Volunteer Guidelines

All TMN chapter members use the online reporting system to log volunteer hours. For more information, see Logging Hours.


  1. To maintain certification as a Master Naturalist, you must complete 40 hours of pre-approved volunteer service each year. New trainees must complete 40 hours by the end of the calendar year following their initial training series.
  2. Travel and preparation time may be counted as service time.
  3. All service activities must benefit natural resources and natural areas within the community.
  4. Seek approval from your local chapter PRIOR to participation in the volunteer activity.

Things to Consider

  1. Is the proposed service project representative of the goals, practices and teachings of the Texas Master Naturalist Program?
  2. How does the project address a pressing naturalist, natural resource management, chapter and/or partner need for meaningful service or resources?
  3. What is the scope of the project in terms of when it would need to be conducted, where, estimated time needed to complete or maintain per month, how many volunteers would be needed, etc.?
  4. Is the project within the Chapter’s service area and ecological training?
  5. How does the project allow the chapter to focus and/or create visibility, identity and/or recruitment for the chapter?
  6. How can the project’s impact on the community and our natural resources be measured?

New Volunteer Activity Request Form.  If you want to propose a new service project for chapter members to volunteer, email your completed request form to Cindy Rodibaugh, Volunteer Project Coordinator.


Volunteer Service FAQs

What are the requirements to become a certified Texas Master Naturalist? Easy. Complete the basic training curriculum (minimum 40 hours required), 40 hours of volunteer work, and 8 hours of additional advanced training (after graduation) in the subjects that most interest you. Newly graduated students have until the end of the calendar year after the one in which they completed the basic course to meet the 40/8 requirement for certification. Once your hours are approved by the chapter, a signed certificate and dragonfly pin will be awarded and you will be recognized at the next business meeting. Everyone will give you a big hand for your accomplishment. After your initial certification, re-certification must be accomplished during each calendar year.

How do I (and how does the chapter) keep track of my volunteer and advanced training hours? Use the online Volunteer Management System on a regular basis to record your volunteer hours and your AT hours. You must record hours within 45 days of the activity so get in the habit of logging in as soon as you complete an activity. The information from that system is used by the Chapter to certify members and is used by the State to justify the funding received from the state for the Texas Master Naturalist program. Our volunteering is converted to a dollar amount benefiting the state through all of our projects. As a result, the more activity we report the more we can benefit Texas nature!

When I come to the end of the year, do I have to start over counting my hours? No, just keep logging your hours. Awards for volunteer hours are given on a cumulative basis.

Are any of my activities tax deductible? It depends. Please check the IRS web site for information.


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