Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a Texas Master Naturalist?
Texas Master Naturalist are volunteers with the interest and desire to give back to their community and willingness to attend the training.

Q.How do I become a Texas Master Naturalist?
To join us and become a certified Texas Master Naturalist, you must complete a training course on the area’s natural features and the impact that people have on nature. The first training course is being held in 2008 and should have just over twenty students. The course includes presentations by biologists, geologists, naturalists, and others from local, state, and federal agencies and universities.

You must complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training during the first 12 months following your completion of the course (to be completed before your course’s graduation anniversary date). 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: range management, youth education, and habitat restoration, among many others.

All of the volunteer service and advanced training activities must be approved by the chapter board of directors (the chapter advisors until these folks are elected) 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.
What are my responsibilities as a certified Master Naturalist?
Once you are certified, it is your responsibility to maintain your certification. You are expected to stay active in the local Chapter and attend meetings, take advantage of advanced training offered through the local chapter, and 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.

Q. When and where are the chapter meetings?
This will be determined by the members who complete the first training class.

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

Q. Who administers the program?
The Texas Master Naturalist program is a partnership of the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife and local partners in each community.

Q. 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.

Q.When and Were are the Chapter Meeting
The chapter meets at various locations. Contact the Marion County Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office at 903-665-2421. The meeting begins with a business meeting, before the program and refreshments social hour following – HOWEVER – sometimes we have a joint meeting with other organizations at another location. So always check the web site http:// for meeting place time and date. Board meetings will be announced at least 10 days before the meeting. All members are welcome. The December meeting is the annual meeting and chapter holiday party.

Q. How do I find out about volunteer and advanced training opportunities?
There are many ways. Go to the web – look at the Calendar , look at the Volunteer or Advanced Training Opportunities under Member Resources. Read the Marion County Extension Newsletter that comes to you via E-mail. Talk to one of the contacts.

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