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.
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 in this area began in 2008 and graduated 24 students. The course includes presentations by biologists, geologists, naturalists, and others from local, state, and federal agencies and universities.
Becoming a Certified Texas Master Naturalist requires completion of a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training during the first 18 months following your completion of the course. 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 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. For a more detailed description on this topic, please go to this page.
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.
When and where are the chapter meetings?
The meetings are every month or two in this area.
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 AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife and local partners in each community.
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.
How can I use Amazon Smile to help the chapter?
Amazon Smile allows you to set up all your purchases to generate a charitable contribution to our chapter (or any charity you wish). It is free to you and Amazon donates 0.5% of every purchase you make to your charity ($5 for every $1000 but it does add up). You HAVE to go to smile.amazon.com to set this up, and always make purchases from smile.amazon.com (not amazon.com or their apps). For convenience, you can put things in your cart using their app, or their main site, but make sure you go to smile.amazon.com to check out. The website is exactly the same, except for submitting and tracking your donation activity. When you go there, you can search for a charity, such as “El Camino Real Master Naturalists” and select it as your charity of choice. Then watch as your contributions add up.