Marshy Stream

Marshy Stream

What is a Texas Master Naturalist?

S/he is a volunteer interested in and committed to giving back to our community by working collaboratively on local natural improvement and research projects.

How do I become a Texas Master Naturalist?

1. Complete Required Training.

To join us and become a certified Texas Master Naturalist, you must complete the following:

  • New Member Training that involves a minimum of 40 hours of instruction composed of both classroom and field experiences. Training courses are held in the fall of each year and average about 20 students. The course includes presentations by biologists, geologists, naturalists, and others from local, state, and federal agencies and universities.
  • Obtain a minimum of 8 hours of approved advanced training
  • Complete a minimum of 40 hours of chapter approved volunteer service

2. Complete Required Advanced Training and Volunteer Work Annually.

To retain certification in each subsequent year, members must complete a minimum of 8 hours of advanced training and provide a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service in chapter approved project activities. Advanced training enables Texas Master Naturalists to learn additional knowledge or a particular skill in order to assist with different volunteer projects. Advanced training activities in the past have involved hands-on instruction, field trips to local natural areas, and lectures with such topics as Texas bats, Texas insects, Texas aquatic environments, wildscape development, and trail planning, among many others.

All of the volunteer service and advanced training activities must be approved by the chapter board of directors, and you must report your hours to get credit. Once you meet these requirements, you will receive a gold seal for your certificate and will be certified as a Texas Master Naturalist.

As a certified Master Naturalist, what would I do?

Volunteer projects run the gamut and might include any of the following:

Educational Activities

  • natural resource youth camps
  • school or community programs
  • landowner consultation
  • outdoor skill instruction
  • natural resource interpretation at nature and visitor centers

Outdoor Activities

  • construction and maintenance of interpretive trails
  • development of songbird nest-box trails
  • restoration of stream banks, marshes, or prairies
  • control of exotic species
  • inventories of fish, plants, and wildlife
  • creation and maintenance of naturescaping demonstration areas

What are my responsibilities as a certified Master Naturalist?

It is your responsibility to do the following:

  • Maintain your certification.
  • Stay active in the local chapter.
  • Attend meetings.
  • Participate in advanced training offered through the local chapter.
  • Keep accurate records of your service hours.

As a volunteer, you may not profit from your status or violate the policies, missions, and goals of the sponsoring agencies that govern use of the Master Naturalist title.

When and where are the chapter meetings?

  • 3rd Thursday of each month (see calendar)
  • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Brazos Museum of Natural History, Bryan, TX (located behind the Bryan Target Store)

What is a volunteer chapter?

Master Naturalist volunteers in a community organize into self-governing chapters, with partner/agency staff serving as chapter advisors.

Who administers the program?

The Texas Master Naturalist program is a partnership of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agency, Texas Parks and Wildlife and local partners in each community. (See Links, Top menu)

How is the program supported?

This is a self-supporting program. Volunteers are expected to pay to cover the costs of their training. Local chapters are supported by training fees, chapter dues, and donations (money or in-kind services such as free meeting space) from local partners. A portion of the training fees and chapter dues are also used to support statewide administration of the program. The local training fees and dues are set by the local coordinating committee and take into account the state fees.

What are member costs?

Initial Training: $150/person covers

  • cost of training materials
  • statewide administrative fees
  • TMN shirt
  • TMN name tag

Annual Dues: $25/year due January 1 covers

  • chapter operating expenses
  • materials for educational outreach programs

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