A lush green forest with sunlight shining through Photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.

- John Muir

A nature interpreter is an expert in natural history and environmental conservation.

They're passionate about storytelling and experiential learning and aim to connect the community to the natural world. These connections with nature work to ensure a sustainable future.

A Love Of The Great Outdoors

Essential to being a nature interpreter is a love for the outdoors. If you find yourself agreeing with the following, you're on the right track!

  • While on a walk, you notice interesting flora and fauna and want to know more about them.

  • You like hiking, camping, and exploring the parks in your area.

  • You're interested in conservation.

  • You embrace the changing seasons.

  • You love sharing what you've found with others.

A girl on a forest trail looking at a plant identification book Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

A Passion For Storytelling

Nature interpreters use storytelling to breathe life and meaning into environmental facts and information. If you enjoy the following, then this may be the career for you!

  • Sharing facts about nature in way that's simple and easy to understand

  • Adding emotional components such as humor, pain, or joy to convey an idea

  • Using examples of your own experiences that other people can relate to

  • Being honest with yourself and your audience

Sponge bob with a rainbow between his hands, text reads 'Let me tell you a story'

In The Field Or At The Centre

Nature interpreters can work at conservation areas, parks, interpretive centers, zoos, museums, aquariums, or botanical gardens.

While duties can vary with the seasons, and your place of work, you generally find yourself splitting your time between field and office work.

Here are some of the tasks that you can expect :

a field with a mountain in the background

In the Field

  • Leading nature walks and demonstrations

  • Giving presentations for park visitors

  • Visiting schools and community groups

  • Taking photos and videos for displays or presentations

  • Interpreting the natural features of an area for visitors

a small centre nestled between two mountains

At the Center

  • Developing and constructing informational displays

  • Researching and writing educational handouts, brochures, and presentations

  • Organizing information and preparing reports and correspondence

  • Delivering professional development workshops for peers and educators

Salary

The Canadian flag Canada average pay:

$40,803/yr

The U.S. flag U.S. average pay:

$48,885/yr

Education

a tent adorned with tree branches in the middle on a field Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Nature interpreters have a range of educational backgrounds. The majority have post-secondary education in:

  • Outdoor Recreation

  • Environmental Science

  • Biology

  • Education

  • Communications and Marketing

  • Ecology

Take Action

If you're interested in becoming a nature interpreter:

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This Byte has been authored by

JW

Jessica Walker

Digital Designer, Engagement