Urban Naturalist Classes

The NYBG Urban Naturalist Certificate Program equips you with the observation, identification, and documentation skills you need to become a citizen scientist and an effective environmental steward. Led by Nancy Slowik and a team of expert naturalists, you’ll use NYBG grounds and select New York City Parks as living labs to investigate the interrelationships between species and discover how our urban environment sustains those ecosystems. NYBG Urban Naturalists will learn to keenly observe the natural world using a variety of scientific tools. You’ll also create scientifically useful records—written, hand-drawn, and photographs—of your observations. Current NYBG Urban Naturalists are using the knowledge and skills they gained to develop their own projects, help manage invasive species in local parks, and document NYC plant species as volunteers in NYBG’s EcoFlora project.

Click here  for an overview of the Certificate and required courses and electives.


Explore the basic principles that influence the ecological relationships of the forest ecosystem. Using the Garden grounds as a site for observation and field study, learn to understand the forces that shape our natural environment—the Northeast Woodland. Labs and lectures more...
201BOT326 08/28 We 5:30pm-8:30pm Barnes


Survey the major families of the angiosperms (flowering plants) and learn the characters and principles used to classify them. This course covers newly recognized higher order groupings of species, evolutionary trends in reproductive and vegetative structures, and recently reconstructed evolutionary more...
201BOT432S 09/03 Tu 12:30pm-3:30pm Paradiso

"Nature is and always will be my best friend." - Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing, the lyrical and gripping debut novel by Delia Owens, has taken the publishing world - and the reading public - by storm, spending a year more...
201NAT902 09/16 Mo 6:30pm-7:30pm Owens

Are you a plant-lover eager to up your game and start distinguishing one species from another? Then this is the class for you! Using commonly known plants, you'll learn the terminology used to describe their growing habits and structures. This more...
201BOT308A 09/17 Tu 5:00pm-8:00pm Bronson

Get a solid grounding in the basic plant body, from the cell to the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. After an overview of microscope use and fundamental science in the first session, you'll use both dissecting and compound light more...
201BOT315P 09/19 Th 10:00am-1:00pm Kutos

For centuries herbs and spices have been prized not just for their flavors, but as state-of-the-art medicine. Learn about a variety of plants historically used for first aid, to revitalize the immune system, and to treat and prevent asthma, insomnia, more...
201BOT346A 09/21 Sa 10:00am-2:30pm Anthony

This group of plants challenges even trained botanists, but with expert guidance, you can learn how to identify wild native grasses and some of the more popular landscaping ones. Sedges (Cyperaceae) and rushes (Juncaceae), often confused with grasses (Poaceae), are more...
201BOT319 09/22 Su 10:00am-2:30pm Alvarez

Botanical Latin is essential for anyone with a serious interest in identifying plants. But, contrary to popular belief, mastering Latin plant names need not be intimidating or boring. Review the rules of taxonomy, Latin grammar, and pronunciation, and learn the more...
201GAR360A 09/25 We 10:30am-12:30pm Bakshi

Autumn is one of the most spectacular times to learn more about the native flora of the Northeast. Goldenrods and asters take center stage at this time of year, but can be difficult to identify. Equipped with a 10X power more...
201BOT331A 09/28 Sa 10:00am-1:00pm Holmes
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