Protecting Missouri’s natural resources is an ongoing and challenging task. The challenge is made easier when private citizen groups can coordinate efforts with state agencies to provide education, outreach information, and services. That’s the idea behind Missouri’s Master Naturalist program.
The Meramec Hills Master Naturalist Chapter will hold a Master Naturalist informational meeting from 6-8 p.m. on Aug. 3 at the Rolla Technical Institute (RTI) Building, Classroom 121. The RTI Building is located at 1304 E. 10th St. in Rolla.
The Missouri Master Naturalist program mixes science with service. Master Naturalists engage Missourians in stewardship of the state’s natural resources through science-based education and volunteer community service. The program is a partnership between MDC and the University of Missouri Extension.
The Aug. 3 meeting will have information on the program and on the Master Naturalist training course that will be held on Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m. from Aug. 31 through Nov. 9. Some scholarship opportunities are available.
Topics that will be covered in this training include key ecological concepts, karst topography, insects, Missouri’s natural communities, stream ecology, invasive species, birds, fish, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, ancient Missouri landscapes, natural resource management, and nature-centered public programs.
To become a Master Naturalist, participants must take 40 hours of basic training, eight hours of advanced training, and they must contribute 40 hours of natural resource related volunteer service within the following 15-month period.
The Meramec Hills Chapter of Missouri Master Naturalists covers Phelps and Dent counties and is based in Rolla. For more information about the chapter, contact www.meramechills.org. People can also contact MDC Partner and Citizen Engagement Specialist Jenni Rabenau at Jenni.Rabenau@mdc.mo.gov.