Texas Master Naturalist program seeks applicants

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COLLEGE STATION – Twenty Texas Master Naturalist chapters will be conducting training classes in fall and winter for volunteers wanting to learn about natural resource and conservation management, said the program’s assistant state coordinator.

Mary Pearl Meuth, College Station, said the Texas Master Naturalist program has 48 chapters across the state tasked with developing a corps of well-informed citizen volunteers.

She said the Texas Master Naturalist program is a collaborative effort between the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“We train citizen volunteers on the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the betterment of all Texans,” Meuth said.

The main qualification for a Texas Master Naturalist certification is an interest in learning about and playing an active part in conservation, she said. Volunteers will receive a minimum of 40 hours of basic training from educators and specialists from universities, natural resource agencies, nature centers and museums.

Training topics include evaluation and management of natural resources, ecological concepts, eco-regions in Texas and natural systems management.

Once certified, Meuth said volunteers are asked to provide 40 hours of service a year in community education, demonstration and habitat enhancement projects to maintain certification as a Texas Master Naturalist. They are also expected to pursue a minimum of eight hours of advanced training in areas of personal interest.

“Invariably, many volunteers will go above and beyond their basic requirements once involved, and develop personal projects connecting to the mission of the chapter and statewide program,” Meuth said.

For a complete list of the 20 chapters offering volunteer training this fall go to: www.txmn.org.

Meuth said enrollment is limited in most chapters and registration deadlines for some chapters are fast approaching, so early registration is advised.

For more information about existing chapters or forming a new chapter, contact Meuth at mpmeuth@tamu.edu, or 979-845-7294.

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