Membership Requirements, Certifications and Milestones

Membership requirements, Certifications and Milestones

Requirements are based upon those contained in the “Bylaws”, “Chapter Management and Operating Protocols” and the “Chapter Operating Handbook” of the Texas Master Naturalist Program, with approved minor clarifications or modifications for our Chapter use. These official documents may change every year or so, so please see The Library Page for that latest level document and others.

This is a brief summary, as based on those documents as of September 2017.

  • Membership requirements
    • Pass a background check, pay the enrollment fee, and complete an Initial Training class consisting of at least 40 hours of classroom and/or field training.
  • Member Categories
    • Texas Master Naturalist Member-in-Training. Volunteer Participant of an official class from the first day of class to the end of the training period continuing until the Trainee has completed the Chapter Training requirements.
    • Texas Master Naturalist Pledge. Volunteer Participant who has completed the Chapter Training requirements and has yet to complete the State or Chapter minimum Certification requirements for advanced training and volunteer service to become ‘Certified’ within the calendar year following the end of the training period.
    • Certified Texas Master Naturalist. Volunteer or previously Certified Texas Master Naturalist who has completed the State or Chapter minimum Certification requirements (Reference ‘Master NaturalistTM Program’, Chapter Management Guidelines, Certification section) for advanced training and volunteer service hours for the current or prior calendar
    • Texas Master Naturalist Member. Volunteer who has previously been a Certified Texas Master Naturalist but has not completed the required volunteer service of 40 hours, and an additional 8 hours of Advanced Training toward re-certification requirements by the end of the calendar year following their prior year’s certification.
  • Certification Requirements
    • To become a Certified Texas Master Naturalist, a Member-in-Training must complete the following:
      • The State Committee approved curriculum with a minimum of 40 hours of combined field and classroom instruction.
      • Obtain a minimum of 8 contact hours of approved advanced training.
      • Complete a minimum of 40 hours of approved volunteer service. (Volunteer service hours are those direct contact hours spent on Texas Master Naturalist projects approved by the local Chapter.)
    • Members-in-Training or Pledges who have completed the required field and classroom training must complete the required State and Chapter minimum Certification requirements for advanced training (AT) and volunteer service to become ‘Certified’ within the calendar year following the start of the training class period. A Chapter is to allow Members-in-Training to begin earning volunteer service hours (and AT hours) for approved Chapter projects and programs once they begin the Texas Master Naturalist training program and have the required background checks completed. A special ‘Recertification’ (AKA “Double Certification”) is allowed if an additional 8 (total 16) hours of Advanced Training and an additional 40 (total 80) hours of volunteer service are completed within the calendar year following the start of the original classroom training class.
    • To retain the Certified Texas Master Naturalist title during each subsequent year, Members must complete a minimum of 8 hours of advanced training and provide a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service through approved Chapter project opportunities within the calendar year.
    • The TMN Program will have a specially designed pin for each year a volunteer maintains their certification by obtaining the required service and advanced training hours annually within the calendar year. Volunteer service hours may not be carried forward from one year to the next for certification, with the exception of a Member-in-Training or Pledge working toward certification. There will be a new pin design each year and this design will only be available during that given year. Each Member, given that they have attained the requirements, may only receive one of these pins during the given year.
  • Milestone requirements
    • Lifetime accumulated volunteer hours are used to recognize different lifetime achievement levels, at 250, 500, 1000, 2500, 4000, 5000 and 10,000 hours – with different designs of the Dragonfly pin.  The 4000 award level was added in 2014 to match the “President’s Volunteer Service Award” level where a US lapel pin, certificate and letter from the President is awarded. pin_blue
    • It is important to always record and submit all volunteer project hours, even after the annual 40 needed for re-certifications.
  • And what pins to we get for what?
    • The re-certification pin for 2016 is the Guadalupe Bass, for 2017 is the Ridley Sea Turtle, and for 2018 the Ocelot.

Below are all of the past pins.  And this is a PDF file explaining all the annual pins.

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