Fall Online Master Naturalist Course

Are you a self-directed, curious learner, eager to explore your natural surroundings? Our immersive online certification course will help you develop naturalist skills and a deeper understanding of the natural world through a blend of live online classes, recorded lectures, guided independent study, and an in-person field weekend.  

Fall Online Certification Course 2021

Tuesdays, September 7th – November 23rd, 2021
4:00-6:00 p.m. MDT

Field Weekend, September 25-26

Engage with the course anytime, anywhere. The online format can fit your schedule. Though attending the field weekend and live online classes is highly encouraged, they will be recorded and supplemental material can be provided. This class works best for independent learners who can complete activities outside of the traditional classroom format. Your instructors will be available throughout the course for one-on-one guidance and mentorship.

REGISTER FOR THE COURSE!

Taught by MNHC Naturalist Christine Morris and Master Naturalist Kelly Dix, this class:

  • meets once per week for 12 weeks 
  • includes in-person weekend field experience in and around Missoula on September 25 & 26 (following COVID best practices and protocols)
  • includes course workbook
  • includes an online classroom platform to engage with instructors and fellow students throughout the course

We’ll cover a wide breadth of topics with the goal of giving you a foundation of naturalist skills and knowledge on which you can build. Learn how to identify butterflies by family, insects by order, birds, mammal skulls and tracks, and more. From landscape processes to lichen we will look at specific details and how each part contributes to the greater ecology. 

Knowledgeable guest instructors include Missoula College instructor and botanist Greg Peters, botanist and author Peter Lesica, MNHC communications coordinator Allison De Jong, U.S. Forest Service fuels technician Geoff Farinholt, MNHC teaching naturalists Jenah Mead and Ser Anderson, and conservation director Luke Lamar with Swan Valley Connections.

View the course syllabus (some elements may be subject to change)

Upon course completion, students:

  • Will receive a Master Naturalist certificate and pin
  • Be a part of an engaged and curious Master Naturalist community
  • Have the knowledge and skills to perform environmental stewardship

To complete this certification course, students are expected to attend classes/view taped lectures, complete weekly self-guided study assignments, keep a nature journal, and complete a final class project. 

Plan on putting in about 5-6 hours per week including class time, independent study assignments, nature journaling, and final assignment. 

Master Naturalist Certification is maintained by completing 20 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of continuing education each year. You will receive a new pin each year you certify!

Recommended Materials:

  • binoculars
  • 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 Plants of the Rocky Mountains or Wildflowers of Montana (depending on what you can find in print)

Registration Information:

  • Cost: $330/$300 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. Exceptions will be made for COVID-19 related refunds. Read our full refund/cancellation policy.
  • Some scholarships are available! Please contact cmorris@montananaturalist.or for more information

REGISTER HERE FOR OUR FALL ONLINE MONTANA MASTER NATURALIST COURSE.