Introduction to the Natural World Course - Seattle - 2021

Exploring Nature Course

Introduction to the Natural World Course

An introductory course for those interested in learning more about the natural world they are exploring.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

This course is designed for all Mountaineers and new-to-Mountaineers who want to learn more about the mountains they enjoy. Using various smart phone apps, charts, and guidebooks, you will learn the basics of how to identify flowers, shrubs, trees, birds, and other forms of life. Instructors are volunteers, eager to share their knowledge and enthusiasm of nature. 

(Students enrolled before the course opening date carried over their registration from the 2020 course that was cancelled due to the pandemic.)

The course includes four lectures.  For 2021, due to the pandemic, these will be held online. 

We generally offer four field trips (2 local and 2 in the mountains). The local field trips are half day or an evening.  The mountain trips will be a full day, including travel, and take place in the Teanaway region and in Mount Rainier National Park, both of which have little to no cell service and a 2-3 hours of driving from Seattle.  ***We are currently planning to offer in-person field trips in small groups with social distancing. Because of the slow pace at which we travel and the increased difficulty of maintaining distance during instruction on trail, masks will be required for the duration of field trips with the exception of short breaks for eating or drinking. If this does not work for you, please wait another year to take the course.***  

Field trips will be posted after each lecture.  Due to differing dates of flowers in bloom each year, we have to wait until a few weeks before each field trip to post them. We offer a variety of trips on weekend and weekdays to try and accommodate varying schedules.

 To graduate, students will need to attend all of the lectures, as well as the field trips.  (If attending field trips is a hardship for you, please reach out to the course leaders.) We will have an after-course exercise for students to turn in. We will celebrate your success and, hopefully, be able to meet in person and get to know other naturalists at a potluck in September. The goal is to have fun, meet some like-minded folks, and to learn. Our committee also offers regular Naturalist hikes which many of our students and graduates enjoy.

This course is for adults only, please.

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Lecture 1 - Seattle Naturalists Intro Natural World Course
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Apr 7, 2022
Registration closed Apr 5
2 participants
15 instructors
Field Trip 1 - Seattle Naturalists Intro Natural World Course
Carkeek Park
Tue, Apr 19, 2022
Registration closed Apr 17
6 participants
0 instructors
Wolf Creek Nature Trail
Wed, Apr 20, 2022
Registration closed Apr 18
3 participants
0 instructors
Carkeek Park
Fri, Apr 22, 2022
Registration closed Apr 20
3 participants on waitlist
0 instructors
Bridle Trails State Park
Sun, Apr 24, 2022
Registration closed Apr 22
0 participants
0 instructors
Field Trip 2 - Seattle Naturalists Intro Natural World Course
Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary
Sun, May 8, 2022
Registration closed May 6
6 participants
0 instructors
Stillwater Natural Area
Fri, May 13, 2022
Registration closed May 12
8 participants
Lecture 3 - Seattle Naturalists Intro Natural World Course
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Jun 2, 2022
Registration closed May 31
3 participants
14 instructors
Field Trip 3 - Seattle Naturalists Intro Natural World Course
Swauk Forest Discovery Trail
Thu, Jun 16, 2022
Registration closed Jun 14
2 participants
0 instructors
Swauk Forest Discovery Trail
Fri, Jun 17, 2022
Registration closed Jun 15
5 participants
0 instructors

Additional badges needed to graduate


Required Equipment

A smart phone or tablet to use free apps. 

Course Materials
INW 2020 Course Materials