2018 Annual Meeting

Thank you to the 640+ attendees of our 2018 Annual Meeting! You made our event a great success! If you attended, make sure to fill out the post-survey here.

Save the date for our 20th Annual Meeting, October 18th-20th, in Rockwall, Texas.

This page contains information about the following aspects of the 2018 Annual Meeting:

-About Georgetown
-20th Anniversary Gala
-Annual Meeting Contests
-Sponsorship Requests
-Silent Auction
-Texas Waters Day
-Texas Wildlife Association
-Call for Proposals

Pictures & Presentations

Below are links for PowerPoint presentations given at the 2018 Annual Meeting:

A link to photos taken during the 2018 Annual Meeting is found below:

20th Anniversary Gala

Annual Meeting Photos

TMN 20th Anniversary Awards

About Georgetown

Georgetown has been the site of human habitation since at least 9,000 BC, and possibly considerably before that.  The earliest known inhabitants of the county, during the late Pleistocene (Ice Age), can be linked to the Clovis culture, a Paleo-Indian culture characterized by the manufacture of distinctive “Clovis points”. Archeological dig sites showing a much greater evidence of Archaic period inhabitants have been found in burned rock middens at several sites along the San Gabriel that are now inundated by Granger Lake and at the confluence of the North and South San Gabriel Rivers in Georgetown.

Georgetown is home to five endangered species. Two are songbirds protected by the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve in Travis and Williamson Counties. Invertebrate species found only in Williamson County live in the cave-like fissures on the west side of Georgetown. Karst topography is the name for the honeycomb-type limestone formations (including caves, sinkholes, and fissures) that are typical in the county’s limestone geology west of I-35.

Georgetown is located on the northeastern edge of Texas Hill Country. Portions of Georgetown are located on either side of the Balcones Escarpment, a fault line in which the areas roughly east of IH-35 are flat and characterized by having black, fertile soils of the Blackland Prairie, and the west side of the escarpment which consists mostly of hilly, karst-like terrain with little topsoil and higher elevations and which is part of the Texas Hill Country. The North and Middle Forks of the San Gabriel River both run through the city, providing over 30 miles of hike and bike trails, several parks, and recreation for both residents and visitors.

20th Anniversary Gala

We are so grateful to all of the donors and attendees that came to celebrate our Texas Master Naturalist Program’s 20 year milestone! With their support, we were able to significantly increase our endowment and begin a sustainable future for our program.

The 20th Anniversary Gala included a celebration of the Texas Master Naturalist Program’s impacts over the last 20 years, honored those who have made lasting conservation impacts on the land, and provided a sustainable future for the Program through the Texas Master Naturalist Endowment.

Our Texas Master Naturalist 20th Anniversary Gala was hosted Thursday, October 25th at the Sheraton Georgetown, centrally located off I-35 and state highway 29. This celebration was one to remember, with a live band, a variety of live & silent auction items and a celebratory presentation by founding Texas Master Naturalists.

Proceeds from the Gala benefitted the Texas Master Naturalist Endowment Fund. The mission of the Texas Master Naturalist Endowment is to further enhance the Texas Master Naturalist Program, its chapters and volunteers, now and into the future, for the benefit of natural resource education, conservation and stewardship. More information about the Endowment can be found online, https://masternaturalistendowment.org/.


Our Texas Master Naturalist Program 19th Annual Meeting was a great success! Master Naturalist came from all over the state to gather, learn and celebrate our 20th Anniversary. This year’s event kicked off Friday October 26th and ran through the weekend to October 28th,  hosted at the Sheraton Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center.

This year’s agenda was PACKED with over 150+ sessions – more than we’ve ever had before! The Annual Meeting Agenda is linked below.

Annual Meeting Full Agenda (Updated 8-27)

Annual Meeting Agenda Matrix (Updated 7-27)

As an added BONUS this year, we had 30 – THIRTY – off site field sessions throughout the Georgetown and surrounding county areas. These were all in ADDITION to our typical concurrent technical session happening on site at the Sheraton Georgetown throughout the weekend. These field sessions were scattered from Thursday through Monday and we developed a “Get Outside Guide” to be used for learning about these unique opportunities.

Get Outside Guide!


Registration is Closed!

If you need to log into your account – please use the following link – http://www.cvent.com/d/ptqfnd

Any questions – please email Mary Pearl Meuth – mpmeth@tamu.edu

 *Please note, the registration site is mobile-friendly ONLY for session registration, NOT for lodging.

*This is a change from previous years* Registration cost for the event is a flat rate of $225 for all attendees for the full conference – Friday at noon until Sunday at noon. This flat rate includes attendance at all conference sessions, including those offsite pre, during & post conference (*note some pre/post conference sessions may have an additional site entrance fee required upon arrival.) It also includes all meals for the weekend (Friday dinner, Saturday – breakfast, lunch & dinner, and Sunday breakfast) and all social events during the conference. Hotel amenities for all participants while on site include wireless internet access in all of our public areas, helpful concierge service, plus signature amenities you’ll only find at Sheraton.


For those wanting to come for two day or single day attendance, we also have a flat rate fee for those options – $200 for a two day pass and $150 for a single day pass, with all meals and options included for those days selected within registration.

State Agency Registration

For state agency employees – we have custom created a registration portal that will allow you to have a single line item registration invoice. Please use the following link to access the State Agency Registration portal.


Lodging costs were calculated within the registration system this year. Discounted lodging rates were held at the Sheraton Georgetown for Thursday through Sunday evening. Room rates are listed below. Please DO NOT call the Sheraton to make a reservation if wanting to stay Thursday through Sunday. We are offering those reservations directly within our registration system.

Also *new this year* participants were able to directly select your roommates within the registration system. PLEASE have your roommates selected before registering, if wanting to share a room. To be matched – each roommate must select the same room type and occupancy level as listed below. If you have any questions – please call Mary Pearl Meuth – mpmeuth@tamu.edu or 979-845-7294

Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center

1101 Woodlawn Avenue
Georgetown, TX 78628  USA
Group Rate: $111/$121
Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center opened in the charming city of Georgetown on July 28, 2016. Built and smartly designed from the ground up, the hotel overlooks the San Gabriel River, anchoring the 32-acre upscale Summit at Rivery Park. This mix-use development includes residential, office, boutiques, shops and specialty restaurants.
As part of its natural setting and ambiance, hotel guests can enjoy the sights and interaction of the hiking and biking trails in Rivery Park and along the San Gabriel River. After a full day of fun and activities, guests can rest assured that they will wake up energized after a restful night’s sleep in our Sheraton Signature Bed with crisp white linens and the rest of our standard Sheraton amenities. Enjoy complimentary wireless internet access in all of our public areas, helpful concierge service, plus signature amenities you’ll only find at Sheraton.
The Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center was just awarded Four Diamond Status by AAA, which means that you and your guests can enjoy top-notch service and quality all while enjoying the small town feel of Georgetown.
***Rooms Rates below include 15.7% Local Occupancy Tax***
Available Rooms Rate Per Night Available Dates
Traditional King (Occupancy of 1) $128.45 10/25/2018 – 10/27/2018
Traditional King (Occupancy of 2) $128.45 10/25/2018 – 10/27/2018
Traditional Queen (Occupancy of 1) $128.45 10/25/2018 – 10/27/2018
Traditional Queen (Occupancy of 2) $128.45 10/25/2018 – 10/27/2018
Traditional Queen (Occupancy of 3) $140.00 10/25/2018 – 10/27/2018
Traditional Queen (Occupancy of 4) $140.00 10/25/2018 – 10/27/2018


Additional options are also available throughout the area – including the Candlewood Suites Georgetown which has a room block available for Texas Master Naturalists for the weekend:

Candlewood Suites Georgetown


451 North IH-35
Georgetown, TX 78628  USA
Phone: 512-591-7888
Fax: 512-591-7827
URL: http://www.ihg.com/candlewood/hotels/us/en/georgetown/gtngt/hoteldetail
Group Rate: $99/$109
Candlewood Suites is designed from the ground up, just for you and is located just North of Austin, just minutes from Southwestern University, St. Davids Hospital, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, Sun City, Texas A&M Medical Center, Airborn Inc., and Dell Computers. Wolf Ranch Shopping Center, dining and entertainment is only 1 mile from the hotel. When visiting, you have to take time to enjoy the local sites: Inner Space Caverns, the Candle Factory, Georgetown Palace Theater, and Lake Georgetown. Schlitterbahn Water Park, River Rafting on the Colorado River, and downtown Austin is just a short drive away.
The Candlewood Suite is being offered as an OVERFLOW hotel. All lodging reservations at Candlewood must be made separately and outside of the event registration.

Or there is RV Lodging available throughout the area –

Annual Meeting Contests

Stay tuned for our 2018 Winners to be listed below!

Each year leading up to and held during the Annual Meeting, we host a series of contests, including the Annual Project Fair, Advisor Awards, Photo, Art & Media Contest, and the Video Contest. These are each listed below, along with their deadlines and rules for entry or nomination information. Each Texas Master Naturalist Chapter is encouraged to enter in these competitions/awards.

Deadline: September 30, 2018 (Closed)
The goal of the awards program is to encourage and recognize exceptional work and support of local Texas Master Naturalist Chapter advisors. The Chapter Advisor Team category was established to recognize the exceptional support of TMN chapter advisors working in partnership to support a chapter.

Deadline: September 30, 2018 (Closed)
The goal of the Annual Video Contest is to share experiences, projects and the stories of our Chapters through video thereby increasing our chapters’ and program marketing.

Deadline: October 5, 2018 (Closed)
The Texas Master Naturalist Program holds this competition during our Annual Meeting each year to share and award the premier projects of the TMN Program. Members continually list this method as a favorite way to learn about projects other chapters are doing and how they may be able to replicate such projects in their areas.

Deadline: October 26, 2018  (Closed)
The Photo, Art & Media Contest at the Annual Meeting has ten categories, including four categories of photos, three categories of art entries and the three media categories. Please note, there are new rules for matting photos.

If you have questions about these contests or the entry for any of the awards, please email Michelle Haggerty at mmhaggerty@tamu.edu

Sponsorship Request

Thank you to all our sponsors who made our event a success. Sponsorship for this event is now closed.

The Texas Master Naturalist Annual Meeting typically draws in around 500-550 attendees, including not only TMN volunteers, but also partnering organizations, the public and those who want to learn more about our programs impact! Sponsorship were given attention throughout the meeting with printed banners, flyers, agendas and on rolling screens throughout the space. Sponsors also had the opportunity to get a table reserved during our Annual Meeting awards dinner with signage showing their support for the statewide program. Additional information about sponsoring the event and those things included with each sponsorship level can be found here: Sponsors for 2018 TMN Annual Meeting

Sponsors for the 2018 Annual Meeting made a general contribution to support and sponsor the TMN Annual Meeting as a whole at any of the following levels:

Friend -$150

› Posted in agenda booklet and on rotating slideshow
› Recognition given during awards ceremony

Ecologist -$300

› Posted in agenda booklet and on rotating slideshow
› Posted in conference hallway signs
› Recognition given during awards ceremony

Steward - $500

› Posted in agenda booklet and on rotating slideshow
› Posted in banquet room signs and conference hallway signs
› Posted as host for one conference seminar room
› Recognition given during awards ceremony

Conservationist - $1,000

› Posted in agenda booklet and on rotating slideshow
› Posted in banquet room signs and conference hallway signs
› Recognition given during awards ceremony
› Reserved table at Annual Meeting awards dinner
› Inclusion of collateral materials in attendee “goodie bags” (600 bags).

Naturalist -$5,000

› All recognition as given above
› Vendor table given without charge upon request
› 2 Reserved tables at Annual Meeting awards dinner


Silent Auction

The Good Water Chapter hosted the 2018 Annual Meeting’s Silent Auction. We are so grateful for their help!

The Silent Auction raises funds used for TMN project grants, scholarships to the annual meeting, and to bring in speakers and trainers for future annual meetings. Help us continue to support these goals by thinking of items that your local chapter or local partnership organizations can donate to this year’s Silent Auction. The Good Water Chapter has developed the following items for use:

Request Letter for Silent Auction Items: Please share this request letter as you think about items to bring for donation to the Silent Auction

2018 Bid Sheet: It is extremely helpful if you have the Bid Sheet already filled out for your item.

Please let the Good Water Chapter know in advance what you plan to contribute so we can plan the space accordingly. Nancy Phillips of the Good Water Chapter is chair for the Silent Auction, if you have questions, contact her at: anrjp1@aol.com

Texas Waters Day

At this year’s Texas Waters event, attendees will participate in water-based activities that connect us to Texas Waters. We will also recognize the continued growth and support of the Texas Waters Specialist program. People who have completed at least 8 hours of Texas Waters Advanced Training from September 1, 2017 – August 31, 2018, will be recognized for their dedication to the Texas Waters Specialist program. Texas Waters Day activities are open to all current and in-progress Specialists, as well as Master Naturalists curious about becoming a Texas Waters Specialist.

You’ll also find additional field trips and sessions for Texas Waters credit that will occur during the main meeting!

* Bring/wear clothes and shoes that may get wet or slightly dirty (rain boots recommended or waders if you want to enter the river) and a sense of adventure!
* Activities include a short hike to Rivery Park behind the Sheraton. Terrain and footing may be difficult for people with mobility issues.


8:00- Registration / Name tags / coffee
8:30- Welcome / Opening remarks
9:00- Walk from Sheraton to Rivery Park / Gather into groups
9:15- Texas Waters activities
11:00- Walk back to Sheraton / Restroom / Beverages
11:30- Recognition of new Texas Waters Specialists
12:00- Depart for lunch on own

Information about registration cost will be updated in the coming months!

Texas Wildlife Association Pre-Event Workshop

Come learn about the engaging youth education programs of the Texas Wildlife Association!

Since 2001, the Texas Wildlife Association has been offering natural resources education programming to teachers and youth across the state. In 2017, over 650,000 youth and adults learned about land stewardship via TWA’s programs. Join TWA’s Directors of Youth Education as they share their programs, the tools used to introduce natural resources to school administrations, and how to engage both urban and rural educators and their students.

Friday, October 26th 2018
8:00am- 12:00pm
Sheraton Georgetown
Registration – FREE and registration done through TMN Annual Meeting Registration system once open

Additional Information can be found on the event flyer: Make Your TMN Chapter Wild – TWA Pre-Event Workshop

Workshop participants will leave with FREE resources to immediately implement into their chapter’s youth education programs. TWA strives to bring natural resource, conservation, and wildlife education into classrooms using innovative and quality techniques – all programs, whether digital lessons, hands-on materials, or educator-led activities, are engaging and require critical thinking. Programs include concepts of characteristics, adaptations, structure and function, interdependence, habitat, conservation, and private lands stewardship. The programs presented are all science (TEKS) aligned, range from grades K through 12, and some also align with math, social studies, and language arts TEKS. 

Call for Proposals

***The Call for Proposals is closed at this time.***

Workshop presenters had the opportunity to inform and train TMN members from across the state on various natural resource topics providing more in-depth information than their initial core training and curriculum. They were also encouraged to make this an opportunity to enlist and train our program volunteers to assist you, your program, and your work as part of their annual volunteer service commitment.

If you have questions about the Annual Meeting or the TMN Program , please email Mary Pearl Meuth – mpmeuth@tamu.edu

Information from the 2017 Annual Meeting can be found in the Past Meeting Archives, linked below:

View Past Meetings

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