Image shows natural pond with vegetation and trees on a sunny day.

Michigan Master Naturalist

Program

This program is open to 16+ youth and adults who has an interest in the great out of doors! Participants in the “Michigan Master Naturalist” program will gain a greater understanding of the natural environment and conservation techniques while learning the flora native to Michigan. Participants can take an active role in implementing what they have learned throughout their neighborhoods and in their own backyards. Throughout the program, local interpretive and volunteer opportunities may become apparent to those seeking to become more active in their community.  

Locations

Due to COVID-19 health restrictions the core sessions will be taught in a virtual setting through the Desire to Learn classroom platform with related on your own outdoor experiences.  
The outdoor sessions will be led on foot in a wide variety of locations including well known (or somewhat secretive) parks, native preserves and bogs throughout the local training area. Some locations may have steep or rough terrain.  

Sessions are slated to run one Saturday a month through three of Michigan's seasons of Spring - Fall
 
  • May 15 - Geology, Soils, and Climate 
  • June 12 - Insects and Pollinators  
  • July 10 - Herpetology: Amphibians and Reptiles
  • August 14- Aquatic Ecology: Wetlands, Rivers, and Inland Lakes 
  • September 11 - Interpreting Ornithology
  • October 9 - Land Plants: Forests and Uplands

Please download the flier below for a table monthly times and dates

(Note: Like nature sometimes we are required to adapt. Be prepared that times, dates and locations are subject to change.)
Automobile or other transportation is required to reach various learning locations. A Michigan State Park Recreation Passport is necessary to access State parks. Carpooling can be coordinated if needed.

What to Expect

Class materials will be provided. Trainees are responsible for obtaining their own books: Douglas Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home and the Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest
For outdoor experiences, students should wear plan to wear appropriate clothing such as closed toed shoes or hiking boots, hat, long pants, etc.  
A camera, hand lens, field guides and binoculars may also prove helpful on lab walks. 
All training classes will be held virtually in 2021 due to COVID-19 meeting restrictions where outdoor experiences will be self-guided at recommended locations. 

Final Exam

At the completion of the core sessions, a take home final exam will be given. 
Participants will need to earn 80% or better to be certified as a Michigan Master Naturalist.

Attendance

Each Master Naturalist Trainee is expected to attend every session.  
If a participant misses more than one session, then he or she may not become a certified Michigan Master Naturalist.
In the event of illness or other life changing event, please contact your coordinator for completion options.

Costs

$200 per person includes all sessions. Trainees are responsible for purchasing their own required books.
Cancellations received within 14 days of class will incur a $100 cancellation fee.
Cancellations received on week prior to the start of class will not be refunded.


Note: Registration will close when the class is full. 
 

Maximum class size is 30 participants. 

When the class closes you will be invited to register to a waiting list for the next class.
 

 Wait List Registration

Registration for MSU Extension Michigan Master Naturalist West Central Region is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2021.


There are no openings available.

Accommodations

Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For additional questions contact Beth Clawson at clawsonb@msu.edu or 269-330-5554.