“To develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural
resources and natural areas within their communities for the State of Texas.”
Master Naturalist volunteers receive in-depth training in wildlife and natural resource management, customized to focus on their local ecosystems.
In return, volunteers provide service in the form of community education, conservation and demonstration projects, while pursuing advanced
training in areas of special interest.
Master Naturalist training is provided by educators and specialists from universities, agencies, nature centers, museums and other organizations
who donate their services. The Master Naturalist Curriculum is developed by experts and provides a standardized base of knowledge and skills for
all volunteers across the state. The Master Naturalist volunteer program is sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department and can be supported by a variety of local organizations.
After its founding in San Antonio, the Master Naturalist program became a statewide initiative in 1998. Today, more than 12,000 Texas Master
Naturalist volunteers serve in 48 local chapters across the state, and new chapters are developing all the time. Since the organization’s founding,
Texas Master Naturalists have contributed more than 4.5 million hours of service on more than 200,000 acres of wildlife and native plant habitats
and have developed or maintained 2,500 trail miles. Master Naturalists have reached more than 6 million Texas residents of all ages. These
volunteer efforts are worth more than $102 million.
Each year the Texas Master Naturalist program
• Trains about 750 new Master Naturalists
• Provides about 350,000 hours of service
• Offers about 46,000 hours of advanced training
• Reaches about 160,000 youth, adults and private landowners through direct-contact events
The Master Naturalist program increases volunteer capacity and leadership in local communities, while enhancing public awareness of local
ecosystems and natural resources. Because many of the existing Master Naturalist chapters are located in major cities and throughout Texas,
they provide our rapidly growing urban and suburban populations with increased understanding of conservation and enhancement of natural
resources in and near their local environments.
Master Naturalist volunteers work to increase educational and conservation opportunities for local residents of all ages, through instruction, tours,
exhibits, demonstration projects, blogs and social media, and other means.
The Master Naturalist program focuses the considerable resources of state and local agencies and organizations to create a high-quality educational
program directed toward building self-sufficiency within the community
The program has earned the Wildlife Management Institute’s Presidents’ 2000 Award, the National Audubon Society’s 2001 Habitat Hero’s Award, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission’s 2001 Environmental Excellence Award, and Texas A&M University’s 2001 Vice Chancellor’s Award of Excellence in Partnership. In 2005 program earned the U.S. Department of Interior’s “Take Pride in America” award.