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Online Naturalist Courses

Join our fantastic team of naturalists and dive into interactive online learning experiences! Take courses individually or do all 3 together!

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Nature Journaling for Naturalists

Nature Journaling for Naturalists

Use a nature journal to become a better naturalist

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Description

Are you passionate about nature and keen to improve your skills of observation? In this course, you will learn what a nature journal is, how the art of questioning can guide your journaling practice, and how you can use a nature journal to build your skills and knowledge as a naturalist. Most importantly, you will be given the tools you need to continue your nature journaling practice beyond the course.

Price: $29
(take 15% off if enrolled in 3-part Online Naturalist Experience)

Curriculum

Module 1: Nature Journaling Basics

  • What is a nature journal?
  • Nature journaling workbook I

Module 2: Discover Your Nature Journaling Style

  • An introduction to nature journaling styles
  • Basic drawing techniques
  • Nature journaling workbook II

Module 3: Making the Most of Your Nature Journal

  • Projects to guide your nature journaling practice
  • Nature journaling workbook III

Note: When you first register, you will have access to the first lecture. Your course instructor will be uploading the remaining content gradually over the next few weeks. All content will be available by June 1st.

Virtual Campfire

Wednesday, June 10th @ 8pm EDT

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An optional video call with your instructor and other students in the course where you will dive deeper with additional content and have your questions answered by your instructor in real time.

  • If you cannot attend, not to worry! All additional content covered in the virtual campfire will be subsequently added to your course curriculum.

Materials

This course is mainly focussed on how to best use a nature journal to improve your naturalist knowledge, and therefore does not emphasize artistic instruction. As such, required materials are minimal! All you will need are:

  • Writing utensils (pencils and/or pens)
  • Eraser
  • Paper or a notebook

Optional materials:

  • Pencil crayons, markers, etc. if you wish to add colour to your journal

Meet Your Instructor

Emily Beaton

HPNC Adult Programs Coordinator

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After earning a BSc in Biology, Emily moved to Toronto in 2016 to complete a Masters in the History of Science. One of her favourite things to discover in her new home was the beauty of High Park! She started working at the Nature Centre in 2018.

Emily first learned to love nature journaling in my Biology courses in university, where she made messy sketches of specimens and scribbled down information all over the pages of her lab notebooks! Her naturalist knowledge and connection to nature have continued to grow since she began nature journaling in earnest in 2018. Putting a pencil to paper can be scary sometimes, but she's here to tell you that you don’t have to be an artist to nature journal! All you need is a drive to continue learning new things and a desire to grow your relationship with the natural world!

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Here are some of the perks...

  • Take your time and learn at your own pace
  • Use your nature journal to deepen knowledge of your local ecology
  • Slow down and be more mindful in your daily life
  • Discover your personal nature journaling style
  • Participate in a video call with your instructor and other participants to dive deeper
Fantastic Fungal Friends

Fantastic Fungal Friends

An introduction to the world of fungi - their fascinating biodiversity and the basics of identification!

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Description

Are you interested in learning about the fantastic world of fungi but not sure where to start? In this course you will learn the fungi basics: what they are, what they do for our ecosystems, how they are classified, and how to identify them! Most importantly, you will come away with a new appreciation for fungi and the tools to keep exploring!

Price: $29
(take 15% off if enrolled in 3-part Online Naturalist Experience)

Curriculum

Module 1: An Introduction to Fungi

  • Fungi and their roles in forest ecosystems

Module 2: Identifying Fungi

  • An introduction to types of fungi
  • The basics of identifying fungi
  • Fungi ID video tutorial 1
  • Fungi ID video tutorial 2

Module 3: Try It Yourself!

  • Resources
  • Workbook

Note: When you first register, you will have access to the first lecture. Your course instructor will be uploading the remaining content gradually over the next few weeks. All content will be available by June 1st.

Virtual Campfire

Wednesday, June 17th @ 8pm EDT

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An optional video call with your instructor and other students in the course where you will dive deeper with additional content and have your questions answered by your instructor in real time.

  • If you cannot attend, not to worry! All additional content covered in the virtual campfire will be subsequently added to your course curriculum.

Meet Your Instructor

Kami Valkova

HPNC Clubs Coordinator

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Back in high school Kami was introduced to the kingdom of fungi and found them absolutely fascinating! Her academic path led her to obtain her Bachelor of Arts & Sciences (Ecology and Psychology), and Master of Education (outdoor integrated education). Since completing her MEd in April 2017 she's been working (and learning!) at the High Park Nature Centre.

Kami finds that the most intimidating part of learning about a new aspect of nature is knowing where to begin and what questions to ask. Join her for an online adventure in Fantastic Fungal Friends and she'll introduce you to this weird and wonderful world to get you started!

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Here are some of the perks…

  • Take your time and learn at your own pace
  • Tips on where to look for mushrooms and fungi
  • Greater confidence in identification skills
  • Options to practice ID indoors and outdoors
  • Participate in a video call with your instructor and other participants to dive deeper
Birds of the City

Birds of the City

Get to know the birds in your neighbourhood and become a better birder

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Description

Why do some species thrive in the city? What threats do they face, and how do they adapt? In this course you will learn about city birds, what makes them so interesting, and practice some basic birding skills by getting to know the species you are most likely to find in the cities and backyards of southern Ontario. You don't have to leave the city to start birding!

Price: $29
(take 15% off if enrolled in 3-part Online Naturalist Experience)

Curriculum

Module 1: Birds and the City

  • Challenges in the city and how birds are affected
  • How to improve our impact on birds

Module 2: Birding 101

  • How to identify birds
  • Birding resources

Module 3: Common Birds of the City

  • Identification sheets
  • Identification quiz
  • Birds songs

Note: When you first register, you will have access to the first lecture. Your course instructor will be uploading the remaining content gradually over the next few weeks. All content will be available by June 1st.

Virtual Campfire

Wednesday, June 24th @ 8pm EDT

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An optional video call with your instructor and other students in the course where you will dive deeper with additional content and have your questions answered by your instructor in real time.

  • If you cannot attend, not to worry! All additional content covered in the virtual campfire will be subsequently added to your course curriculum.

Meet Your Instructor

Mallory Parks

Camps Supervisor

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Mallory grew up in a small town, but moved to Toronto for university and has loved the city ever since. She has a Masters in Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto, and has been working at the High Park Nature Centre since 2011.

When Mallory started at the Nature Centre trees were her main thing, but over the years she's have developed a keen interest in birds. Though she is no bird expert, she's here to prove that birding doesn't need to be intimidating! All you need is a keen interest and willingness to look around and listen.

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Here are some of the perks...

  • Take your time and learn at your own pace
  • Learn ID features and interesting facts about common city birds of the northeast
  • Find out how to improve our impact on birds
  • Get access to resources for beginner birders
  • Participate in a video call with your instructor and other participants to dive deeper
Online Naturalist Experience

Online Naturalist Experience

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Description

The Online Naturalist Experience gives you access to three new online naturalist courses:

  • Birds of the City
  • Fantastic Fungal Friends
  • Nature Journaling for Naturalists

Receive a 15% discount on individual course pricing when you register for this package.

Note: When you first register, you will have access to the first lecture for each course. Your course instructors will be uploading the remaining content gradually over the next few weeks. All content will be available by June 1st.

Online Naturalist Experience Price: $74

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Virtual Campfires

Nature Journaling for Naturalists

Wednesday, June 10th @ 8pm EDT

Fantastic Fungal Friends

Wednesday, June 17th @ 8pm EDT

Birds of the City

Wednesday, June 24th @ 8pm EDT

  • Each course includes a virtual campfire (group video call) at the dates and times listed above. Please consult individual course listings for more details.

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Nature Journaling for Naturalists

Use your nature journal as a tool to level up your naturalist knowledge!

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Fantastic Fungal Friends

Delve into fungal biodiversity to find out more about the wild and wacky groups they form!

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Birds of the City

Learn the basics of birding and practice your skills with ID sheets and quizzes!





Adult Workshops Update

Our adult workshops are aimed at an adult audience looking to learn more about nature. While we normally love connecting with participants in person at our cozy home in High Park, things are a bit different these days. If you had your eye on one of the amazing workshops that had been scheduled for this Spring - do not fear! We're working hard with our valued adult workshop leaders to reschedule these workshops for a later date.

However, during this time when our in person offerings have been postponed, we have been busy developing new strategies to connect adult learners with nature safely - and we're so excited to share our latest project - Online Naturalist Courses - with you!

Past Workshops

Winter 2020 Workshops

New Year Nature: An Outdoor Winter Retreat - January 4
High Park Lichens: Discover the "Corals" of the Forest - February 22

Fall 2019 Workshops

Fall Birding for Beginners - September 18 & 21
Savannah Sketchbook - September 28
Fantastic Fungal Friends: Mushrooms and Other Fungi of High Park - October 6

Summer 2019 Workshops

Summer Wildflower ID - July 22
Summer Tree ID - August 12
From Houndstongue to Shepherd's Purse: Wildflower Names and Their Meanings - August 19

Spring 2019 Workshops

Spring Birding for Beginners - May 8 & 11
Spring Wildflower ID - May 26

Winter 2019 Workshops

Teachers in Nature - January 26
Winter Bird Photography - February 2
Winter Tree ID for Beginners - February 3
Nature Journaling: Origins of Citizen Science - March 2

Fall 2018 Workshops

Birds of Prey - September 27 & 29
Making Friends with Places: A Passage de Toronto - October 9 & 11
Fall Wildflowers - October 13
Autumn Tree Drawing - October 21
An Introduction to Mushrooms and Other Fungi - October 27

Summer 2018 Workshops

Poisons, Spines & Blisters: Plants with a Dark Side - July 12
Dragonflies and Damselflies 101: Biology and Identification - July 28
Friend or Foe: The Intriguing World of Weeds - August 9
Butterflies 101: Biology and Identification - August 18

Spring 2018 Workshops

Outdoor Play in the Early Years - April 21
Spring Birding for Beginners - May 3 & 5 (Two-Part Beginner Workshop)
Spring Songbirds - May 24 & 26 (Two-Part Intermediate Workshop)
Intro to Landscape Drawing in the High Park Savannah - June 17

Winter 2018 Workshops

High Park Lichens - Feb. 10
Winter Landscape Photography – Mar. 3
Birds of Prey – Mar. 4
Winter Tree ID for Beginners - Mar. 24


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