It is quite simple to volunteer somewhere to get credit for the Texas Master Naturalist Program. Most often, opportunities involve educating others about natural resources and natural areas. However, volunteer hours are not limited to education. The chapter officers are always there to ask what may or may not count.

Each organization may have their own guidelines that volunteers must follow. For instance, at the Texas State Aquarium if a person is an exhibition guide, he will be required to wear a name tag and an apron/blue vest (both provided by the Aquarium) while on duty.


Volunteer Project Guidelines

TMN State Guidelines: “In order to attain certification, a Texas Master Naturalist intern must complete a minimum of 40 volunteer service hours and 8 hours or advanced training within one year of the initial training series.  In order to retain the title of Texas Master Naturalist a volunteer must complete another 40 volunteer service hours and 8 hours of advanced training in every subsequent year.”

Volunteer work must be of a type that furthers the TMN mission statement: “To provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities.” This mission includes educating the public on natural resources, but it also includes managing, maintaining, and improving the environment for the benefit of wildlife and the public.

Volunteer work must be performed as a Texas Master Naturalist rather than as a member of another organization.

Volunteers who belong to two organizations that both require volunteer service as part of membership (e.g., TMN and Master Gardeners) may not count the same work hours twice, getting credit from both organizations.

Volunteer work that results in a profit to another organization cannot be approved:

Volunteers may not count volunteer work for a for-profit organization.

Volunteers may not count work for a nonprofit organization that results in the o organization earning money for its own programs.

Volunteer work in approved Chapter fund-raising efforts can be counted.

Paid work of any kind cannot be counted for Volunteer credit.

Volunteer hours credit is earned for time spent preparing a volunteer presentation as well as for making the actual presentation. Travel time to and from any volunteer project activity earns volunteer credit (does not apply to attending advanced training activities).

All chapter board members, committee chairmen, and committee members will receive hour-for-hour credit for volunteer hours spent fulfilling those duties (including travel time).

Volunteer Screening Requirements

The Texas Agricultural Extension Service Youth Protection Standards require that Texas Master Naturalists who will work directly with youth must be screened and qualified in advance through the YPS program. For the convenience of South Texas Chapter Master Naturalists who will be involved in direct contact with youth, the required form and pertinent rules and guidelines are provided here to download and print. This requirement pertains only to those Master Naturalists who will be working directly with youth during their volunteer activities.

Volunteer Background Check Form
YPS Rules and Guidelines

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