Naturalist Mentors

Be a Naturalist Mentor and encourage people to become interested in nature and the natural sciences

As nature lovers – naturalists, scientists and student researchers – we have knowledge to share and to inspire others to appreciate and care for the natural world. Naturalist Mentors are in awe about the diversity and complexity of nature and are enthusiastic to share their knowledge with others of all ages.

The Naturalist Mentor program encourages member naturalists to be involved in sharing their knowledge and recognizes and acknowledges those who do.

We encourage BC Nature Clubs to nominate a member to be acknowledged for their volunteer work sharing nature knowledge with others of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

To do so, contact Marg at blueheronmarg@gmail.com to submit:

  1. a colour ‘portrait style’ photo preferably of naturalist in the field, 300 dpi or larger in jpeg format with photo credit and permission to use.
  2. a paragraph or two of 200 words describing the naturalist’s contributions in mentoring and any special activities they do.

As naturalists, we also recognize the need to “grow” the next generation of naturalists. It is our role to assist young people to understand and gain a passion for nature. The formation of NatureKids BC (formerly the Young Naturalists’ Club of BC) is an inspiration and an important opportunity for families to connect with nature from a young age. Now we see some of the original child members entering adulthood and becoming Naturalists and Scientists and contributing scientific research, monitoring species and participating in conservation of habitat.
Looking at what BC Nature Clubs are doing around the province, it is impressive how many of our members are sharing their knowledge by mentoring young people in different ways:

(1) Mentoring students in the classroom:
Teachers do not have time to support individual students and their outdoor projects, while parents may find they do not have the necessary information to help their children.  Here the mentor can work with the teacher and also support individual students as they work on their classroom projects. Where possible, parents can be involved and may also become engaged in nature too. Once connections are made, they may even join the local Naturalists’ Club!

 

(2) Naturalist Mentors can lead field trips and give talks:
A Naturalist Mentor can let their local schools know they are available to lead nature field trips and give nature talks in their area of expertise. See Naturalist Mentor program toolkit.

 

(3) Mentoring NatureKids Explorer Day field trips
There are NatureKids Family Clubs throughout BC for children 5 to 12 years, and their parents. (http://www.naturekidsbc.ca/p/my-club_3.html)
Volunteer NatureKids Club Leaders organize monthly Explorer Day field trips, exploring all aspects of nature in their area, preferably outdoors but indoors, e.g. labs, hatcheries, etc. when the weather is bad. While all the leaders are passionate about sharing nature with children, mentors with knowledge and expertise in various aspects of natural history can tremendously assist Club Leaders.  For details, go to the website www.naturekidsbc.ca/p/volunteer.html and scroll down to Mentors; Here you will find details on what is involved and how to volunteer or Contact: Christine Chowaniec, Clubs Coordinator, NatureKidsBC, coordinator@naturekidsbc.ca|

 

(4) Mentoring Science Fair candidates
You can make all the difference by connecting with a local school and the participating Science Fair teacher(s) and offer to mentor one or more students with their nature-based project. Here is your opportunity to share local, nature experience and assist a young person to develop a meaningful project. The time commitment to assist in mentorship of students for their Science Fair project is from December to April, (judging and awards in April) about 3.5 months. This is a great opportunity to assist and share nature knowledge with youth over a short period. You can encourage their monitoring of plants, turtles, frogs, bees, birds, bats and species at risk or encourage their participation in an aspect of habitat or species monitoring or encourage an invasive removal and/or planting project. (for complete information on Science Fair – please visit this link )

 

Time Commitment:

Sometimes we hesitate to take on further responsibility or participate in programs that require a long-term commitment but mentoring provides short-term opportunities to enjoy sharing your knowledge of nature and inspire others.

Please consider volunteering for this important Naturalist Mentors Program. Check out our mentors!





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