Certificate in Natural Areas Management

Our workshops provide training in practical, field-oriented management techniques. Participants work in small groups to address real-life scenarios and realistic problems, becoming better prepared to manage Florida's natural resources. The workshops are held at various sites throughout Florida, and each is purposefully matched to provide optimal teaching facilities and proximity to natural lands.


The Certificate in Natural Areas Management is offered by NATA to individuals who complete a series of ‘core’ workshops covering the topics identified as most important by practitioners in the field. The series may be completed in any order, and there is no time limit to complete the series.


Click on each course title below for additional description, and go to our calendar to see when they are offered:

Conservation Site Assessment and Planning

This workshop builds a foundation of skills useful in conducting site assessments and developing resource management plans.

In the Site Assessment Modules, participants will:

  • Learn how to conduct a thorough yet efficient site assessment
  • Discover a variety of sources of information useful when conducting a site assessmentConservation Site Assessment and Planning

In the Management Planning Modules, participants will:

  • Learn a process for prioritizing conservation/management needs
  • Identify site-specific threats to natural resources
  • Develop management objectives and design management strategies that effectively address these objectives
  • Identify components of effective management plans based on program needs and goals
  • Learn about a variety of management plans used by county, state, and federal agencies
Managing For Diversity Across Florida's Unique Landscapes
This workshop builds understanding of management and restoration approaches for conserving biodiversity. Managing For Diversity

In this course, participants will:

  • Identify factors responsible for Florida's high biodiversity
  • Discover sources of information on biodiversity in Florida
  • Understand threats to biodiversity and strategies that can be used to abate these threats
  • Become aware of biodiversity protection laws and how environmental laws are enforced
  • Learn about the role of restoration in maintaining biodiversity over the long term
  • Compare ways to control invasive and non-native plant/animal species that threaten FL biodiversity
  • Develop a a monitoring plan that assesses trends in biodiversity over time
  • Managing Visitors and Volunteers in Natural Areas

    This workshop provides guidance on how to integrate visitors and volunteers into natural areas management.

    In the Managing Visitors modules, participants will:Managing Visitors and Volunteers in Natural Areas
    • Learn to effectively and appropriately plan recreation opportunities for visitor use, including trails and facilities
    • Apply knowledge of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines to develop new facilities as well as evaluate existing ones
    • Create effective and informative interpretation for visitors

    In the Managing Volunteers modules, participants will:

    • Develop an understanding of the benefits and challenges of managing a volunteer program
    • Learn about the types of trainings and legal issues required for a volunteer program
    • Learn how to recruit volunteers and the important elements of volunteer job descriptions
    • Understand the importance of providing recognition for your volunteers
    Collaborating to Manage Ecosystems

    (Formerly "Working Across Boundaries to Protect Ecosystems")

    This workshop builds an appreciation of how to manage natural areas as part of a larger ecosystem, in coordination with neighboring land owners.

    In this course participants will:

    • Develop an understanding of the concept of 'ecosystem management' and its relevance to resource management
    • Identify the types of issues most benefit from cooperation across ownership boundariesWorking Across Boundaries
    • Become familiar with approaches that can be used to address threats facing entire ecosystems
    • Discover strategies that bring multiple organizations and private individuals together to achieve common goals and seek common solutions
    • Learn about a variety of working groups used to cope with complex environmental issues in Florida
    • Develop skills in listening, communicating, moderating group dynamics, and facilitating to cope with conflict
    Florida Certified Prescribed Burn Manager Training

    Formerly the Interagency Prescribed Fire Training, this course is administered by the Florida Forest Service and is a required component of the Certificate in Natural Areas Management. Participants must provide evidence of successful course completion to receive course credit. This 40-hour course is designed to train personnel in the basics of prescribed fire management, and is designed for students with little or no prescribed fire knowledge or experience. More information regarding this workshop can be obtained through the Florida Forest Service. To register for this workshop, please click here.