Potomac Valley Master Naturalist Program
Our Potomac Valley Master Naturalist Program has proven to be one of our most popular adult programs.
May 18: Birds and Amphibians and Reptiles: CraftWorks
June 22: Insects and Fish (elective), National Conservation Training Center (NCTC)
July 20: Aquatic Habitats and Geology (elective), Cacapon State Park
August 17: Wildflowers, Habitat Improvement, Insect Songs (elective), NCTC
September 21-22: Mammals, Soils (elective), Terrestrial Habitats, Trees, NCTC, Shepherdstown WV
Weed Warriors Invasive Removal at Yankauer Preserve:
Friday May 24 at 10:00 AM to Noon, meet at the Pavilion.
Saturday June 1 at 10:00 AM to Noon
Tuesday June 6 at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Tree Planting at Flowing Springs Park: June 7, 9 a.m.-12 Noon
Relatively new on the scene, Master Naturalist programs are patterned after the Master Gardener Program that has been offered in many states for many years by local extension agents. The basic approach for both programs is to combine education with public service.
West Virginia's Master Naturalist Program is one of the first in the nation. It was established in 2003 by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and it is administered by that agency.
We partnered with WVDNR in 2006 to establish our Master Naturalist program, which is the official Master Naturalist Chapter for the Eastern Panhandle.
Learn more about our Potomac Valley Chapter, including dates and places for 2013 classes, and find volunteer projects by clicking on the blue link. We're also on Facebook.
How it works:
Those who complete our program are certified by the state as West Virginia Master Naturalists. This qualifies them to assist with natural resource activities in various ways, such as volunteering in state parks, assisting educators with instruction, participating in wildlife surveys, and other citizen science activities.
Enrollment is limited to 20 persons a year. Participants receive 64 hours of classroom and field instruction in a broad range of natural history and environmental education topics. Instructional sessions are held weekends from March through October in areas around the WV Eastern Panhandle, often at the National Conservation Training Center just outside Shepherdstown and Cacapon State Park near Berkeley Springs.
Program participants must also complete a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer service to become fully certified. To remain certified, they must participate in 8 hours of training and 16 hours of volunteer service every year. Here is a list of citizen science projects (although there are many others!)
The cost to enroll is $300, which covers all classes and instruction. Partial scholarships are available.
2013 Class Dates
All class days are generally 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
March 16 and March 17: Cacapon State Park, Berkeley Springs WV
April 20: CraftWorks, Jefferson County WV
May 18: CraftWorks, Jefferson County WV
June 22: National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), Shepherdstown WV
July 20: Cacapon State Park, Berkeley Springs WV
August 17: NCTC, Shepherdstown WV
September 21-22: NCTC, Shepherdstown WV
October 19: Extra Instruction Day (if needed)
November 2: Annual Meeting, Shepherdstown WV
Download a PDF copy of the schedule here.
How to Apply:
PVAS typically makes program applications available on this website in late October or early November, and applications must be submitted by early to mid January. Applications are competitive. Those selected for enrollment are notified in early February.
In 2013, applications are due (postmarked) by February 22.
For more information about the program, or to request notification when applications are available, contact Ellen Murphy or call 304-676-8739.