Montana Master Naturalist Program

Montana Master Naturalist Program


The focus of the Montana Master Naturalist Program is to increase natural history knowledge and promote awareness, understanding, and stewardship of Montana’s natural environment by developing a corps of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within their communities.

The Montana Master Naturalist Program is designed for adults who want to stoke their curiosity, deepen their knowledge of the natural world, and give back to their communities in new ways. We offer a range of programs to fit the needs of a diverse community, but all the classes share a common goal of providing participants with the skills to interpret Montana’s flora, fauna, and landscape. The core class is the Master Naturalist Certification course, which we offer in spring and summer in slightly different formats. We also partner with organizations across Montana to offer the course in a growing number of communities around the state, including Glacier National Park, Billings, Helena, and the Swan Valley (visit the link below for more details). In addition to our certification courses, we offer focused, intensive field days and field weekends on additional topics.

To maintain their certification, Montana Master Naturalists are required to log 20 hours of volunteer service and participate in 8 hours of continuing education annually.

We are pleased to report 487 graduates to date!

Master Naturalists learning about plants on Mount Jumbo
Spring Master Naturalist Certification Course 

This 12-week course meets one evening per week from early February to early May. Hone your naturalist skills while learning about the flora, fauna, and ecology of western Montana through field trips, lectures, and workshops!

Summer Master Naturalist Certification Course 

Our intensive one-week summer course is a great way to take advantage of the gorgeous June weather in Montana, and spend most of the class time afield, focusing particularly on flowers & trees, birds, and insects. This five-day class meets Monday-Friday.

Naturalist Field Days and Weekends

In the tradition of our high-quality Master Naturalist Courses, Field Days pair expert instructors with hands-on field experiences for truly engaging learning opportunities. Geared toward the Master Naturalist or curious outdoor explorer, our program content develops key naturalist skills.

Master Naturalist Courses Beyond Missoula

Live outside of Missoula? We partner with organizations in other communities to offer the Master Naturalist course in other parts of the state, including Glacier National Park, Helena, Billings, and the Swan Valley. For a listing of Master Naturalist courses outside of Missoula, click HERE.

Master Naturalist Recertification

To maintain their certification, Master Naturalists are required to complete 20 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of continuing education each calendar year. The goal of this volunteer service is to strengthen local communities by improving natural areas and educating people of all ages about Montana’s natural environment. Montana Master Naturalists give thousands of hours a year to their communities.