2020 Class Schedule


Training classes will be held at the Science Resource Center building on the grounds of the Heard Natural History Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary at 1 Nature Place, McKinney, Texas.


Sessions meet every Wednesday from 6-9 p.m. starting February 12th and ending May 6th. Members-in-Training are responsible for their own transportation, but carpooling is encouraged. Light snacks will be provided by Members-in-Training on a rotating schedule as coordinated by the Education Committee.


It’s important that you read the indicated chapters of the Master Naturalist curriculum book before each class. Our speakers will selectively highlight and supplement the material from the book, and they will tailor their presentation for our Blackland Prairie eco-region.


***Note that the topics below are planned, but are also subject to change.


Class Sessions





Textbook Chapter





1 – Feb. 12th

Ch. 22 – Laws, Regulations, and Ethics

Ch. 23 – Volunteers as Teachers

Introduction to the training program
Our mission of volunteerism
The Joys of Volunteering (presentation)
Tracking volunteer hours

About our Chapter’s key partners

Jean Suplick, BPTMN Education Director; Carol Clark, BPTMN prairie flora specialist; Representatives from our key partner organizations

2 – Feb. 19th

Ch. 1 – Land Stewardship

“Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time” film


Whole class

3 – Feb. 26th

Ch. 15 – Herpetology

Amphibians and reptiles of North Central Texas

Mark Pyle, Education Director, DFW Herpetological Society

4 – Mar. 4th

Ch. 4 – Ecological Regions of Texas
Ch. 5 – Ecological Concepts
Ch. 6 – Ecosystems Concepts and Management

Ecological concepts

Sam Kieschnick, Urban Biologist, TPWD

5 – Mar. 11th

Ch. 16 – Mammalogy
Ch. 21 – Urban Ecosystems

Mammals of the Blackland Prairie & DFW Urban Wildlife

Brett Johnson, City of Dallas Urban Wildlife Biologist

6 – Mar. 18th

Ch. 7 – Geology and Soils

Blackland Prairie Soils

Lorelei Stirlen, BPTMN soils specialist; Brandon Belcher, The Nature Conservancy

7 – Mar. 25th

Ch. 11 – Plants

What is a Plant and Plant Defenses

Dr. George Diggs, PhD. Austin College, Retired

8 – Apr. 1st

Ch. 12 – Ornithology

Birds of the Blackland Prairie

Gailon Brehm, BPTMN bird specialist, Texas Ornithological Society, Prairies & Timbers Audubon

9 – Apr. 8th

Ch. 8 – Weather and Climate

Meteorology: North Texas Weather

Dr. David Baker, Austin College

10 – Apr. 15th

Ch. 13 – Entomology

Entomology: North Texas Insects

Dr. Mike Merchant, TAMU Professor & Extension Urban Entomologist

11 – Apr. 22nd

Ch. 18 – Aquatic Systems Ecology & Management

Ch. 19 – Wetland Ecology & Management

Macroinvertebrates and Water Quality

LuAnne Ray, BPTMN aquatic systems specialist

12 – Apr. 29th

Ch. 17 – Forest Ecology and Management

The Trees of Collin County

Rick Travis, Forester and BPTMN tree specialist

13 – May 6th

Flora and Fauna of the Blackland Prairie: Choose from a variety of BPTMN guided tours of the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary’s prairies, wetlands, and woods


Class Field Trips


Our training program includes field trips selected to give you field experience and as well as to introduce you to the grounds and facilities of our Chapter partners.

Location Date & Time
Holifield Science Learning Center (Plano) Sat., February 22, 9 am to noon
Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve (Allen) Sat., March 14th, 9 am to noon
Blackland Prairie Raptor Center (Lucas) Sat., April 4th, 9 am to noon
LLELA Nature Preserve (Lewisville) Sun., April 19th, 1-4 pm
Parkhill Prairie (near Blue Ridge) Sat., May 2nd, 9 am to noon
NPSOT Wildflower Walk (Heard Museum) Tues, May 5th, 6-8 pm


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