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Summer 2023 June Master Naturalist
June 6, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Dates: Monday, June 5th – Friday, June 9th
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Montana Natural History Center
Stoke your curiosity, deepen your knowledge of the natural world, & give back to your communities with our summer Master Naturalist Course!
This is a five-day intensive course held in June each year. Class meets from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. Christine Morris, Community Programs Coordinator at the Montana Natural History Center, is the primary instructor.
This class is compressed into a short window of time so we will delve deeply into three subjects. Our focus will be on learning the core skills of identification of: 1) flowers, trees, and shrubs 2) birds, and 3) insects. Instruction will also include time on local geology, mammals, fire ecology, and riparian ecology.
We’ll take full advantage of the early summer season and spend most of our time afield, supplementing that with a couple of lectures and labs to deepen our knowledge.
We will spend time in the cottonwood galleries of the river’s floodplain and venture to the conifer forest on Lolo Pass. Get a handle on plant identification by recognizing patterns in form, catch and identify butterflies along the Clark Fork River, and recognize birds by song and sight. The final day will be spent at the National Bison Range.
COVID precautions: We will follow all the most current best practices concerning covid precautions during this class. We will meet outside, wear masks, and social distance. If it is not possible for us to safely take our MNHC bus, we will need to drive ourselves in our personal vehicles.
- Cost: $425 for members; $450 for non-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. View our full cancellation/refund policy here.
- 2 UM credits available (pending approval). This course is listed as University of Montana ENST 391. A $155 fee is required to the School of Extended and Lifelong Learning to take the class for credit.
- Some scholarships are available–please contact us at 327.0405 for details.
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.
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