Welcome to the

Natural Areas Training Academy


Our MISSION is to create a network of land managers with current knowledge and skills to conserve Florida’s resources.


Natural areas managers in the Southeastern United States face unique challenges, due to the region’s unique climate, hydrology, and the prevalence of fire-maintained ecosystems. Managing our lands to protect natural resources for future generations requires an extensive breadth of expertise that is typically not acquired through formal academic education.


Nearly two decades ago, a group of visionary natural resource professionals recognized the value of developing a standardized training program for natural areas managers in Florida. These enterprising individuals convened a group of experienced land management professionals representing numerous agencies and organizations to summarize the expertise and skills they believed job candidates would need to be competitive for jobs in their respective agencies and organizations, which was then packaged into a series of multi-day workshops. To meet the demand for trained personnel, the Natural Areas Training Academy was developed to deliver these workshops through a partnership of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The University of Florida IFAS Extension.


The objective of the Natural Areas Training Academy is to provide training that is relevant, adaptable, affordable, of high value, cost effective, that fills a unique niche, and that results in certification. We bring together regional natural areas management experts from numerous agencies and organizations to provide training and share experiences with less experienced natural areas managers. See our annual report for a summary of 2016.


Each Natural Areas Training Academy workshop is led by a team of experienced natural areas management professionals and is held at various sites throughout the state. The academy welcomes anyone with an interest in natural areas to attend individual workshops or complete the certificate program. The Academy's training can benefit anyone involved in land management activities.

PARTICIPANTS - include a diverse group of professionals from federal, state, and local government agencies, private firms, and nonprofit organizations, as well as individuals who simply have an interest in learning more about how to effectively manage natural areas. They are both new Floridians and experienced conservation managers. They share a common goal of wanting to learn new techniques to improve their ability to manage Florida's natural lands.

INSTRUCTORS - Instructors are Florida land managers with many years of experience, who have backgrounds in federal, state, local, private, and nonprofit agencies. One of the reasons our workshops are so effective is that newer managers have opportunities to work with more experienced managers to become even better at what they do.


The Natural Areas Training Academy typically holds each of it's certificate courses at least once per year, in addition to special interest courses (such as NWCG fire training). The Certificate in Natural Areas Management is awarded upon completion of a series of five core workshops.

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) can be earned through NATA workshops. Check with the professional organization that provides you with certification for more information.


Contact us for more information!