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Blackland Prairie Chapter

  “Education, Restoration, Preservation”

2019 Class is full! We open registration in November of each year for the upcoming new year.

Become A Master Naturalist

Class Schedule and Field Trips


The mission of the Texas Master Naturalist program is:

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.

The Texas Master Naturalist program is a partnership between the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and other local partners.


To receive information from the TPWD Listserv sign up here: TPWD Listserv

Chapter Meetings

2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
Heard Museum Science Center in McKinney
(Links to Directions & Map for the Heard Museum below)


The Heard Natural Science Museum
Science Resource Center Building (SRC)
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX 75069
Directions to Museum

Directions from the Heard Entrance to the Science Resource Center (SRC):
Stay on the drive, go past the main parking area, museum building and maintenance area, continue to follow the curve, once on top of the hill, there are multiple areas to park in the circle drive or to the right. The SRC Bldg is on the North Side of these parking areas.
Click to view the Heard Museum Guide Map to locate the  “SRC Bldg”
(The SRC Bldg is in the middle of pg 1 and top of pg 2 of the Heard Museum Guide)


2019 Monthly Meeting Topics


May 14: “How iNaturalist Influences Land Management and Guides Public Policy” – Sam Kieschnick
Sam is an Urban Wildlife Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, serving the east side of the DFW metroplex. As an Urban Wildlife Biologist, Sam’s focus is on three a’s: Awareness, Appreciation, and Action.

June 11: “Management of Roadside Vegetation and Wildflowers” – Jacob Eickstead
Jacob holds a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Texas State University and is a Vegetation Specialist for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Prior to working at TxDOT, Jacob served as a Natural Resource Specialist for the Railroad Commission of Texas, analyzing soil characteristics and re-vegetation of mine reclamations throughout the state.

July 9: “Prairies and Milkweeds” – Matt White
Matt is an environmentalist, writer, and teacher with an extensive knowledge and love of the Blackland Prairie and its history. Matt is the author of Prairie Time, a Blackland Portrait and Birds of Northeast Texas, and is currently writing a new book dedicated to Milkweeds. Matt also teaches American History at Paris Junior College in Greenville, TX, and likes to explore the relationship between history and natural history and learn how each influences the other. Matt has made a persistent difference in prairie conservation in our region.

August 13: “Texas Nature Trackers: Discovering Populations & Documenting Change for Conservation” – Dr. Tania Homayoun 
Dr. Tania Homayoun is a Texas Nature Tracker Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife.  Through Texas Nature Trackers, she engages Naturalists of all interests and ability levels in collecting citizen science and crowd-sourced data on Texas’ unique flora and fauna with a particular focus on species of greatest conservation need.  Tania holds bachelors degrees in Ecology/Evolution/Conservation Biology and Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota, where she studied the impacts of urbanization on land Bird communities.


2019 Past Speakers
April 9 Deep Dive – 6:30-7 p.m. in Heard Museum SRC (same location for regular meetings)
April 9: Making an Impression: Tales and Tips from 50 Years Teaching about Nature” – Sally Evans
March 12: “Lurking Leviathons of DFW – Researching the Alligator Snapping Turtles in the Trinity River”Carl Franklin
February 12 – “Habitat Restoration of Large and Small Plots and Unintended Consequences” – Bob Mione
January 8 – Blackland Prairie Chapter Open House and 2019 Kickoff for Members

2018 Past Speakers:
December 11: “Partnering for Natural Success” – Roger Scott – plus end of year celebration with food and recognition.
November 13: “Rainwater Harvesting” – Daniel Cunningham
October 9: “Driving Sustainability Through Campus Transformation” – Thea Junt/Craig Lewis
September 11: “Personal Experience Raising Monarchs: 6 weeks of Learning, Defeat and Triumph” – Clyde Camp
August 14: Dragonflies” – Omar Bocanegra
July 10:  “Sex in the Garden” – Janet Smith
June 12: “From the First Quark to You – We are all in this together” – Ernie Stokley
May 8: “Fundamentals of Forest Ecology” – Chris Ebling
April 10: “Citizen Science” – Marsha May
March 13 : ”What’s New in the World of Monarch Butterflies?– Carol Clark
February 13 : ”Light Pollution – More Than a Barrier to Sky Gazing– Tom Fleming
January 9 : ”Open House. Welcome Back to Members, Come Join Us to Visitors– Mike Roome, President