Love nature? Become a Master Naturalist with MDC

News from the region
Published Date

ROLLA, Mo. — Missouri Master Naturalists mix science with service. They engage Missourians in the stewardship of our state's natural resources through science-based education and community service.

The Meramec Hills Chapter of Missouri Master Naturalists, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the University of Missouri (MU) Extension, will be holding a Master Naturalist training course in Rolla. The training in Rolla will consist of the following:

  • Classes will be held on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. beginning March 3 and continue until May 19 at the Department of Natural Resources, 111 Fairgrounds Road in Rolla. The training also includes four Saturday field sessions.
  • Individuals interested in the training course need to attend an orientation from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4, at the Department of Natural Resources.
  • Participants must register by Feb. 11. The enrollment fee is $100 to cover materials.

"The intent of the Master Naturalists program is to better connect people to the environment and nature," said MDC Volunteer & Interpretive Program Coordinator Syd Hime. "There are a lot of people with an interest in nature who are looking for opportunities to develop their skills as a naturalist and use those skills in volunteer service. We provide that through a community-based natural resource volunteer and education program."

Master Naturalists are given special training regarding nature in the region where chapters are based. Members help MDC and conservation partners through public events, educational demonstrations, and stewardship projects. To become a certified Master Naturalist, participants must complete an initial training course and eight hours of advanced training. They must also contribute 40 hours of natural resource-related volunteer service through a local chapter.

The Master Naturalist program is a partnership between the MDC and MU Extension, and the volunteers who serve in the program.

For more information about the Meramec Hills Master Naturalist training course contact MDC at 573-368-2225. Applications can be picked up at the University of Missouri Extension office in Rolla located at the Phelps County Courthouse, 200 N. Main St.

Information about the Master Naturalist program is available at