Who are the FNA Teacher Naturalists?
FNA’s Teacher Naturalists, or TNs for short, are a group of approximately 30 volunteers who specialize in interpretation of the natural world. The TNs are a very diverse bunch comprised of college students, former teachers, retired professionals, and some who just have a life-long interest in nature. Many in the TN group have also received the Nebraska Master Naturalist certification.
What do the TNs do?
The TNs are responsible for providing a wide variety of programs for our visitors. These programs include the Saturday and Sunday family programs which consist of hikes, interactive presentations, and hands-on learning stations. Additionally, the TNs assist with the astronomy programs, critter encounters, raptor programs, bird banding, evening hikes, and our special events.
What sort of training do the TNs have?
TNs attend one meeting per month where they have a opportunity to learn from experts in the fields of interpretation and natural sciences. They have the chance to go out in the field with these experts to learn relevant information on topics such as animal tracking, tree and plant identification, bird identification, Nebraska fungi, and much more. New TNs also learn from the veterans by shadowing them during public programs.
What are the perks of becoming a TN?
TNs have the freedom, flexibility, and resources to create programs for the public based on whatever relevant topics interest them. They have the privilege to learn and share their knowledge with like-minded peers who share a passion for the natural world, as well as well as interact with many regional experts. Most importantly, the TNs have the ability to instill a sense of wonder, curiosity, and respect for the natural world in our visitors.
How can I become a TN?
To become a Teacher Naturalist you need to be at least 18 years old, have a passion for nature, be able to attend monthly weekend meetings, and carry out several weekend programs per year. If you are ready to become a TN or would like more information, please reach out to TN Coordinator Elizabeth Chalen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to all of our TNs who make Fontenelle Forest Nature Center such an amazing place to visit!
|TNs Ingrid Johnson and Jody Galata with Discovery Kits|