Join Arkansas Master Naturalists!

WHO: Arkansas Master Naturalists, a volunteer organization dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and areas within the state

WHAT: Master Naturalist Training, which includes classroom and outdoor instruction

WHEN: Saturdays beginning January 22 through May 7, 2011

WHERE: Six chapters throughout Arkansas – Central, North Central, Northwest, River Valley, Diamond Lakes and Northeast

COST: $160

BACKGROUND:

The Arkansas Master Naturalists program encourages Arkansans to make a difference in the natural state by becoming a Master Naturalist in 2011.

Classes begin at 9 a.m. every Saturday from January 22 to May 7, 2011 in the following areas:

  • Central Chapter – Central Arkansas Nature Center and Pinnacle Mountain State Park Visitors Center
  • North Central Chapter – Bull Shoals–White River State Park Visitors Center or Fred Berry Conservation Education Center
  • Northwest Chapter – Hobbs State Park Visitors Center or Carroll Electric Building, Community Room in Huntsville
  • River Valley Chapter – Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitors Center, Mount Magazine Visitor Center, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute or Mount Nebo State Park Pavilion
  • Diamond Lakes Chapter – Lake Ouachita State Park or DeGray Lake Resort State Park
  • Northeast Chapter – Lake Frierson State Park, Crowley’s Ridge State Park, Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center and Arkansas State University Museum

Each chapter’s schedule and subject matter will vary depending on their particular program.

Cost for the instruction is $160, which includes training, literature, t-shirt, name tag and a year’s annual dues to the Arkansas Master Naturalists program. More than 80 hours of classroom instruction is available to Naturalists-In-Training, but each Naturalist-In-Training is only required to complete 40 hours to graduate and become a master naturalist.

Participants will expand their knowledge of the natural world by studying ecology, native plants and animals, geology, botany, meteorology, astronomy, public land use, interpretation, trail design and maintenance, stream quality evaluation and testing and much more. Master naturalists improve public understanding of natural resource ecology and management and enhance existing natural resource management, education, outreach and research activities. In fact, Arkansas Master Naturalists have logged nearly 5,000 volunteer hours in the state, working with organizations such as Audubon Arkansas, Arkansas State Parks, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

To register, visit http://home.arkansasmasternaturalists.org/index.php/how-do-i-join.

Classes are made up of a minimum of 15 students. To become a Master Naturalist, students must attend at least 40 hours of initial training. To achieve and maintain certification, Master Naturalists must complete at least 40 hours of volunteer work and eight hours of advanced training each year.

For more information about the Master Naturalist Training program or Arkansas Master Naturalists, contact Dwan Garrison at (870) 688-0961.

About Arkansas Master Naturalists

The Arkansas Master Naturalists program seeks to develop and support an effective and efficient statewide Master Naturalist volunteer service network. The Master Naturalist network strives to improve public understanding of natural resource ecology and management, and enhance existing natural resource management, education, outreach and research activities.

The 2011 Certified Master Naturalist Training program begins January 22 in six chapters throughout Arkansas, and applications are now being accepted. Classes are made up of a minimum of 15 students with a limited number of spaces. Those wishing to participate should register as early as possible.

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