JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will be helping people discover nature through Master Naturalist training sessions being held in January, February, and March in Joplin, Camdenton, St. Joseph, and Cole Camp.
The Missouri Master Naturalist™ program is a community-based natural resource education and volunteer service program for adults sponsored by MDC and the University of Missouri Extension. Its mission is to engage Missourians in the stewardship of our state's natural resources through science-based education and volunteer community service. Missouri Master Naturalist volunteers support conservation efforts and natural resource education in their local communities.
To become a certified Master Naturalist, participants must complete an initial training course, eight hours of advanced training, and contribute 40 hours of natural resource-related volunteer service through a local chapter. There is a varying fee for initial training courses, which last 12-14 weeks with class sessions one night per week and 3-4 Saturday field sessions.
“The intent of our Master Naturalist 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 naturalists. We provide that through this community-based natural resource education and volunteer program. And it’s a lot of fun!”
For more information on the Master Naturalist program and upcoming training sessions, visit extension.missouri.edu/masternaturalist/, or contact Hime at 573-522-4115 ext. 3370, or Syd.Hime@mdc.mo.gov.