Become a Texas Master Naturalist

Butterfly Learning Center, Phil Hardberger Park

Butterfly Learning Center, Phil Hardberger Park

Alamo Area Master Naturalist

Training and Certification

Becoming a Certified Texas Master Naturalist consists of initial training (classroom and field trips) and 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training.

Initial Training

The chapter-approved initial training program provides you with a broad-based curriculum that covers a wide variety of topics from basic ecology to basic communication skills. Completing a minimum of 40 hours of classroom and field experiences will provide you with basic hands-on knowledge in the function, management, and interpretation of the natural resources found in Bexar County and the surrounding areas. You will learn about native plants and animals, regional hydrology and geology, interpretive techniques, and more. Our curriculum was designed by resource professionals from state wildlife agencies, universities, and non-governmental partners.

Each training course consists of ten classroom sessions and several morning field trips.  The classroom sessions are held at the Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center, 8400 N.W. Military Hwy. The field trips are scheduled at various locations in our service area.

Becoming a Master Naturalist is experiential as well as educational. Per state standards, to certify as a Texas Master Naturalist you must complete the initial training course described above and complete at least 40 hours of volunteer service and at least 8 hours of advanced training.

Volunteer Service

Each Member-in-Training must earn a minimum of 40 volunteer service hours at approved natural resource agencies, schools, local governments, private properties, or nature centers to become a Certified Texas Master Naturalist. Activities range from an hour-long talk to a years-long trail-building project.

A number of our volunteer partners have established activities and look forward to welcoming new volunteers. Whether the activity is established or newly-minted, it is important that the activity is pre-approved by our chapter board. (Activities or advanced training opportunities that have not been approved beforehand by our chapter do not count towards maintaining certification.)

Advanced Training

Advanced training provides opportunities for continued learning and exploration of our environment beyond the initial training and allows you to focus on a specific topic or skill that will help you hone your mastery and complement your volunteer activities.

Chapter-approved volunteer and advanced training opportunities are listed on the Chapter’s activities calendar at Please browse the calendar listings for an idea of the opportunities ahead.

Annual Certification

After becoming a Certified Master Naturalist, you will be expected to complete at least 40 hours of volunteer service and at least 8 hours of advanced training each year to maintain your certification. If you do not fulfill the certification requirements in any given year after your Initial Certification, fulfilling the certification requirements the next year will return you to certification status.

You must also pay annual dues to maintain membership in the Alamo Area Master Naturalist Chapter.

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