Become an Arkansas Master Naturalist

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Want to learn about the natural world and participate in volunteer projects that contribute to conservation in Arkansas? Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists are recruiting new members to participate in their spring Naturalist in Training courses. Classroom and field sessions led by expert naturalists and professionals in their fields will cover topics from trees to birds to geology to stream ecology.

Classes start at the end of January and will be held in Benton and Washington counties as well as Eureka Springs for Carroll and Madison county residents. The cost is $135 for the training and materials, plus $30 for annual dues. A second household member can be added for $80 if materials are shared. We have already received a lot of applications and the classes will fill up! Spaces will be filled in the order applications and payments are received.

For the upcoming year, NWAMN‘s Naturalist in Training (NIT) classes start in the middle of January and extend to the end of May. More than 100 hours of combined classroom and field instruction are offered. The training focuses on ecological topics specific to the Ozarks region and classes include Geology, Mammals, Native Plants, Volunteer Opportunities, etc. Once you have completed the minimum 40 hours of training and graduated from NIT status, you are an Arkansas Master Naturalist! To reach the next level of mastery as a Certified Arkansas Master Naturalist, you must complete 40 hours of volunteer work and 8 hours of advanced training during the calendar year.

Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists (NWAMN) are an active group of volunteers involved in many types of projects including invasive species removal, public nature presentations, native plant seed collection and propagation, plant sales, and wildlife habitat restoration. The group also partners with many area agencies to provide expertise or volunteers for special events. These include Hobbs State Park, Illinois River Watershed Alliance, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, and Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. Some of these groups are on limited budgets and rely on volunteer help. There are volunteer opportunities available for all ages and skill sets. 

Visit ArkansasMasterNaturalists.org for details on becoming a member of Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists. Click the header “Join AMN” and then the link for the Northwest Chapter. Questions? Email portillo.jb@gmail.com.

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