If you enjoy nature… If you like being outside… If you want to help conserve local habitats…
Then become a Certified Master Naturalist with the Texas Master Naturalist™ Coastal Prairie Chapter!
The Texas Master Naturalist Coastal Prairie Chapter (TMNCPC) certification program helps nature lovers gain a deeper knowledge of Texas’ natural resources and the local ecology of Fort Bend and Waller counties. Through exciting outdoor experiences and classroom lectures given by local experts, trainees develop an appreciation of the natural world and learn how to make a serious contribution to its care and management. This well-informed corps of volunteers then takes that knowledge into the community to assist in conservation projects and help others learn to appreciate and protect the beautiful state of Texas. The Texas Master Naturalist (TMN) Program is sponsored by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Step One: Learn all about your local environment by taking the Texas Master Naturalist Training Class
Exciting classes and field trips! The TMN training program provides an exciting opportunity for participants to learn all about the plants and animals and ecosystems of Texas. These topics are then applied to our neck of the woods through the selection of local experts who teach the various sections of the course. Class lectures are enhanced through the study of the book “Texas Master Naturalist Statewide Textbook”, which is included in the registration fee. Most of the course topics have a classroom lecture and outdoor field trip to a local park or reserve, so that participants learn about and experience the local ecosystems first hand. Trainees will also learn techniques for gathering citizen science data in the field. They will explore environmental stresses and learn about the processes that can be used to address them.
Help Others! Participants also learn to help others discover the joy of nature. Through TMN training, participants not only learn about natural resources, but they also receive training on how to educate others about natural resources. A primary goal of the TMN program is to develop an organization of knowledgeable volunteers to help promote conservation and management of natural resources through educating their communities.
Mentors! Each student will be assigned a mentor in the first few weeks of the program. Mentors are experienced certified master naturalist who will answer any questions the student may have and help ease the transition from student to an active chapter member.
Make-up Classes! Don’t worry if you have to miss a class or two. Opportunities will be offered for make up sessions on any topic.
Two Training Classes per Year! The Coastal Prairie Chapter offers two training courses per year, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. Each training class lasts about 8 – 10 weeks for a total of 40 hours of initial training. Sessions in the Spring Class are held during the day and sessions in the Fall Class are held in the evenings. Field trips to local natural areas of interest are held on Saturdays. A class fee of $125 applies to all students. You must be over the age of 18 to apply.
All are invited to join in the fun! The TMN Program is coordinated jointly by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides equal access in its programs, activities, education and employment, without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law.
Step Two: Get Your Initial Certification
Who doesn’t want to be able to put “Certified Master Naturalist” on their resume? After your initial training is complete, the next step is to become a certified master naturalist. In order to obtain initial certification as a master naturalist, you will join us in our mission by volunteering at least 40 hours of your time toward approved projects and completing 8 hours of advanced training by the end of the year following your training.
It’s so easy to get these hours! Graduates of the TMNCPC certification program can volunteer for projects around Fort Bend and Waller Counties, such as the Katy Prairie Conservancy, Brazos Bend State Park, local school educational programs, the Fort Bend County Fair, Seabourne Nature Fest and the chapter’s signature project: Seabourne Creek Nature Park. Members are involved in a variety of projects at these locales- from prairie restoration to bird hikes, maintaining butterfly and demo gardens, trail management, educating youth and much more. Members can choose from dozens of service opportunities based on their interests.
Step Three: Maintain Your Certification
Once you get your initial certification, you can maintain your certification by completing the annual volunteer and advanced training requirements. It’s super easy to get the 8 hours of advanced training and the 40 hours of volunteer service that are needed.
Advanced training hours can be obtained through attending TMNCPC monthly chapter programs, monthly meetings of other environmental
groups, webinars, workshops etc. Plus there are many interesting volunteer service projects that are available to TMNCPC members. These projects include ecological conservation, educational outreach, volunteer service at local parks and reserves, just to name a few!