Spring 2024 class is full
If you enjoy nature …
If you like being outside …
If you want to help conserve local habitats …
Become a Texas Master Naturalist™
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, Wharton 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: Apply to Attend the Texas Master Naturalist™ Training Course
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 Texas Master Naturalist Curriculum textbook which is included with the registration fee. Most of the course topics have a classroom lecture and outdoor field trip to a local park or preserve so that participants learn about and experience the local ecosystems firsthand. 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.
To assure certification success, each trainee is assigned a mentor. These mentors are experienced certified Master Naturalists™ who can answer any questions the student may have and help ease the transition from trainee to active chapter member.
Two training classes per year. In order to best accommodate a variety of schedules, Coastal Prairie Chapter offers two training courses per year: Spring for daytime classes and Fall for evening classes. Each training course lasts about 8-10 weeks and 14 Sessions. Classes (in-person and/or virtual) are held on Tuesdays and field sessions on Saturdays. A class fee of $135 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: Achieve Initial Certification
Who doesn’t want to be able to put Certified Master Naturalist™ on their resumé? Once initial training is complete, trainees have a full year to fulfill the 8 hours of advanced training and 40 hours of volunteer service required to become a Certified Master Naturalist™. TMNCPC offers a multitude of approved projects the initial 8 hours of advanced training is already built into the schedule. Many trainees have certified by the end of the training course!
Graduates of the TMNCPC certification program can volunteer for many projects around Fort Bend, Wharton and Waller Counties including our partners in conservation Coastal Prairie Conservancy, Brazos Bend State Park, Fort Bend County Fair, Cullinan Park, and Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land as well as a variety of local school educational programs districtwide. Our chapter’s signature project Seabourne Creek Nature Park is where you’ll find us serving most days! Members are also involved in a variety of projects from prairie restoration to bird hikes, maintaining butterfly and demo gardens, trail management, educating youth and much more. They can choose from dozens of service opportunities based upon their interests and skill level.
Step Three: Maintain Certification
Once initial certification is achieved, maintaining it is easy: complete the annual volunteer (40 hours) and advanced training (8 hours) requirements each and stay current on chapter dues ($25/year).
Advanced training hours are easily obtained by attending TMNCPC monthly chapter programs, monthly meetings of other environmental groups, webinars, and workshops locally and around the state. We help all members to stay engaged, keep a culture of learning, and have fun while serving our communities and state.