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.


January

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...
203BOT315A 01/08 We 6:00pm-9:00pm Barnes
MDTN

Learn to recognize the characteristics of native and common woody and herbaceous plants in the winter. While in their dormant, leafless state, trees and shrubs can be identified by bud types, leaf scars, fruit remnants, and other distinguishing marks. Specimens more...
203BOT332 01/10 Fr 10:00am-1:00pm Slowik
NYBG

Rock pimples, fog fingers, old man's beard— their common names are amusing, but lichens are among Earth's most amazing and oldest living things, and display incredibly beautiful colors and shapes. They grow on bark, rock, and barren soil, and thrive more...
203BOT313A 01/13 Mo 6:00pm-9:00pm Lendemer, Ph.D.
MDTN

From the field to the folder, this course covers the essentials of making museum- quality preserved plant specimens suitable for research, education, and decoration. Learn techniques and skills for collecting and preserving plants of your interest, wild or cultivated. Build more...
203BOT338 01/14 Tu 4:30pm-7:30pm Atha
Alli
NYBG

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...
203GAR360A 01/16 Th 10:30am-12:30pm Bakshi
NYBG

Trees may appear to be strong and silent, but they can "talk"—to one another, to other plants, and to animals and insects. Discover how trees communicate via chemical signals in the air (to warn each other of insect attacks), as more...
203BOT385B 01/22 We 10:00am-1:00pm Barnes
NYBG

Even after many plants have begun their long winter's sleep, fungi are still very active. For some species like Velvet Foot and Turkey Tail, winter is high time! Enoki and Oyster Mushrooms can be found in our forests and parks. more...
203BOT394A 01/23 Th 10:00am-1:00pm Sadowski
MDTN

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...
203BOT346B 01/25 Sa 10:00am-2:30pm Anthony
MDTN

February

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...
203BOT315S 02/03 Mo 5:00pm-8:00pm Boyer, Ph.D.
NYBG

Even after many plants have begun their long winter's sleep, fungi are still very active. For some species like Velvet Foot and Turkey Tail, winter is high time! Enoki and Oyster Mushrooms can be found in our forests and parks. more...
203BOT394B 02/11 Tu 10:00am-1:00pm Sadowski
NYBG

Rock pimples, fog fingers, old man's beard— their common names are amusing, but lichens are among Earth's most amazing and oldest living things, and display incredibly beautiful colors and shapes. They grow on bark, rock, and barren soil, and thrive more...
203BOT313B 02/20 Th 6:00pm-9:00pm Lendemer, Ph.D.
MDTN

Discover how urbanization is changing biodiversity, interspecies relationships, and even animal behavior, in the tri-state area and beyond. Liz Johnson, former manager of AMNH's Metropolitan Biodiversity Program, will introduce you to the particular habitats found here, as well as which more...
203NAT338 02/27 Th 11:00am-1:00pm Johnson
NYBG

March

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...
203BOT346C 03/01 Su 10:00am-2:30pm Candee
NYBG

Angiosperms (flowering plants) are the dominant plants in most of the world's habitats today. Through laboratory demonstrations and dissections, examine the morphology of flowers, fruits, and vegetative plant parts. You'll also learn about the development of these structures. Prerequisite: Plant more...
203BOT431S 03/09 Mo 12:00pm-3:10pm Alvarez
NYBG

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...
203GAR360C 03/09 Mo 6:15pm-8:15pm Bakshi
MDTN

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...
203BOT308B 03/11 We 5:00pm-8:00pm Barnes
MDTN

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...
203BOT315B 03/19 Th 5:00pm-8:00pm Fusco
NYBG

May

Urban flora can be found growing in unlikely places, from city sidewalks and highway medians to lawns, and other man-made structures. Most of these plants are introduced and many are considered weeds. We will hear more about their origins, life more...
204NAT332 05/20 We 10:00am-1:00pm Slowik
NYBG

June

Learn to measure and monitor the ecological diversity observed and celebrated in and around New York City environs. Practice using field techniques for recording observations in nature while walking along trails in the Garden. Explore the biodiversity within your chosen more...
204NAT323 06/03 We 10:00am-1:00pm Slowik
NYBG