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.
Class Instruction/Field Work
The 2023 PVMN Class Schedule is available. 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). 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
- Become a PVAS Weed Warrior. A Weed Warrior helps combat invasive plants at the four nature preserves managed by PVAS. You can learn more by visiting the Weed Warrior page
- 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 in excess of 30 minutes may be counted towards volunteer hours for MN instructors or presenters (i.e., include this excess 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.
Additional Resources for PVMN Candidates (Students)
- 2023 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 (PVMN Naturally!).
For other questions, please send an email to PVMN@PotomacAudubon.org or call 681-252-1387.