MDC hosts Missouri Master Naturalist training in St. Joseph

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St. Joseph, Mo. – Missouri Master Naturalists mix science with service. They aid conservation programs and help people discover nature. The Loess Hills Chapter in St. Joseph will hold training sessions Feb. 24 to May 19, which include both classwork and field trips. The initial training provides the knowledge and skills foundation for completing conservation volunteer service projects.

The Master Naturalist program is a partnership between the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), University of Missouri Extension and the volunteers who serve in the program.

Master Naturalists are given special training regarding nature in the region where chapters are based. Members help out at MDC public events, conduct education demonstrations, take field trips and hold social events tied to a shared love of nature. To become a certified Master Naturalist, participants must complete an initial training course and complete eight hours of advanced training. They must also contribute 40 hours of natural resource-related volunteer service through a local chapter.

The training for the Loess Hills Chapter will be held on Tuesday nights 6 to 9 p.m. starting on Feb. 24 at the MDC Northwest Regional Office, 701 James McCarthy Drive on the campus of Missouri Western State University. There will also be five Saturday field trip sessions.

Participants must register by Feb. 3. The training course fee is $100. Fees provide participants with books and supplies that they will keep.

An orientation meeting for those registered or those interested in the course will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 13 at the MDC Northwest Regional Office. A second orientation will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 10, also at the MDC Regional Office in St. Joseph.

Registration deadline for the Missouri Master Naturalist training is Feb. 3. To register for the training or for more information contact T.J. Peacher, 816-271-3111 Ext. 235.

Information about Master Naturalist programs is available at

For information about all MDC conservation programs, visit