two make-up classes may be taken at a student's home chapter for no charge; additional classes or any make-up classes taken at another chapter incur a fee. Students must receive permission from the chapter coordinators of all involved chapters before attending a class.