What happens when I apply to join the Master Naturalists?
New members are called Naturalists In Training (NITs). To graduate to full Master Naturalist status, the Naturalists In Training must log 40 hours of education time within one calendar year. To become a Certified Master Naturalist, a Master Naturalist must log 40 hours of volunteer time and 8 hours of continuing education (This does not include NIT hours). A few Master Naturalists achieve Certified Master Naturalist status after only one year, but most achieve it during their second year.
For 2021, NWA Naturalists In Training will occur via Zoom. These sessions may include online lectures with time allotted for discussion, videos of interpreted hikes, and field application for individual/small group outdoor activities. Topics will focus on, but not be limited to, Ozark Highland Plateau ecology, native plants and animals, geology, botany, meteorology, interpretation, watersheds and water quality, and Arkansas Eco-Regions.
Approximately 50 hours of online instruction will be offered with a choice of attending Saturday mornings or Wednesday evenings. Online sessions will, typically, last between 3 and 4 hours. Topic-related field explorations for both individual and/or small groups using social distancing guidelines will vary both in format and location. NITs will need to attend a total of 40 hours selected from online sessions and field explorations to graduate. Training will begin in January preparing for graduation in May.
Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists (NWAMN) are an active group of volunteers involved in many types of projects including invasive species removal, presenting public nature programs, native plant seed collection and propagation, plant sales, and wildlife habitat restoration. We also partner with many area agencies to provide help or volunteers for special events. These include Hobbs State Park, Illinois River Watershed Alliance, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. To get an idea of what we are doing, please check out our chapter page Northwest AMN and our Facebook page, NWA Master Naturalists. We'd love to have you join us in keeping Arkansas Natural!
To apply, you can use the online application, Member Signup / Information. Select Naturalist in Training for membership type.
Hoping to see you out in nature soon!