Why report hours?
Volunteer Service and AT hours are important to you and to the Chapter. For example, if you report insufficient hours, you will not certify or re-certify. If the Chapter reports insufficient hours, we cannot expect continued sponsorship and dedicated resources, such as the services of our Sponsor Representative (Julie Massey).
These hours acquire a monetary value that may be used as an in-kind match when we, sponsors and partners are seeking grant funds for a particular project or program. In 2019, we reported 47,000 hours, valued by the State of Texas at $1,081,000 (sorry, no pay raises for volunteers!).
How to report
Members are responsible for tracking and reporting Advanced Training and Volunteer Service hours. All Master Naturalist Chapters use the Volunteer Management System (VMS) to report their hours. Members should use this link to enter their hours into the VMS system. For questions regarding entering hours or the VMS system contact the Chapter Membership Director by e-mail.
You are required to report specified numbers of Volunteer Service and Advanced Training hours in order to achieve your initial Master Naturalist certification and in order to re-certify every year.
- Initial certification – You must take the training class and complete 40 hours of Volunteer Service and eight hours of Advanced Training within 15 months of the start of the training class. For example, if your class starts in February 2017, you have until May 2018 to complete the Volunteer Service and Advanced Training requirements for initial certification.
- Re-certification – To retain your certification, you must pay your annual dues and complete 40 hours of Volunteer Service and eight hours of Advanced Training every year. These hours are added to lifetime totals, eventually qualifying you for milestone awards, such as 250 or 500 hours, up to 20,000 hours. The accumulation of hours expires on December 31st of every year. Hours cannot be carried forward to the following year.
If you have questions on hours and reporting, please contact the VMS team by e-mail.