Texas Master Naturalists – please share the following with your conservation partners and natural resource organizations . . . .
Have a project idea but need help doing it? Do you have field data to collect? Computer research to do? If it can be done by volunteers, we can help!
Our volunteers are back to work and asking for more! Our Texas Master Naturalist Volunteers are dedicated to natural resource conservation work, but as a result of extreme circumstances during the pandemic our members were limited in conducting many of their typical outreach, technical guidance and community stewardship service projects which limited their ability to obtain their required volunteer service hours. When the health and safety restrictions of the pandemic persisted we thought outside of the box and developed the TMN Virtual Volunteer Fair (VVF) as an opportunity for our partner conservation organizations to present service projects that needed volunteers from a distance or virtually! After two successful TMN VVF events our members are asking for more! This time with the intent to provide virtual service during the hottest months of the year when service in the field becomes less desirable and hits a typical lull until cooler months come around.
We are seeking your “Virtual” and “Distanced Service” project opportunities to add to our Texas Master Naturalist Program’s “Virtual Volunteer Service Fair”! You will present your project(s) online to our statewide membership of Texas Master Naturalist volunteers on August 31st or September 1st, 2021 with short 5-9 minute spotlight presentations to highlight the tasks, expertise and help you need. We will offer time during the event to answer questions and opportunities for volunteers to sign up too! *Note, presentations will run on 10-minute time blocks, if you would like time for Q&A, please consider keeping your presentation under 9 minutes. Volunteers will be able to sign up for projects during the event.
Consider this when developing your project ideas – How could a natural resource trained volunteer help ease your workload or fulfill virtual tasks? Master Naturalists are seeking more ways to volunteer virtually during the hottest months of the year. Try to connect their training and skills with your project needs that can be completed by volunteers working remotely 3 to 5 hours a week.
More information on our website – https://txmn.tamu.edu/virtual-volunteer-fair-august-2021/
What are “Virtual” Projects for Master Naturalist volunteers?
-Any natural resource service that can be done from a computer.
“Virtual” Project Ideas:
• Recruiting curators for needed Texas Nature Tracker projects.
• Develop flora or fauna guides from collected photos or data
• Develop social media content (informational posts, videos, public interaction prompts)
• Perform accessibility reviews on our web pages.
• Review web pages for accuracy, information updates, broken links, etc.
• Technical Guidance video transcriptions
• Literature reviews covering the next Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) species you will be focusing on.
• Mining field resource data
• Writing short article spotlights on species of concern or management practices
What are “Distanced Service” Projects for Master Naturalist volunteers?
-Any natural resource service that can be done independently (field work or otherwise)
-Any natural resource service that can be done from a vehicle/road
-Any natural resource service that can be conducted with social distancing protocols in place. (i.e Groups of 10 or less, social distance practices followed and mask mandates adhered to if required.)
Note – those that are place-based “distanced service” projects (i.e hosted at a nature center or state park) will be initially deferred to the local TMN chapter(s) servicing that county/region. However, there may be “distanced service” projects that are open to statewide volunteer input (i.e water quality testing that can occur in the TMN volunteer’s local county/region territory) and these will also be considered for presentation at the virtual volunteer fair.
“Distanced Service” Project Ideas:
• TMN Chapters adopt Wildlife Viewing Trail maintenance and surveys
• Water Quality testing at specific waterbodies
• Pollinator surveys at public native garden spaces
• Invasive species control at place-based sites (i.e state parks or nature centers)
Virtual Volunteer Fair Logistics:
Using the link below, we will be collecting short written proposals from our conservation partners from across the state of Texas who have volunteer projects that fit the criteria of the Texas Master Naturalist Program volunteer service projects. The submission deadline is Friday July 16th, 2020. Submissions will be marketed to the 6,000 active TMN volunteer members.
Finally, on Tuesday August 31st & Wednesday September 1st, 2021, we will host our Virtual Volunteer Fair through WebEx with short project overview presentations.
What to include in your Written Proposal?
- Project title
- Short Project description or narrative
- Will additional training (Advanced Training – AT) be needed in order to carry the service out? If yes, how many hours of AT would be needed?
- Any expertise or experience needed?
- Expectations of how and when the service would be carried out?
- Why it’s needed, what are the expected outcomes? How will what is being done be used?
- Is there any equipment needed by the volunteers? If so, what and how would they need to obtain it?
- What is the potential total time commitment of the project? Likely time commitment of volunteers (# of hours/week or per month) and total length of commitment per volunteer. Are hours flexible? Is the time period of the job flexible?
The submission deadline is Friday July 16th, 2020.
Have More Questions?
This continues to be a new opportunity for us and for our volunteers – please let us know if you have any additional questions by emailing us:
Judit Green – Texas Parks & Wildlife Department – Judit.Green@tpwd.texas.gov
Michelle Haggerty – Texas Parks & Wildlife Department – Michelle.Haggerty@tpwd.texas.gov
Mary Pearl Meuth – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for considering our Texas Master Naturalist Volunteers for your natural resource conservation service project needs! This venue has served them well over the past year, and they want to continue with this type of work– from a distance! All project proposals will be considered and evaluated based on their virtual or distanced service opportunities. All proposals accepted, regardless of whether presented or not, will be shared with MN volunteers. Also, please feel free to submit as many virtual and distanced service project proposals as you would like.
Texas Master Naturalist – http://txmn.org
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.