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Master Naturalist Program Seeks Applicants

ent--article_ _media__contact">Media Contact: Marsha E. May, 512-389-8062,

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AUSTIN — Seven chapters of the Texas Master Naturalist program have scheduled summer and fall training classes for volunteers wanting to learn about natural resource and conservation management.

With 44 chapters state-wide, the Texas Master Naturalist program aims to develop a corps of well-informed citizen volunteers who educate their communities about the management of natural resources.  The main qualification needed to become a Certified Texas Master Naturalist is an interest in learning and playing an active part in conservation.

Volunteers will receive a minimum of 40 hours training from educators and specialists from places such as universities, natural resource agencies, nature centers and museums.  Training topics include interpretation and management of natural resources, ecological concepts, eco-regions in Texas and natural systems management.  Volunteers are expected to give 40 hours of service a year in community education, demonstration and habitat enhancement projects.  They are also expected to pursue a minimum of eight hours of advance training in areas of personal interest.

Enrollment is limited in most chapters and some registration deadlines are fast approaching. Chapters offering volunteer training this summer and fall include:

  • Abilene: Big Country Chapter. Training begins Aug. 16 and ends Nov. 1. Registration is due Aug. 6, with a limit of 20 students. The training will take place over 14 sessions. Classes will meet 6-9 p.m. on Thursdays and some Saturdays. For more information, contact Robert Pritz, Taylor County AgriLife Extension, 325-672-6048, Chapter website:
  • Austin: Capital Area Chapter. Training will begin in January and run through mid-April 2013, but registration opens Aug. 1 with a limit of 30 students. For more information and application, contact Christine Powell, 512-863-8250, Chapter website:
  • Corinth: Elm Fork Chapter. Training begins Sept. 4 and ends Nov. 13.  Classes will meet on Tuesdays at the Global Spheres Center, 7801 Stemmons Freeway, Corinth, TX 76201. Registration is due by Aug. 17, with a limit of 20 students. Entrance fee is $150. For more information and application, contact Van Elliott, PO Box 270998, Flower Mound, TX 75027, 972-539-4350, Chapter website:
  • Houston: Gulf Coast Chapter. Training begins Aug. 25 and ends Oct. 30. Class is limited to 25 students. Orientation is on a Saturday and classes are Tuesday evenings with five field trips on Saturdays. Schedule is pending. For more information and application, contact Pam Cook, Chapter website:
  • Kerrville: Hill Country Chapter. Training reception will be Aug. 20, with classes beginning Aug. 22. Graduation day is Nov.14. Classes will meet on Wednesdays. Application deadline is July 13 with a limit of 35 students. For more information and application, contact Eileen Gotke, 830-367-4001. Chapter website:
  • Rosenberg: Coastal Prairie Chapter, Fort Bend and Waller counties. Training begins Sept. 8 and ends Oct. 25. Registration is due Sept. 5, with a limit of 25 students. Cost is $150. Classes will meet from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for eight weeks (three Saturdays and five Thursdays). For more information and application, contact Doug Simons 832-588-8431 or Chapter website:
  • San Antonio: Alamo Area Chapter. Training begins Sept. 6 and ends Nov. 8. Presentations are 12:30-4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. There are four morning field trips including graduation. Application deadline is Aug. 21. Training will take place at the Texas AgriLife Building, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Room 208, San Antonio, TX 78248. For more information and application, contact Pamela Ball,  210-842-7967. Chapter website:

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas AgriLife Extension co-sponsor the Texas Master Naturalist Program.  For more information about existing chapters or forming a new chapter contact Michelle Haggerty, Texas Master Naturalist Program Coordinator, 309 Sidney Baker South, Kerrville, TX 78028. Call (830)896-2504 or email:  Additional information about the Texas Master Naturalist program is available at