naturalist/nature guide (reserve warden)

naturalist/nature guide (reserve warden)

naturalist/nature guide (reserve warden):

Who are they and what do they do? The naturalist/nature guide accompanies parties on visits to places of special natural interest. May also be known as a reserve warden, especially if the job involves conservation work in relation to the nature reserve, as well as visitor-related activities.

What are the activities of the job? Showing visitors around, answering questions and explaining geological, zoological and botanical features. He/she may, however, also be involved in other activities to do with popularising the study of nature: mounting exhibitions, mapping out visitor trails, preparing information literature. Usually, alongside the job of accompanying visitors, there is the work of administration and maintenance within the nature reserve and also research. When requested, he/she may give presentations, hold seminars and conduct workshops in schools and other educational institutions. He/she may be a freelance professional, or, in some countries, employed by state or regional organisations. In any case, s/he works autonomously, in collaboration with public bodies, or private tourist agencies and associations, which manage parks and nature reserves, carry out research, provide information and organise activities such as camping, trekking etc, in places of interest to nature lovers.

Where is it done and under what conditions? The work is carried out in nature parks, ecological sanctuaries, protected areas, botanical gardens and wherever information on the natural environment may be required.

What tools/equipment do they use? Presentational aids and publicity materials, suitable outdoor clothing for all weathers, binoculars, camera, maps and other documents related to the reserve. Mobile phones are also useful.

What do you need to succeed? A medium to high level of education is required: at least to upper secondary school level, and preferably a degree in natural science, forestry, biology, geology, or agriculture. Naturally, an excellent general knowledge of botany, zoology and geology is essential, together with a more specialised knowledge of the particular field in which one works. Among the qualities needed, in addition to a love of nature, are the ability to explain and make presentations with clarity and simplicity, arouse interest and engage the audience, together with patience and excellent powers of observation. If acting as a reserve warden as well, practical skills - e.g. building fences, paths etc, may be very useful, or specialist skills such as bird netting and ringing.


naturalist/nature guide (reserve warden):
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