This page is intended for use by Potomac Valley Master Naturalist Candidates (Students), those enrolled in the PVMN program but have not yet completed their initial certification.
Welcome To The Potomac Valley Master Naturalist Program!
Congratulations on being chosen as a Candidate to the Potomac Valley Master Naturalist Program! To be certified as a Master Naturalist by the state of West Virginia, you must complete 62 class hours of instruction (46 Core and 16 Elective Hours); and 30 hours of volunteer service.
The Potomac Valley Master Naturalist program is designed to educate and train a corps of volunteers to provide support in conservation, management, and interpretation of the area’s natural resources.
COVID-19 UPDATE: The PVMN Coordinating Committee hopes you and yours are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time. We have compiled a list of volunteer opportunities available to you that comply with West Virginia’s COVID-19 “safer at home” requirements: click here for a copy of these 2020 volunteer and continuing education opportunities. Krista emailed this list on 07 May 2020 to all PVMN certified Master Naturalists and candidates. Please contact Krista (AdultPrograms@PotomacAudubon.org) if you have general questions or KC Walters, Land Manager, for specific preserve questions (Katelyn@PotomacAudubon.org).
As soon as we can safely, and in compliance with West Virginia’s requirements related to gatherings, we will update the PVMN Class Schedule with all of the required core and elective classes.
Class Instruction/Field Work
Training includes classroom instruction and field work that covers a wide range of topics related to natural resources. A total of 46 hours for core classes include Amphibians and Reptiles; Aquatic Habitats; Birds; Ecology; Fish; Geology; Habitat Improvement; Insects and Spiders and Other Invertebrates; Mammals; Names, Classifications and ID; Nature Interpretation; Recording and Sharing; Terrestrial Habitats; Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines; Wetlands; and Wildflowers and Weeds. An additional 16 hours of electives also are required and topics vary. You will acquire strong, foundational knowledge through advanced training and experience, then extend that knowledge to the community through volunteer service.
Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information (eg, basic requirements for certification, attending/missing classes). PVMN Candidates (Students) also may contact the Student Coordinator, Lisa Kovatch (email@example.com). Please contact the Student Coordinator if you have to miss a class (or if you are a Candidate from a prior year still completing your initial coursework and would like to attend a class).
The purpose of volunteer work is to provide a service to the community with regard to natural resources, and to help the volunteer gain knowledge and experience. Volunteer Projects must either involve educating the public or enhancing the natural resources of our state. Some ways to find volunteer opportunities include:
- Check out the PVAS Events Calendar under Volunteer Opportunities
- Review emails from PVAS and PVMN detailing upcoming volunteer opportunities
- Learn about Community Science projects in WV
- Consider countless other opportunities that you may hear about; volunteer work should meet the criteria described above
- Note: Travel time can be included as part of your time volunteering (i.e., include travel time as part of your service hours in Track It Forward, the PVMN electronic tracking system)
Remember to enter the hours you volunteered into Track It Forward, the PVMN electronic tracking system. Please enter hours soon after you complete the volunteer activity. Here is a link to the Track It Forward Instruction Sheet and to Track It Forward to enter your hours. If you have any questions about capturing your volunteer hours in Track It Forward, please contact the Data Management Coordinator, Paul Breitenbach (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Additional Resources for PVMN Candidates (Students)
- 2020 PVMN Class Schedule
- West Virginia Master Naturalist Chapters Class Schedules and WVMN Documentation of Attendance (use these links if you are interested in making up a core class or an elective class by visiting another West Virginia Master Naturalist Chapter; subject to the permission of that chapter’s contact)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page
- PVAS Volunteer Opportunities
- Track It Forward Instruction Sheet and Track It Forward to enter volunteer hours
- PVMN Policy Manual and By-Laws
- PVMN Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Links tab on this PVMN website
- We are on Facebook (search “Potomac Valley Master Naturalist”).
For other questions, please contact Krista Hawley at AdultPrograms@PotomacAudubon.org or call 681-252-1387.