Master Naturalist Programs by State

MT Master NaturalistMaster 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:

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.

Discover North America native plant resources

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.

Discover Alabama native plant resources

Alaska Master Naturalist Program

Someone needs to create a Master Naturalist Program for Alaska!

Find more Alaska native plant resources

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.

Discover more Arizona native plant resources

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

Learn more about Arkansas native plant resources

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

Find more California native plant resources

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.

Fort Collins Master Naturalis Program: 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.

Learn more about Colorado native plant resources

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.

Discover Connecticut native plant resources

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!

Learn more about Delaware native plant resources

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.

Learn more about Florida Native Plant Resources

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.

Discover more Georgia native plant resources

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.

More Hawaii native plant resources

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.

Find more Idaho native plant resources

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.

Discover more Illinois native plant resources

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.

Find more Indiana native plant resources

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.

Discover more Iowa native plant 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!

Learn more about Kentucky native plant resources

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.

Find more Louisiana native plant resources

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.

Discover more Maine native plant resources

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.

Learn more about Maryland native plant resources

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.

Learn more about Massachusetts native plant resources

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.

Find more Michigan native plant resources

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.

Learn more about Minnesota native plant resources

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.

Discover more Mississippi native plant 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.

Find more Missouri native plant resources

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.

Learn more about Montana native plant resources

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!

Discover more Nebraska native plant resources

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.

Find more Nevada native plant resources

New Hampshire Naturalist Training

The New Hampshire Coverts Project trains volunteers to promote wildlife habitat conservation and forest stewardship.

Resources for New Hampshire native plants

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.

Learn more about New Jersey native plant resources

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.

Find more New Mexico native plant resources

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.

Discover more New York native plant resources

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.

Find more North Carolina native plant resources

North Dakota Master Naturalist

Someone needs to get a master naturalist program started for North Dakota!

Learn more about North Dakota native plant resources

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.

Discover more Ohio native plant resources

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.

Find more Oregon native plant resources

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 natureThrough 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.

Learn more about Pennsylvania native plant resources

Rhode Island Master Naturalist Training

Someone needs to get a master naturalist program started for Rhode Island!

Learn more about Rhode Island native plants

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.

Find more South Carolina native plant resources

South Dakota Master Naturalist Training

Someone needs to get a master naturalist program started for South Dakota!

Discover more South Dakota native plant resources

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.

Learn more about Tennessee native plant resources

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.

Chapters:

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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.

More Utah native plant resources

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.

Discover more Vermont native plant resources

Virginia Master Naturalist Program

Virginia Master Naturalists are volunteer educators, citizen scientists, and stewards helping Virginia conserve and manage natural resources and public lands.

Chapters:

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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.

Discover more Washington native plant resources

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.

Learn more about West Virginia Native Plant Resources

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.

Discover more Wisconsin native plant resources

Wyoming Master Naturalist Program

Someone needs to get a master naturalist program started for Wyoming!

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Comments

  1. says

    Wow Carole! Thanks for spreading the word about the Master Naturalist program. It has really been a wonderful way to get me going in the direction I think I’ve been heading my whole life! BTW in the Virginia program we are required to do *40* hours of service per year. Those hours are pure pleasure! As always, thanks bunches for your great postings!

  2. says

    Thanks for posting the list so others can become Master Naturalist! I loved the training and being a Tennessee Naturalist. Like Brenda’s program to be a certified Tennessee Naturalist we must complete 40 hrs of volunteer work as well as taking 7 continuing education classes each year. I’ve met the best folks while having a grand time learning. gail
    Gail recently posted..January 2014: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

    • says

      Gail, I remember reading your posts when you started your program, and thought how wonderful such a program would be. It’s funny, I noticed as I was compiling this list that the number of classroom hours of education, and the number of volunteer hours varies wildly by state. Some states are much more comprehensive with both types of hours than others.
      Carole Sevilla Brown recently posted..Keynote Address CT Master Gardener Symposium

  3. Stephanie says

    I have completed the master naturalist coursework program in MD..Is it possible to transfer the classroom hours to another state close to that area, such as Massachusetts?

  4. says

    Hi Carole, as comments from other states have indicated, not all Master Naturalist programs operate in exactly the same way. The Florida Master Naturalist Program began program development in 1998 and currently offers 7 separate courses, each with a complete curriculum. Three of these are FMNP core modules (Coastal Systems, Freshwater Wetlands, and Upland Habitats), each of which is 40 contact hours and contains classroom learning, 3 field trips, and speaking and final project requirements. We also offer 4 special topics courses, 24 contact hours each, again w/classroom and field components (Wildlife Monitoring, Habitat Evaluation, Conservation Science, Environmental Interpretation). These courses are taught by a network of >150 certified instructors and we issue >1,000 FMNP graduate certificates each year. The FMNP does not require volunteer service, but we encourage it and typically document 15,000-25,000 volunteer hours by FMNP grads every year. There are many reasons we do not require volunteer service, the most important of which is that ~30% of our FMNP grads take the course for professional development (ecotour guides, teachers, park rangers, env consultants, lawyers, etc.) and I suspect we’d fail to serve those audiences if they were required to volunteer for the FMNP.

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  1. […] Master Naturalist Programs–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. […]

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