Charles Ames Fischer

Teacher • Author • Consultant • Mentor


Naturalist Intelligence

Posted by Charles Fischer on September 15, 2010 at 8:40 AM

Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence theory, or MI, indicates that there are at least eight identifiable intelligences at play in the human. Considering how gifted some people are in various endeavors, such as music, art, sports, math, writing, and so on, this theory should not surprise anyone. Gardner first published seven intelligences: verbal/linguistic, musical, visual/spatial, logical/analytical, kinesthetic, inter-personal and intra-personal.

Later he added an eighth, the naturalist intelligence (there are still other candidates, including existential and moral intelligences). Naturalist intelligence, though, is not described very well. Think of Jane Gooddall, E.O. Wilson or John Muir and you can get an idea of what is involved in the naturalist intelligence domain. Here are some starter traits to look for:


  • They often collect rocks, insects, fossils, etc.
  • They are often extremely observant
  • They often prefer to spend time alone outdoors
  • They usually love animals of all kinds
  • They like categorizing and naming things
  • Science is a typical favorite subject

Naturalists are the least served in education today and often even suffer in school settings. There are many reasons for this that I will get into in a separate blog about naturalists at school. 

Check my calendar for my naturalist events and contact me for consulting or teaching ideas and a list of nature-based schools and camps in your area.

Categories: Multiple Intelligences, Naturalist

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