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Summer Master Naturalist Course

August 9, 2021 @ 9:00 am - August 13, 2021 @ 4:00 pm

$395 – $425
Montana Master Naturalists examine purply-blue camas flowers at Packer Meadows near Lolo Pass.

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.

Monday-Friday, August 9 – 13, 2021 
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This is a five-day intensive course held in the summer each year. Class meets from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.

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, shrubs and trees, 2) birds, and 3) insects. Instruction will also include time on local geology, mammals, fire ecology, and riparian ecology.

Christine Morris
, Community Programs Coordinator, Naturalist. Christine teaches the spring and fall Montana Master Naturalist courses, the Certified Interpretive Guide course and coordinates adult programs and lectures.

Elena Ulev, Naturalist. Elena leads naturalist walks and hikes for all ages. New to MNHC, she has background in environmental education, science curriculum writing, wildlife biology and field data collection for the U.S.F.S.

Sam Getty, Intern. Sam graduated from the UM in May in Wildlife Biology and is assisting with our summer adult programs.

Guest Instructors include Jenah Mead, Naturalist and artist, and the Watershed Education Network.

We’ll take full advantage of the summer season and spend most of our time afield. We will spend time in the cottonwood galleries of the river’s floodplain and venture to the conifer forest in Pattee Canyon. 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.

COVID precautions: We will follow all the most current best practices concerning COVID precautions during this class, potentially including social distancing, wearing masks, etc . If it is not possible for us to safely take our MNHC bus, we will need to drive ourselves in our personal vehicles.

“After completing this course, I felt much more closely connected to my Montana home, but the best part is being able to share my new naturalist skills with others so they can find their sense of place as well.”  ~2017 Master Naturalist

Master Naturalist Certification Requirements:

  • The main project for this class is keeping a detailed naturalist handbook with species list. To get the most out of your experience, you should expect to spend a little time in the afternoon reviewing and organizing your daily notes, and tracking your observations.
  • Attend at least 40 hours of instruction.
  • Complete the culminating exercise.

Please Note:
This is a university-level class. A significant amount of information is covered in 5 days. It is fun!—but also work to be proud of and take seriously.

Learn more about the Master Naturalist Program HERE


  • Cost: $395 for members; $425 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.



August 9, 2021 @ 9:00 am
August 13, 2021 @ 4:00 pm
$395 – $425
Event Category:


Montana Natural History Center
120 Hickory St.
Missoula, MT 59801 United States