Clarification of Events and Contacts

A Guide for understanding Events and Contacts

An event is an outreach or educational program.  There are direct and indirect events.  Individuals attending an event are considered contacts.  There are direct and indirect contacts:  E = Event; D = Direct; I = Indirect

A direct event is one that is prepared, planned and presented by a Texas Master Naturalist (TMN).  It includes information about our natural resources and/or native areas.   Examples include:  Guided hikes, speaking engagements, educational programs.  Think of it as a program with a TMN in the role of teacher, leader, or presenter.

A direct contact is a person that attends an educational or outreach event of the chapter (direct event as explained above), but does not include other TMNs.  Programs that provide education to other TMNs are considered Advanced Training (AT) and should not be confused with direct events.  The only exception is new TMN classes.  Those students are counted as a direct contact one time for the purpose of record keeping.

Indirect events are those educational or outreach programs that are supported by TMNs, but not prepared by TMNs.  An example of an indirect event would be a TMN working as a guide for the UNT Elm Fork Education program.  Indirect events also include activities where TMNs interact with the public, but do not have a planned program/agenda.  Examples include working in the Interpretive Center or in an informational booth (exceptions may apply for educational versus informational booths, but booths are generally considered indirect).  Indirect events have indirect contacts.

Sometimes TMNs engage in activities that are not considered events.  While these activities may count as service, we do not count contacts.  Examples include:  Serving as a TMN advisor on the board of directors of another organization, cleaning up natural areas, and research projects (phorid fly, citizen science, LAERF, benthic monitoring, bird box management, etc.).  That does not mean these are less important.  All service that is consistent with our mission is important and we thank you for your time and service!


You take a group of 20 individuals on a guided hike and you are the docent.  Three other TMNs from our chapter go along for the hike.

This is one direct event with 20 direct contacts.  The three additional TMNs may be eligible for advanced training credit or service, but are not counted as contacts.

Four TMNs serve as docents for a group of 100 scouts.  Each TMN has a station, so each of the 100 scouts rotates through each station in groups of 25.

This is one direct event with 100 direct contacts.

Several TMNs are asked to assist during a presentation given by someone from another organization (like Bat World).  The TMNs do not prepare any of the material, and do not actually do any presenting themselves.  150 people attend, but 12 of them are other TMNs.

This is an indirect event with 138 indirect contacts.

Several TMNs assist in some type of plant restoration.  75 other people participate in the project.

This counts as service, not an event, so you would not have contacts.

Several TMNs instruct a group of 75 people about the importance of prairie restoration, impact on the environment, habitat, etc. and then assist in planting new plants.

This could be a direct event if it entails a significant amount of structured instruction, and would count as 75 direct contacts.

You’ve been asked to sit on the board of directors of an organization to serve as a TMN advisor.

This counts as service, no contacts.  However, if you give a presentation to this group about any topic consistent with our mission statement it becomes a direct event.  You would count the members in attendance as direct contacts.

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