Want to be a Master Naturalist? Instruction is specific to one of three physiographic regions in Maryland: the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, or Mountain Region. The course fee is $250 per person. Individuals interested in becoming a Master Naturalist apply to a Host Site in their region (see sidebar at right). Once you're accepted into the Master Naturalist volunteer training program, you will receive 52 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of hands-on experience outdoors (60 hours total training).
After this initial training, participants provide a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service to their Host Site in the first year in order to receive Master Naturalist certification. To maintain certification, Master Naturalists continue to provide at least 40 hours of approved service in their region along with a minimum of 8 hours of approved advanced training. Volunteer service and advanced training are approved and recorded by the Master Naturalist's volunteer training Host Site Program Facilitator. A wide variety of volunteer opportunities are possible, including environmental restoration projects, education, public awareness campaigns, and field research. Volunteers serve Host Sites or other environmental agencies/organizations and not University of Maryland Extension.
See the Master Naturalist Policies and Guidelines Tab to learn more about training to become a Master Naturalist.
Want to be a Host Site? Host Sites are environmental agencies/organizations in Maryland that have the resources for both indoor and outdoor education. A host site-selected and approved representative (staff, volunteer, etc) completes a one-day workshop in the administration of the Master Naturalist program in order to become a Program Facilitator. The coursework and volunteer service are coordinated by Host Site Program Facilitators. For more information please go to the Training Master Naturalists tab above.
The Maryland Master Naturalist Program welcomes the support of organizations and individuals in expanding the training and volunteer opportunities throughout the state. The formation of the program, and the plans for future expansion, are described here.