Urban Naturalist Classes

In this teeming metropolis we call home, nature is all around us whether we pause to carefully observe it or not. Amaranth springs through the cracks in our sidewalks; migrating warblers rest in our parks; horseshoe crabs scuttle onto our beaches to breed. As a NYBG Urban Naturalist, you will have a unique opportunity to explore these diverse habitats while discovering the keys that unlock their many secrets. Enroll in a course for fun or pursue a Certificate.

Click here for an overview of the Certificate Program.


Coyotes, bears, and deer are becoming an integral part of urban life due to the extirpation of their predators and conversion of natural habitats. We will look closely at these species and discover how they have adapted to co-exist with more...
233NAT326O 02/08 We 6:00pm-8:00pm Herrera

Among Earth's most amazing and oldest living organisms, lichens grow on bark, rock, and barren soil. They thrive in rain forests, deserts, the arctic-even environments simulating Mars! Lichens are sensitive environmental indicators, yet scientists are only just beginning to understand more...
233BOT313B 02/16 Th 10:00am-1:00pm Lendemer, Ph.D.

Get a solid grounding in the basic plant body-from the cell to the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit. We'll use dissecting and compound light microscopes to observe plant anatomy, then introduce the base-level chemistry required to understand the world more...
233BOT315CO 02/21 Tu 6:00pm-9:00pm Kutos

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 plants and animals more...
233NAT338BO 02/23 Th 10:00am-12:00pm Johnson

Discover the fascinating traits that most frogs, toads, and salamanders share-such as having thin, smooth skins through which they can breathe-as well as what makes them unique. You'll pick up tips to identify local species by sight and/or sound and more...
233NAT347O 02/28 Tu 6:00pm-8:00pm Johnson


Discover how trees communicate via chemical signals in the air (to warn of insect attacks) and transfer nutrients to one another through complex underground fungal networks (sometimes to assist sick trees).
233BOT385DO 03/02 Th 6:00pm-8:00pm Kutos

This is the class for plant-lovers eager to up their game! Learn the terminology and basic botanical nomenclature that will help you recognize and describe key differences in common plants.
233BOT308EO 03/04 Sa 10:00am-12:00pm Holmes

Discover the many herbs and spices prized for centuries to heal, to revitalize the immune system, and to treat and prevent asthma, insomnia, flu, and more.
233BOT346BO 03/04 Sa 10:00am-12:00pm Candee

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...
233GAR360O 03/13 Mo 10:30am-12:30pm Bakshi


Learn to identify the native and naturalized trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Northeast by their vegetative characteristics using their scientific and common names. You'll also hone your ability to use taxonomic keys and field guides.
234BOT375BL 04/11 Tu 6:00pm-8:00pm Kaechele