Spring Master Naturalist Course
April 4 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm$425 – $450
Spring 2023 Master Naturalist Certification Course
Tuesdays, February 7 – May 9, 4:00-7:00 p.m.; tentative Saturday field trips on February 18 and April 8.
Our certification courses consist of at least 40 hours of instruction in a mix of lectures, in-class labs, and outdoor field trips. We’ll cover a wide breadth of topics with the goal of giving you an essential foundation of skill and knowledge on which you can build.
(We will follow best practices related to COVID safety. This may mean that the class is adjusted to a blended outdoor and online format if necessary.)
Taught by MNHC Naturalist Christine Morris, this class:
- is a 13-week course
- runs on Tuesdays from 4:00-7:00 pm (no class March 21, the week of UM’s spring break)
- includes 2 full-day Saturday field trips, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., tentative dates of Feb. 18 and April 8.
See our local forests in new light as you learn about the role our conifers play in a coordinated ecology with fire and snow pack moisture. Or marvel in the diversity of lichen. Spend an entire day identifying winter raptors in the Mission valley. Become attuned to bird songs and butterfly wings. Get a handle on flower identification by recognizing patterns in form. Our emphasis will be on learning how to identify local flora, fauna, and landscape processes while gaining insight on how each part is connected.
Throughout the course you will put together understanding of the various strands of our western Montana ecology and gain proficiency in a suite of naturalist skills.
View the course syllabus here (some elements subject to change).
Knowledgeable guest instructors include botanists Greg Peters and Peter Lesica, birder Brian Williams, U.S.F.S. Fuels Technician Geoffrey Farinholt, and others.
The class will be based at the Montana Natural History Center. Travel to field sites will be by MNHC bus.
- Cost: $450/$425 members
- Full payment due upon registration. The course fee (minus a $100 administrative fee) is refundable ONLY if a cancellation is made 30 days before the first day of class. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after this deadline.
- 3 UM credits available (pending approval). This course is listed at UM ENST 391. A $155 fee is required to the School of Extended and Lifelong Learning to take the class for credit. Payment and information will be collected at the first class.
- Some scholarships are available–please contact us at 327.0405 for details.
- REGISTER HERE.
Master Naturalist Certification requirements:
- Attend at least 40 hours of instruction.
- Pass/complete section quizzes, journal entries, and a final project.
If you want to maintain your certification in years to come (and earn successive Master Naturalist pins), you’ll have to log 20 hours of volunteer service per year with organizations connected with the natural world, as well as 8 hours of continuing education per year.
For more information on volunteer service & continuing education requirements, click here.
The only required material is a blank journal. We will provide details and recommendations on the first day of class. Everything else can be borrowed or used in class from our supply. Each student will receive a Master Naturalist Handbook.
- binoculars (we have plenty to borrow)
- hand lens or loupe
- blank journal (required)
- micron or small sharpie pen
- colored pencils or watercolor pencils
- bird guide such as Sibley’s Field Guide to Birds of Western North America
- Botany in a Day by Thomas J. Elpel
- plant/flower guide such as Wildflowers of Montana or Plants of the Rocky Mountains
- insect guide such as Kaufman’s Guide to Insects of North America