Training Class Information and Application

Become a trained and certified Texas Master Naturalist!

The application period for training to become a Texas Master Naturalist is open year-round. If you are interested in becoming a Master Naturalist, please fill out and submit the form at any time. You will receive more information about class scheduling after you submit your application. The series of classes generally start early in the year but may start later depending on the number of applicants and availability of instructors.  Please read the following information before filling out the online application at the bottom of this page.

Most classes will be held at the Opal Durant Community Center Library (Acton Library) on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. When scheduled, classes will be posted on the Chapter’s website calendar. You can download the single page pdf version of an example class schedule here.  Example Training Class Schedule  Be sure to read the schedule before filling out your training application as you will be asked to verify that you have read it.

Nondiscrimination Notice: Application to the Texas Master Naturalist, Rio Brazos Chapter is open to all individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic level, race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age (18 or older), or disability.

Background Checks and Waivers: All Texas Master Naturalist, Rio Brazos Chapter training applicants must agree to a photo and liability waiver, in addition to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department background check. A link to the required background check form will be sent after class acceptance. A driver’s license is required to complete the online form. There is no cost to you for the background check. This TPWD background check is mandatory of all Texas Master Naturalists, new and current, regardless of previous or other current background checks. After the initial TPWD background check, background check updates are required every 3 years.

Ethics and Standards of Conduct: Please review and ensure that you understand and can pledge to abide by the Texas Master Naturalist Ethics and Standards of Conduct.

Open Carry of Firearms:  Texas Master Naturalists shall not openly carry firearms while volunteering, in accordance with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department policy concerning open carry of firearms.

Chapter Dues:  The Rio Brazos Chapter collects $25 annual membership dues from each of its members.  These are due by January 1 of each year.

Training fee:  A fee of $125 covers class materials, instruction fees, the training manual, and chapter dues for the year ($25). Instructions for paying the fee will be in your acceptance notice.

Please direct any questions about the training to Maryann Mathews at



If you are interested in becoming a certified Texas Master Naturalist, please fill out and submit the following application form at any time.  Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required in order for your form to be submitted. If you skip any of these fields and click on the “submit” button, you will get a notice to complete them before your submittal can be successful. Fields without an asterisk (*) are optional. However, your responses will be helpful for us to understand your commitment, background, skills, and experience as a future volunteer in the Texas Master Naturalist program.

A field at the end of the applications provides a place where you can add any relevant information that was not covered elsewhere.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Application for Texas Master Naturalist Training 2020

  • The mission of the Texas Master Naturalist program 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. What specific interests do you have that relate to our mission? Examples: Native plants, birding, mammals, geology, trail management, invasive removal, education, chapter leadership.
  • Describe your interests, education, and/or experience that could help you be a successful Texas Master Naturalist.
  • What are some ideas you have on how you might use your training to benefit our community and promote the goals of the Texas Master Naturalist program as detailed in the mission statement?
  • Important Program Information

  • Read each section below and click button to indicate your acceptance/agreement.
  • Review the class schedule and make certain that you are available to attend classes on the dates listed.
  • It is our expectation that you will attend all classes. All are important to your training. We understand that work and family commitments or illness may require that you miss a class. If your known schedule will require your absence from more than two classes, we recommend that you wait until next year to apply for training. State curriculum requires that you MUST complete a minimum of 40 hours of classroom presentation and 8 hours of advanced training in order to complete training and become certified.
  • Upon acceptance to class (and prior to orientation) you will be required to input your driver’s license information in a secure application to enable a background check to be run. Background checks are mandatory for all Texas Master Naturalists. The background check will be processed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) at no cost to you and is necessary regardless of existing background checks.
  • You MUST have regular access to a computer or tablet and be willing to record your training and service hours in the TPWD Volunteer Management System (VMS). A smartphone will NOT suffice for reporting hours in VMS because you will not be able to access necessary features. Reporting of class hours in VMS, as well as the class attendance requirement, is mandatory for completion of training. If you do not record your class hours in VMS, you will not officially complete training and therefore will not be eligible for certification. Your VMS record is your official record of training and service and is used to document volunteer activity. Collectively, VMS records of all TMN’s are used for the purpose of establishing grant funding, which is very important to our program. Hours reporting is not difficult or time consuming. We provide training and user aids that make it very simple. We also have a dedicated VMS coach in class to assist you with any questions or concerns. We require that you report your class and service hours on a weekly basis during the initial training program so that you can develop the habit and skill of reporting.
  • Select the condition below that best describes your availability for volunteer activities.
  • Please provide additional information, if any, that you would like to provide in support of your application.

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