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About  Arkansas Master Naturalists



Who are the Arkansas Master Naturalists?

 Arkansas Master Naturalists (AMN) is an independent, state-wide, volunteer organization, comprised of (currently) eight chapters.  AMN is dedicated to educating its members and giving back to the community through volunteer work.

According to AMN Policies and Procedures paperwork, the AMN mission is "developing a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities."

The AMN's goals are to:
  1. Improve public understanding of natural resource ecology and management.
  2. Enhance existing natural resource management, education, outreach and research activities.
That's a mouthful, but it boils down to AMN working to, well, keep the Natural State natural.

There are three levels in Arkansas Master Naturalists

  • Naturalists In Training. - These are new members taking the training sessions meant to give all naturalists an understanding of the basics of the natural world. 

  • Master Naturalists - These are naturalists who have completed at least 40 hours of NIT training and are current with the annual dues.

  • Certified Master Naturalists - These are Master Naturalists who logged at least 40 hours of volunteer time and 8 hours of continuing education in the previous calendar year and are current with the annual dues.





Our History

The Arkansas Master Naturalist organization was founded in 2006, by a Texas transplant named Tom Neale and an interpreter at Pinnacle Mountain State Park named Linda Goza.  Tom had been a member of the Texas Master Naturalists and was surprised to learn that there wasn't a similar program in Arkansas.  Tom and Linda both recognized the need for trained volunteers and began the work creating AMN.  Tom's plan was to model the new organization after the Texas program but he met resistance in finding sponsorship.  Not easily deterred, Tom forged ahead and created the 1st program in the nation not affiliated with a state extension program.  So Arkansas Master Naturalists began in Little Rock with what is now the Central Arkansas Master Naturalist chapter.   In 2008, CAMN member Anne Goodman Massey began traveling statewide, meeting with state park employees and speaking before nonprofit groups, recruiting members to form new Master Naturalist chapters, and her hard work paid off in 2009 with the launch of twin chapters North Central and Northwest Arkansas.  Anne Massey served as the first statewide president, Bob Santos (Northwest) constructed an impressive multi-function website, and Steve Sampers (Northwest) developed annual certification award pins featuring native flora and fauna.  Ten years after Anne Massey drove the state promoting the organization, Arkansas Master Naturalists is comprised of seven chapters and over 700 members.