Welcome to the Natural Areas Training Academy!
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. To meet the demand for trained personnel, the Natural Areas Training Academy program was developed through a partnership of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the world's leading private, non-profit conservation organization, and The University of Florida IFAS Extension.
The Natural Areas Training Academy brings together regional land management experts from numerous agencies and organizations as well as extension specialists and agents to provide training and share experiences with newer land managers. The Academy is managed by The University of Florida's Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.
The objective of the Academy is to train natural resource managers in subject areas pertaining to long-term sustainability of natural resources. In 2000, a group of experienced land management professionals representing numerous agencies and organizations convened to develop a training curriculum. These representatives summarized the expertise and skills they believed job candidates would need to be competitive for jobs in their respective agencies and organizations. A series of workshops was then developed to provide training that targets these areas. The Certificate in Natural Areas Management is awarded upon completion of a series of five workshops covering the most important topics identified by land management experts, and is conferred by the Natural Areas Training Academy. There is no time limit to complete the workshop series, and the series may be completed in any order. The five workshops required to complete the certificate program are:
- Conservation Site Assessment and Planning
- Managing for Diversity Across Florida's Unique Landscapes
- Collaborating to Manage Ecosystems (formerly "Working Across Boundaries to Protect Ecosystems")
- Managing Visitors and Volunteers in Natural Areas
- Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Course
Each NATA 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.