University of Maryland Extension

Statement of Solidarity and Inclusivity to Maryland’s Master Naturalists:

An event occurred a few months ago (in May, 2020) which sparked surprise and anger from many of us who work in natural resources education.  I’m speaking of the situation where a woman called 911 on an avid bird watcher because he asked her to leash her dog. She stated in her call to authorities that an African-American male was threatening her, and that she feared for her life and needed help immediately.  The events since this news broke have been even more shocking and sad.  The death of Mr. George Floyd on May 25th, has triggered a move away from complacency to one of action to work harder than ever to dismantle racial injustice in our country.  As the state Extension program leader for natural resources with the University of Maryland, I pledge to work with the leaders, volunteers, and staff in all of our programming areas to better understand and implement change to be more inviting, inclusive and welcoming to all peoples.  I have faith that there are great leaders in areas where we need help to achieve more diversity, equity and inclusivity in the Maryland Master Naturalist program and I hope to hear from you at either or my cell phone at 301-789-9441


William Hubbard, PhD
State Program Leader - Natural Resource Extension Programs
University of Maryland Extension


Maryland is a state of "wonders" with lots to see, do, learn and enjoy! Certified Maryland Master Naturalists help preserve and share the state's environmental wealth.  Keep reading to learn more about this extraordinary program and how you can participate.


Become a Master Naturalist

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.


Train Master Naturalists

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.


Support the Maryland Master Naturalist Program

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

A detailed description of the Master Naturalist Program is given in the Policies and Guidelines


Master Naturalist
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