Cornell Online Course: Nature Education; Starts October 25


Date and Time:

Monday, October 25, 2021, 8:00am to Sunday, November 21, 2021, 11:59pm

Registration Deadline:

Thursday, October 28, 2021, 11:59pm


Nature experiences can be educational, joyful, and comforting, especially in today’s urbanizing and post-pandemic world. Nature education brings people closer to nature and thus contributes to human well-being, including physical and mental health. This course will introduce you to diverse nature education practices, including programs run by urban and wilderness nature centers, unstructured play time for children, adventure and outdoor education programs, educational experiences in national parks, forest schools, as well as citizen science and environmental stewardship programs that incorporate nature-based experiences. 

Topics include personal and community benefits of nature education, cultural ecosystem services, traditional and novel approaches to nature experiences, and challenges and critiques of nature education. Based on research and practice examples, this course is designed to help educators, volunteers, community leaders, parents and anyone else to gain professional credentials in nature education, and to incorporate nature in their educational programs and everyday life.

In this course, you will:

  1. Apply research explaining how nature education contributes to human well-being, makes communities healthier, and encourages people to be better nature stewards.
  2. Review and critique different types of nature education programs, explore their outcomes, and adapt their educational ideas for your own practices.
  3. Exchange practical ideas for nature education with other course participants and instructors.
  4. Create a plan for incorporating nature education activities in your organization, educational program, community, or family.

Participants who complete the course are awarded a Cornell University certificate (PDF). 

Cost is $60 (strongly encouraged). We accept participants who cannot pay the full amount or who are not able to pay. Our course fee enables us to pay our instructors and thus continue to offer online courses.

Questions: Email us at, Use “Nature Education” in the subject line.

Yue Li and Marianne Krasny

Civic Ecology Lab

Cornell University