Certified Naturalist

what the course covers

who is this course for

This course is meant for individuals who are looking at a professional development pathway for careers as a resident naturalist, freelance naturalist, safari guide, nature educator, natural history communicator and wildlife interpreter. The course will also benefit anybody involved in nature conservation, environmental advocacy, climate change education, skill development and green livelihoods.

No prior experience required, anyone with a passion for building deep connections for people with the natural world is likely to benefit.

what will you learn

The course will build on generic guiding skills including knowldege of ecotourism industry, role and responsibilities of a guide, interpretation skills, safety and risk management skills, group management & more

One of the main roles of a naturalist is to help humans understand the natural world and to help them to form a positive, sustainable relationship with their environment. Good interpretation should be able to establish a connection between the audience and the object of interpretation.

When used effectively, interpretation is persuasive and can prompt people to make changes in their thinking and behavior.

This course is designed to help you develop skills to do just that !

Earn an industry recognised certificate

You will receive a Govt Of India vocational skill certificate on successfully  completing the course. The course is accredited by NCVET and affiliated with the Tourism Hospitality Skills Council (THSC). 

Placement opportunities and ecopreneur incubation will be offered on demand.

‘‘Awaken people’s curiosity. Open their minds. Put there just a spark``
Prepare for Guiding Activity on Safaris and Nature Trails
    • Providing and collecting pre-trip information from guests
    • Understanding your guests/tourists
    • Designing an impactful nature experience
Conduct an interactive nature experience
    • Learning how to maintain guiding quality while walking, driving/being driven
    • Learn how to be inclusive and design for various age groups, demography, interest areas
    • Storytelling, Embodied Presence, Understanding & Managing ineterests and demography
Nature Interpretation 101
Interpretive Philosophy ~  “Chief aim of Interpretation is not instruction, but provocation”
Designing opportunities to explore the meanings of our natural world, through the development of interpretive themes
Building Primary Interpretive themes & Sub-themes
Natural History
    • Flora & Fauna Identification
    • Basic Geology & Biogeography of India
    • Insects & Arthropods,
    • Amphibians & Reptiles
    • Birds & Mammals
    • Plants & Fungi
    • Reading Tracks, Signs & Calls
Assess and Mitigate Risks
    • First Aid, CPR & Allergies
    • Handling Emergencies & Evacuations
    • Safari Considerations & Animal Behaviour
    • Defensive driving
Health & Safety
    • Following standard safety procedures to avoid work hazards
    • Following Leave No Trace Principles
    • Ensuring Green Practices are followed by all stakeholders
    • Following personal hygiene practices & precautionary health measures
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Download Curriculum Details
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Arjun Manjunath

Arjun, a passionate wildlifer for 15 years, hails from India's biodiverse Western Ghats. His journey began in 2002 at Nagarhole National Park, igniting his fervor. With a post-graduate degree in Zoology, he transitioned to full-time naturalism in 2009 at Orange County Resorts, Kabini. Arjun excels in wildlife interpretation, leading prestigious groups and aiding international researchers. He collaborates closely with Karnataka Forest Department, engaging in diverse field programs. An avid adventurer, he explores sanctuaries nationwide. Arjun Manjunath shares his expertise through seminars, workshops, articles, and wildlife photography, advocating for conservation and mentoring the youth.

Sanjai Mohan
Guest Faculty

Shri. Sanjai Mohan is ex-Head of Forest Force, Karnataka. He managed various positions in the Forest Department throughout his tenure and worked as Chief Wildlife Warden of the State. Among other positions, he also worked as CEO of Karnataka Ecotourism Development Board and MD of Jungle Lodges and Resorts. He initiated projects for conservation of smaller wildlife (canids), Great Indian Bustard, Floricans, endemic Mahseer and establishing a Vulture breeding centre. Sanjai Mohan also has the honour of facilitating the declaration of Karnataka’s State Butterfly - The Southern Birdwing. A learner and a naturalist at heart, Sanjai Mohan has a gleam in his eye even today when he spots a tiny butterfly or a lovely jumping spider.

Priya Venkatesh
Course Director

Trainer, entrepreneur, storyteller, for 25 years Priya has designed and delivered experiential programs to explore nature and wildlife, personal leadership and team work. A WWF volunteer (1998) and a resource person with Ecoedu, Jungle Lodges and Resorts, Punjab Forest Dept, WWF-India. She helped create Nature Guide and Naturalist job roles and is a Master Trainer with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. She also helped curating the syllabus for a credit course in Nature Interpretation at Bangalore University. Priya holds a certificate in Wilderness First Aid. She has crossed the Arctic and Antarctic Circles on an expedition around climate change and sustainability.

Karthikeyan S
Guest Faculty

Karthikeyan has been educating and creating awareness among the young and old alike on various aspects of natural history through nature camps, talks and nature-based activities for over 40 years. He worked with WWF-India for 14 years as Education Officer, Karnataka State Office. He joined Jungle Lodges & Resorts Ltd. as the Chief Naturalist in 2006. He also serves as the Chief Trainer on the Karnataka Ecotourism Development Board. Karthik has several publications in technical journals to his credit. He authors wildwanderer.com where he narrates his personal encounters strung together with natural history information. He was conferred the Carl Zeiss Award for conservation in 2013.

Handling customers and guiding techniques were very helpful sessions for me.


Naturalist - Waterwoods

The concise, informative and interactive sessions conducted by The Naturalist School had just the right amount of information

Divya Danielle Pant

Manager - KAAV

The most obvious workshop that was conducted at the right time, as it helps members of new resorts that have been authorized for safaris… and Ethics - in the newly changed post covid world.


Asst. Chief Naturalist - Evolve Back

Great experience all together. Trainers really understand the participants well.


Deputy Chief Naturalist - Evolve Back

I enjoyed the practical elements the best. Working in groups and having opportunities to discuss about our guests.


Assistant General Manager - Kabini River Lodge

I understood communication skills and guiding techniques, the role of the naturalist team building, storytelling and how to handle guests in the Safari and Nature walks.


Naturalist - Waterwoods

In some way it brought a lot of unity with the naturalists and drivers. Taught me how to deal with guests in a better way and how to keep them happy.

Vinod Bharadwaj

Naturalist - Bison Lodge

Understanding communication and working as a team to make the guest experience better


Naturalist Kabini River Lodge