Master Naturalists are trained to be stewards of our natural environment and to teach these skills to others.
Almost every state in the United States has a Master Naturalist Program, often developed in conjunction with Universities and County Extension offices. These programs are similar to the Master Gardeners Programs around the country.
Enrollees receive many hours of classroom and field instruction. Upon graduating from training, Master Naturalists are expected to complete a number of hours of volunteer service in their first year and 20 hours annually thereafter along with annual continuing education requirements.
Did I miss any? Please let me know by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post. Thanks for your help!
Also see these related resource lists:
- Native Plant Certificate Programs
- Native Plant Societies in North America
- Native Plant Nurseries, Organizations, and Resources for North America–a comprehensive list of resources
National Master Naturalist Association
Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs: The Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach & Service Programs promotes citizen stewardship of natural resources through science-based conservation- education- and service programs. ANROSP supports and enhances member programs- and facilitates development of new programs. Many different types of programs fulfill our mission- including Master Naturalist- Certified Citizen Naturalist Volunteer- Master Watershed Steward- Coverts- Master Conservationist- and many more nationwide.
Alabama Master Naturalist Training
The Alabama Master Naturalist program is a new statewide program whose goal is to help promote awareness, understanding, and respect of Alabama’s natural world among Alabama’s citizens and visitors. In addition, the AMN program will also develop a statewide corps of well-informed volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.
Someone needs to create a Master Naturalist Program for Alaska!
Arizona Master Naturalist Program
The Arizona Master Naturalist Program mission is to establish and maintain a corps of well-informed volunteers to deliver quality environmental education programs and promote stewardship of Arizona’s natural environment.
Arkansas Master Naturalist Training
Arkansas Master Naturalist Program: 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. Multiple Chapters
California Master Naturalist Program
The UC California Naturalist Program is designed to introduce Californians to the wonders of our unique ecology and engage the public in study and stewardship of California’s natural communities. The California Naturalist program uses a science curriculum, hands-on learning, problem-solving, and community service to instill a deep appreciation for the natural communities of the state and to inspire individuals to become stewards of their local resources. Follow CA Master Naturalists on Facebook
Colorado Master Naturalist Training
Audubon Naturalist Training: The Audubon Naturalist Training Program offers 85 hours of classroom and field training. We bring in field experts to teach classes on: Ecosystems, Ecology, Geology, Plants, Insects, Reptiles, Amphibians, Bird & Raptor Identification, Mammals and Interpretive Guide Techniques. This training prepares people of all experience levels to become naturalists for our public and/or school environmental education programs.
City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department: Master Naturalists are volunteer educators with the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program. Each spring, new volunteers embark on a fun, active training program.
Connecticut Master Naturalist Training
Connecticut Audubon Master Naturalist Training: Our mission is to conserve Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and their habitats.
Delaware Master Naturalist Program
The Aquatic Resources Education Center’s Naturalist Volunteer Program: This exciting program provides training and incentives for volunteers. The program’s mission is to educate and train citizens throughout the state to serve as volunteers in environmental education; monitoring, restoration, conservation and protection of Delaware’s natural resources. Volunteer opportunities include aquatic education, wildlife surveys, tree planting, native seed collection and more!
Florida Master Naturalist Program
The Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) is an adult education UF/IFAS Extension program developed by the University of Florida and provided by many Extension offices and participating organizations throughout the state of Florida. FMNP training will benefit persons interested in learning more about Florida’s environment or wishing to increase their knowledge for use in education programs as volunteers, employees, ecotourism guides, and others.
Georgia Master Naturalist Training
The Georgia Master Naturalist program is an Adult Environmental Education course developed by the UGA Cooperative Extension Service and the UGA Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources for people who wish to be more informed about habitats, natural resources and the natural environments of our state.
Hawaii Master Naturalist Program
The Advanced Naturalist Training Series (ANTS) was created to advocate for Naturalists in the state of Hawai’i, where thousands of people live and work with nature every day. People contribute their time and financial resources to conserve and protect the land, the ocean, and the plants and animals that make Hawai’i such a unique place in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Idaho Master Naturalist Training
The Idaho Master Naturalist Program aims to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to actively work toward stewardship of Idaho’s natural environment. Chapters in: Boise, Ketchum, Idaho Falls, Island Park, McCall, Pocotello, Sand Point, Treasure Valley Community College.
Illinois Master Naturalist Program
The mission of the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist Program is to provide science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards.
The East-Central Illinois Master Naturalist (ECIMN) Program, established in 2005, is sponsored by University of Illinois Extension Champaign County, Champaign County Forest Preserve District, and Urbana Park District and is available to residents of Central Illinois. Our current team of 165 Master Naturalists have contributed over 15,400 hours of service valued at $320,000 to Central Illinois.
Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, & Stark Counties Master Naturalist Program, The Master Naturalist program is a combination of education and service. With the help of local experts, University of Illinois Extension provides the educational support for the program, while the service is often done at one of the participating partner’s locations.
Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalists–The mission of our program is to provide science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards. Our vision is to give individuals the opportunity to experience nature, develop knowledge of and respect for the environment, and practice natural resource stewardship.
Indiana Master Naturalist Training
The Indiana Master Naturalist program can provide you with many hands-on opportunities to learn about our Hoosier natural resources. It also provides a way for you to share that knowledge, along with your life experiences, through volunteer service.
Iowa Master Naturalist Program
The Iowa Master Conservationist Program is offered by Extension Wildlife Programs. It is a volunteer program developed to give you the information necessary to make informed decisions about your natural resources.
Kansas Master Naturalist Training
The mission of the Kansas Master Naturalist program is to develop knowledgeable and dedicated citizens who are active in promoting awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the natural heritage of Kansas.
See more Kansas native plant resources
Kentucky Master Naturalist Program
Someone needs to get a master naturalist program started for Kentucky!
Louisiana Master Naturalist Training
The Louisiana Master Naturalist Program is an emerging opportunity for citizens to expand or sharpen their skills in natural history, with special focus on the diverse habitats of the Sportsman’s Paradise, Louisiana. The Master Naturalist Program, through its various chapters, will enable you to learn about the nature of the state’s varied physiographic regions, and help you understand the connections among our valued environment, culture, and economy.
Maine Master Naturalist Program
The Maine Master Naturalist Program is dedicated to developing a network of trained naturalist volunteers to teach natural history and encourage the stewardship of Maine’s natural environment. The program offers participants comprehensive instruction and field experience focused on ecological principles; wetland and upland ecology; identification of Maine’s flora and fauna; geology; and teaching skills.
Maryland Master Naturalist Training
Maryland Master Naturalists are interested, ecologically aware people who have successfully completed a fun but rigorous natural history training program, and who “pay it forward” with 40 hours of volunteer work annually. They participate in citizen science efforts, teach classes, lead field trips, and continue to learn and share their enthusiasm for Maryland’s natural areas and the life forms that occupy them.
Massachusetts Master Naturalist Program
The Massachusetts Master Naturalist Program mission is to grow its capacity to develop and deliver public programming by building a core of well trained volunteer docents.
Michigan Master Naturalist Training
In case you are not familiar with the Kent/MSU Extension Master Naturalist program, it is similar to the Master Gardener program only with a focus on conservation and the environment.
Michigan Conservation Stewards Program, Michigan State University Extension–This Michigan Conservation Stewards Program is designed for anyone interested in current conservation issues, outdoor recreation, nature study, natural area management, and a variety of other topics such as lake/stream monitoring and habitat restoration. Through participation in this program you will learn essential strategies to help restore and conserve ecosystems in Oakland County and throughout Michigan.
Minnesota Master Naturalist Program
The mission of the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program is to promote awareness, understanding, and stewardship of Minnesota’s natural environment by developing a corps of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within their communities.
Mississippi Master Naturalist Training
Mississippi Master Naturalist Program: A Master Naturalist is a concerned citizen who wants to learn more about Mississippi’s natural resources and management tools that can be used to help protect our land and water resources.
Missouri Master Naturalist Program
The Missouri Master Naturalist program is a community-based natural resource education and volunteer service program for adults, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the University of Missouri Extension. The mission is to engage Missourians in the stewardship of our state’s natural resources through science-based education and volunteer community service.
Montana Master Naturalist Training
The Montana Master Naturalist Program is designed for adults who want to stoke their curiosity and deepen their knowledge of the natural world. We offer a range of programs to fit the needs of a diverse community, but all the classes share a common goal of providing participants with the skills to interpret the Montana landscape.
Nebraska Master Naturalist Program
Get up close and personal with Nebraska’s natural resources! Participants in the Nebraska Master Naturalist Program will engage in nearly sixty hours of in-depth training, led by experts in their fields. Learn about Nebraska’s ecosystems, plants and animals, conservation biology, and so much more!
Nevada Master Naturalist Training
The Nevada Naturalist Program is an adult, environmental education program created to develop a corps of education naturalist volunteers to serve in southern Nevada.
New Hampshire Naturalist Training
The New Hampshire Natural Resources Stewards trains volunteers to promote wildlife habitat conservation and forest stewardship.
New Jersey Volunteer Naturalist Program
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, and other regional environmental organizations are offering a program to train New Jersey Volunteer Master Naturalists (VMN). The 40 hour certificate program is based on a national model to develop volunteer citizen stewards of natural resources through science-based conservation, education, and service programs.
New Mexico Master Naturalist Program
The New Mexico Master Naturalist Program aims to instill the pursuit of life?long learning and promote environmental stewardship. Participants are activity engaged through education and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources on Open Space properties.
New York Master Naturalist Training
Cornell University Master Naturalist Program: The Master Naturalist Program is a high-quality, science-based training program designed to teach adults about New York’s natural resources, empowering them to educate others and participate in on-the-ground conservation management projects.
Quality Parks Master Naturalist Program. Naturalists are deeply engaged in a personal commitment to open space preservation. The Quality Parks Master naturalist certification program is a train-the-trainer program. We will teach you to become a naturalist
North Carolina Master Naturalist Program
The Blue Ridge Naturalist Certificate Program offers classes, field studies and workshops designed to provide residents of Western North Carolina with an opportunity to learn more about the natural world and cultural heritage of our mountains. Through the Arboretum’s Adult Education curriculum, programs in a variety of topics are available throughout the year.
Central Carolinas Master Naturalist Program: To create a corps of well-trained volunteers providing education and service to benefit natural resources within their communities.
North Dakota Master Naturalist
Someone needs to get a master naturalist program started for North Dakota!
Ohio Master Naturalist Training
Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist: The mission of the OCVN program is to promote awareness and citizen stewardship of Ohio’s natural resources through science-based education and community service.
Oklahoma Master Naturalist Program
Do you love the sound of bird songs and want to know who’s singing? Do you want to know how to identify native plants and use them in your landscape to attract birds and butterflies? Do you love nature and want to learn more about natural resources right here in Oklahoma? Then join us as a member of the Oklahoma Master Naturalists! We are a group of volunteers dedicated to learning about and preserving Oklahoma’s rich biological diversity and sharing this knowledge through education, outreach, and service within our communities.
Oregon Master Naturalist Training
The Oregon Master Naturalist Program provides an opportunity to learn about natural resources through the study of scientifically sound information: the natural history of plants, animals, habitats, and geology, the history and processes of landscape change, as well as the most relevant topics in present-day sustainable natural resource management. Participants volunteer for natural resources programs, agencies, organizations, and other groups in their communities.
Oregon Master Watershed Steward: Most Oregonians are familiar with “master” programs offered by the OSU Extension Service: Master Gardeners, Master Food Preservers, Master Woodland Managers. With special Extension training, these people serve as rich resources for their communities. The OSU WE Team is following that successful model to educate Master Watershed Stewards, who will serve their communities by completing a project with assistance from OSU Extension, resource agencies or watershed councils, and becoming points of contact for their communities.
Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Training
Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is a statewide partnership initiative that aims to connect people with their local ecosystems through intensive natural science training and local conservation service work. It is a venture directed toward developing a local corps of “master volunteers and service providers” to offer education, outreach and service dedicated to the understanding and management of natural areas within their communities.
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Pennsylvania Master Naturalist: The Schuylkill Center is a partner with the Master Naturalist program, coordinating and hosting the Philadelphia Master Naturalist training course and engaging Master Naturalist Volunteers in various projects and opportunities at the Center.
The Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education was born to provide an educational forum for people to connect with nature. Through direct learning experiences in the natural world, our goal is to engage individuals in the conservation and stewardship of the natural environment that sustains our communities.
Rhode Island Master Naturalist Training
Someone needs to get a master naturalist program started for Rhode Island!
South Carolina Master Naturalist Program
The South Carolina Master Naturalist Program is a statewide corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. Interested South Carolinians become Master Naturalists through training and volunteer service.
South Dakota Master Naturalist Training
Someone needs to get a master naturalist program started for South Dakota!
Tennessee Master Naturalist Program
The Tennessee Naturalist program is a corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. Tennesseans interested in this program become Tennessee Naturalists through training and volunteer service.
Texas Master Naturalist Program
Texas Master Naturalist: 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. Many communities and organizations rely on such citizen volunteers for implementing youth education programs; for operating parks, nature centers, and natural areas; and for providing leadership in local natural resource conservation efforts. In fact, a short supply of dedicated and well-informed volunteers is often cited as a limiting factor for community-based conservation efforts.
- Alamo Area-San Antonio
- Big Country-Abilene
- Blackland Prairie-Plano
- Bluestem-Grayson Couunty
- Bois d’Arc Chapter
- Brazos Valley-Bryan/College Station
- Central Texas – Belton
- Capital Area-Austin
- Coastal Prairie-Rosenberg
- Cradle of Texas-Angleton
- Cross Timbers-Fort Worth
- Cypress Basin-Jefferson
- East Texas -Tyler
- El Camino Real-Cameron
- Elm Fork-Denton
- Galveston Bay-Galveston
- Gideon Lincecum-Brenham
- Good Water – Williamson County
- Guadalupe County
- Gulf Coast-Houston
- Hays County-San Marcos
- Heart of Texas-Waco
- Highland Lakes-Burnet
- Hill Country – Kerrville
- High Knob Chapter – Southwest Virginia
- Indian Trail – Ellis County
- Lindheimer-New Braunfels
- Llano Estacado-Midland-Odessa, Big Spring and surrounding area
- Longleaf Ridge Chapter-Jasper
- Lost Pines-Bastrop
- Mid-Coast – Aransas, Calhoun, Goliad, Jackson, Matagorda, Refugio, San Patricio, & Victoria Counties
- North Texas-Dallas
- Piney Woods Lakes – Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity and Tyler counties
- Red River-Clarksville
- Rio Brazos-Cleburne
- Rio Grande Valley-San Benito
- Rolling Plains-Wichita Falls
- South Plains – Lubbock
- South Texas – Corpus Christi
- Tierra Grande -Alpine
- Trans_Pecos-El Paso
- Western Edwards Plateau – Junction
Utah Master Naturalist Training
The Utah Master Naturalist Program is a certification program developed by Utah State University Extension with the partnership of over 25 other organizations in Utah. The mission of the Utah Master Naturalist Program is to develop well-informed volunteers and professionals who provide education, outreach, and service promoting stewardship of natural resources within their communities.
Vermont Master Naturalist
The Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning programs bring motivated students to the intersection of the natural environment and human nature. Our two-year graduate curriculum integrates science, fieldwork, critical thinking and public communications to produce leaders in environmental policy, land stewardship, research, conservation and education. Whether they go on to work in boardrooms, backyards or bogs, we give graduates the skills and dexterity to understand and explain the natural world – and to solve its problems.
Virginia Master Naturalist Program
Virginia Master Naturalists are volunteer educators, citizen scientists, and stewards helping Virginia conserve and manage natural resources and public lands.
- Alleghany Highlands Chapter: Alleghany, Bath, and Highland Counties
- Arlington Regional Chapter
- Banshee Reeks Chapter: Loudoun County
- Beagle Ridge Chapter: Wytheville and Wythe, Bland, Grayson, and Carroll Counties
- Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes Chapter: Franklin and Bedford Counties
- Central Blue Ridge Chapter: Nelson County
- Central Piedmont Chapter: Buckingham, Cumberland, and Prince Edwards Counties
- Central Rappahannock Chapter: Fredericksburg and Stafford, King George, Spotsylvania, and Caroline Counties
- Central Virginia Chapter: Lynchburg and Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, and Appomattox Counties
- Eastern Shore Chapter: Virginia’s Eastern Shore
- Fairfax Chapter: Fairfax County
- Headwaters Chapter: Rockingham and Augusta Counties
- Historic Rivers Chapter: Based in Williamsburg and James City and York Counties
- Historic Southside Chapter: Surry, Isle of Wight, Southampton, and Sussex Counties
- Holston Rivers Chapter: Abingdon and Washington County
- James River Chapter: Goochland and Powhatan Counties
- Merrimac Farm Chapter: Prince William County
- New River Valley Chapter: Blacksburg and Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Floyd Counties
- Northern Neck Chapter: Northern Neck
- Old Rag Chapter: Madison, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Orange, and Fauquier Counties
- Peninsula Chapter: Newport News and Hampton
- Pocahontas Chapter: Chesterfield County and the Richmond Metro Area
- Rivanna Chapter: Charlottesville and Albemarle County
- Riverine Chapter: Hanover County and the Richmond Metro Area
- Roanoke Valley Chapter: Roanoke County
- Rockbridge Chapter: Rockbridge County
- Shenandoah Chapter
- Clarke, Warren, Page, Shenandoah, and Frederick Counties
- Southwestern Piedmont Chapter: Serving the cities of Martinsville and Danville, and the counties of Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania.
- Tidewater Chapter: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Portsmouth
Washington Master Naturalist Training
Bellevue Master Naturalist Training Program: Master Naturalists will learn about the area’s ecology, geology, wildlife, plant life, cultural history, wetlands, forests, and streams from professors, local professionals, scientists, research assistants, and Park Rangers. Master Naturalists will focus on restoration and conservation efforts, and will help share this passion by working with and educating their community.
Kitsap County Water Stewards: We hope you will join us to understand, value, and protect Kitsap County’s priceless marine environment. In the past five years Kitsap County shoreline volunteers have been providing education, outreach and mentoring to the citizens of Kitsap County.
Stream Stewards: Stream Stewards receive training that prepares them to work on upland and stream riparian restoration projects.
West Virginia Master Naturalist Program
The mission of the West Virginia Master Naturalist Program is to train interested people in the fundamentals of natural history, nature interpretation and teaching, and to instill in them an appreciation of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship. The program will also provide a corps of highly qualified volunteers to assist government agencies, schools, and non-government organizations with research, outdoor recreation development, and environmental education and protection.
Wisconsin Master Naturalist Training
The mission of the Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program (WIMN) is to promote awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the natural environment by developing well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within their communities.
Wyoming Master Naturalist Program
Someone needs to get a master naturalist program started for Wyoming!
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Wyoming definitely needs a Master Naturalist Ecosystem Gardener program. It would be the perfect sequel to the Wyoming Naturalist Certification. Many of those participants could help teach it.
great article, thanks for sharing the information!
A general question I have - Are the certifications recognized state to state? For instance, I live in Tx but if I am in Virginia and want to take an AT course being offered, or volunteer for field research, would I be allowed to participate?
Very helpful, as I always give an annual review to my chapter in Virginia...Alaska does have a program since 2016 through the Univ of Alaska, and I'm waiting to hear back from them about possible chapters--just one in Fairbanks or Juneau. Rhode Island has the Park Naturalists, also waiting to hear from them. Washington DC had a Univ of DC program but it's difficult to get info from them, supposedly started in 2015. Vermont has their Field Naturalists,Connecticut is more based in Wildlife Conservationists...this is my superficial research on similar efforts.
The mission of the Southern Illinois Master Naturalist Association is to develop an expanding corps of well-educated volunteers to provide service and support in the conservation, restoration, management, and interpretation of natural resources in southern Illinois.
It is important to recognize that not all master naturalist programs are created on the same model. The Florida program currently has 8 courses with curricula delivered by a statewide network of Instructors. In 2016 more than 1,300 people took courses. We don't require volunteer service but obtain 10's of thousands of volunteer service hours each year. For more information see our website: www.MasterNaturalist.org.
There is now a true Vermont Master Naturalist Program designed for Vermont citizens that teaches people the natural history of their towns. It is different from the Field Naturalist Program listing, which is a two year M.S. program at UVM.
How can I get one started in Kentucky?
Surprised Wyoming doesn't have a program. I just moved here and am interested in becoming one. How do I get a program started here?
Great list! Where can I obtain Master Naturalist Training in Washington, DC?