RI Parks Naturalist Program

Learn about the wild side of Rhode Island, from jellyfish to earthworms, snakes, and coyotes, to exploring geology, migration, botany, and so much more. RI State Parks' Naturalist Program offers diverse environmental education programs for children, families, adults, and school groups.

Park Naturalists conduct public education programs regarding animal life and behavior, natural resources and conservation at the following locations:

Beavertail Aquarium

Location: Beavertail State Park in Jamestown

Hours: Open daily from 10:30 AM-4:30 PM, unless noted, from June to early November.

Housed in what was the foghorn house for the Beavertail Lighthouse, the tanks in the aquarium are displayed to simulate the environment of the Rhode Island shoreline. It’s a fun, free way to learn about the wide range of local marine life found in Narragansett Bay. From crabs 🦀 to fish 🐟, shellfish 🦪 — and even the occasional tropical visitors our local waters 🐠 — there's always something new to discover at the aquarium!

To schedule a group education class, email RI State Park Naturalist Emily Gamage at  emily.gamage.int@dem.ri.gov


The RI Park Naturalist program runs the Beavertail Aquarium, which is housed in what was the foghorn house for the Beavertail Lighthouse. The tanks in the aquarium are set up to imitate the environment of the Jamestown shoreline. Staff collect samples of marine life for the aquarium and return them to their natural habitat after a couple of weeks. From crabs to fish and shellfish – and even tropical clown fish who find their way on currents to Rhode Island waters - there's always something new to discover at the aquarium. They also facilitate tidal pool explorations along the shore at low tide, and host special events such as Bioluminescence Night.

Marine Biology Tidal Excursion

An introduction to tidal life and ecology. Walk to a nearby tidal pool during low tide to discover the plant and animal life found there. Beavertail State Park is a superb site for marine education. Tide pools are accessible for ecology or marine biology field studies. Beavertail fault and associated geologic features teach a story of ancient Rhode Island History.

Aquarium Activities

Aquarium scavenger hunt or special programs relating to crabs, fish, whales, or intertidal zones.


The location and bathymetry of Beavertail Point provide many educational opportunities for science educators and allow classes to pursue ocean studies with geological, physical, chemical, or biological perspectives.

What rocks tell us - Explore the geological history of Beavertail. Walk the fault line and learn how to read the story written there—the Beavertail Aquarium scheduled group activities.

Facilities and Programs are available to groups 7 days a week. No fees are assessed for the use of facilities at Beavertail State Park.

Goddard Memorial State Park

Location: Beach Pavillion at Goddard Memorial State Park

Burlingame State Campground

Location: Within Burlingame State Campground in Charlestown

Lincoln Woods State Park

Location: Olney Pond beach area at Lincoln Woods State Park

Situated on Olney Pond's beach pavilion, the Lincoln Woods Nature Center offers a fun and engaging opportunity for park guests to immerse themselves in local ecology, free of cost. The center houses a myriad of live and taxidermized animals that represent the various species found in Lincoln Woods and across Rhode Island. Our collections give a new and exciting look into the park, highlighting both the life above and below the surface of the water, as well as the importance of environmental responsibility. The nature center also offers guided nature walks and pond excursions. Take a walk and discover towering trees, soaring birds, and a pond teeming with life.

For special inquiries and information about programs, please email our Naturalist Coordinator.


Roger Wheeler State Beach

Location: Beach pavilion at Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett

George Washington State Campground

Location: Historic Civilian Conservation Corps Cabin at George Washington State Campground

Upcoming Events

Horseshoe Crab Tagging

Location: Goddard Memorial State Park, 1095 Ives Rd, Warwick, RI 02818