Park naturalists develop programs to teach park visitors about natural areas.
Park naturalists research park environments and develop educational programs. These programs teach visitors about the historical, cultural, or environmental history of parks. Naturalists use several methods to deliver information to the public. They lead park programs such as nature walks, outdoor skills, or nature crafts. They visit school classrooms to teach children about plants and animals. They write articles, newsletters and press releases.
Naturalists may take pictures or videos of places in the park to create audio-visual displays. They create interactive visual displays for visitor centers. They also create handouts so visitors can take self-guided tours. All of these programs help people understand the park and its habitat.
Park naturalists study the animals and plants in parks. They keep track of the types of animals that live in parks and where they live. Naturalists also consult specialists to learn about birds or animals that may be in danger. Through these conversations, park naturalists may develop ideas that they want to use for their educational programs.
Park naturalists perform routine maintenance on park structures. At larger parks, naturalists may supervise staff during the busy summer season. At smaller parks, they may use volunteers to help lead programs. Some naturalists work at private agencies writing grants to raise money for parks.