Naturalist Mentors

Be a Naturalist Mentor and encourage people to become interested in nature, the natural sciences and get outdoors to enjoy nature!

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 -300 words describing the naturalist’s contributions in mentoring and any special activities they do.

BC Nature Clubs around the province offer programs and share their knowledge in impressive ways:

  1. Naturalist Mentors share their knowledge with the community and people of all ages and cultural backgrounds:
    A Naturalist Mentor shares their knowledge in so many ways; they assist their club with public events, developing informational materials, lead walks and talks, attend public meetings hosted by government to give their informed input and support community projects that require their expertise and knowledge. A Naturalist Mentor can provide talks and presentations and lead walks to community groups, speak to your local Naturalists’ Club.

 

  1. Mentoring students in the classroom:
    Teachers often haven’t time to support individual students with outdoor projects, while parents may find they do not have the necessary information to help their children.  The naturalist mentor can work with the teacher and support individual students as they work on 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! Let your local school you are available to lead nature field trips and give nature talks in your area of expertise. See the Naturalist Mentor program toolkit.

Teachers, connect with your Local Naturalists’ Club and check out the Getting Outdoor Tips for Teachers

 

  1. 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, butterflies, 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 the Science Fair – please visit this link)

 

  1. 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 too in 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 assist Club Leaders. For details, go to the website 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

 

As naturalists, we 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, participating in habitat conservation, teaching and especially sharing their joy in nature with others.

Mentoring is fun!  Please consider volunteering as a Naturalist Mentor, it is important and you can make a real difference.

 





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