Becoming a Master Naturalist – Training and Membership
The Texas Master Naturalist Program’s mission is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the State of Texas.
The first step to becoming a master naturalist and joining us on our mission is to enroll in the chapter’s Training Class. The Texas Master Naturalist program of study created by Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas AgriLife is designed to provide you with a basic understanding of the natural world. You will receive a comprehensive textbook and attend weekly sessions taught by experts in their particular field. In addition, the subject matter is tailored to the territory served by the chapter and class field trips provide the opportunity to observe in person some of the topics you are studying in class.
The Gideon Lincecum Chapter serves a 5-county area: Austin, Colorado, Fayette, Lee, and Washington counties. You will join a group of people who, like you, enjoy the Texas outdoors and want to learn how they can better manage their own land and work with the State to promote and protect our natural resources. The 40-hour course includes the following topics:
- Master Naturalist Orientation
- Ecology Concepts, Ecosystems & Ecoregions
- Aquatic Systems Ecology/Pond Management
- Rangeland Ecology
- Forest Ecology
- Archaeology . . . and more . . .
For the 2021 Training Class, classes will be held on Monday afternoons from 1 – 4 p.m. at various venues in our chapter region. In addition to classroom lectures, there will be four or five field trips (usually on Saturdays). Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very likely that some of the class sessions will be conducted online as webinars or team meetings. (If you are applying for the training class, please be aware there may be computer and internet access requirements.) Classes begin in January with graduation in May. Click here for a sample training schedule: TMN GLC Training Schedule 2020-Prelim09-25-19.
Applications for the 2021 class will be accepted beginning in August 2020. Click here to apply online. Once your application has been accepted, your payment of the fee will secure your place in the class. Class size is limited to 25 students so early applications are encouraged. REGISTRATION (tuition and membership fee) is $175 per person or $325 for a couple sharing materials. Fees must be paid by January 6 to keep your place in the class.
What happens next?
When you start the Training Class, you are a member of the chapter and designated as Master Naturalist Trainee. When you graduate (completing the minimum 40 hour requirement), you are designated as a Texas Master Naturalist.
Our goal is to get you involved in our mission, so the next step is to fulfill the requirements to become a Certified Master Naturalist and maintain that certification each subsequent year. Certification requires a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service and a minimum of 8 hours of advanced training each year to earn your dragonfly pins and annual recertification pins. We are all working to earn the Bumblebee pin for 2020.
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