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Christy Schultz's recent post about an event she is hosting in South Florida to the Everglades sparked my interest in Master Naturalists, state-based certification programs to promote environmental literacy and conservation similar to Master Gardener programs.  Christy is a Master Naturalist.  Do we have any others?  If so, how are you using your knowledge and skills to connect children with nature for their health and well-being?  Are you participating in state No-Child-Left-Inside coalitions?  Please share your successes and even your challenges.

 

For that matter, do we have any Master Gardeners on C&NN Connect and are you helping children with school and community gardens?  Let us hear from you.  John

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I've never heard of this,..Master Naturalist. The Master Gardener Program is popular here in VT.
How do I find out more about this?

_ Amy Butler
Hi Amy and thanks for your question. Unfortunately, Vermont is one of the few states that does not offer a Master Naturalist program. New Hampshire does. They are usually offered through the Cooperative Extenstion agencies that are usually located at the state's land grant university, similar to the Master Gardener programs. Here is a web site that has a list of all the states that have Master Naturalist programs: http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/stewardship/2580-list-state-...

For more information on the program, you could also contact Christy Schultz who is in Florida and is a member of C&NN Connect and the Natural Teachers Network. Thanks again for posting your question. John

Amy Butler said:
I've never heard of this,..Master Naturalist. The Master Gardener Program is popular here in VT.
How do I find out more about this?

_ Amy Butler
How would one become a master naturalist? I would be very interested in becoming one :) I live in Ontario, Canada
Hi Rhonda,
Thanks for your post. I agree that being a Master Naturalist would be great fun and very useful. As far as I know, this is a program only given in the U.S. and varies from state to state. Here is a web site that gives information on which states offer the program: www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/stewardship/2580-list-state-natural... . I notice there is one in Michigan. Thanks for being part of the Network. John

Rhonda Ursulak said:
How would one become a master naturalist? I would be very interested in becoming one :) I live in Ontario, Canada
Hi John,

Actually, I did a little research and there is a Field Naturalist certificate program offered in Sault http://www.saultcollege.ca/Programs/Print/5000.htm Although this is would be perfect, being a mother of two small children, makes it difficult to do. But for anyone else interested, this could be an option. I am going to see if I can do it distant education.

Or I may just rejoin the field naturalist club in my area and get educated that way. I know insects, and animals, but plant life I do not have a lot of knowledge on.

Thanks for you reply.
Hi everyone,
I am embarassed to say that I didn't see this discussion until just now!!

Yes, I am a Florida Master Naturalist. It is a wonderful program that is offered through the University of Florida Extension Centers. I believe that Florida was the first state to have the program but don't know if that is a fact. We also have the Master Gardener Program as well. Many states are offering the master naturalist program now.

It is a wonderful way to get to know where you live and to have a deeper understanding of why and how the nature where you live is how it is. The people taking the course are diverse in their backgrounds, ages, and jobs. Many park employees are now required to take the course as part of their training or continuing education.

I loved participating in the program because it offers a holistic view of the natural world - instead of breaking it down into pieces and only studying about one specific thing - you learn a little bit about it all to gain a wider perspective.

Our course also incorporated interpretive ideas - giving suggestions on how to reach the public with the information gained.

They have a Junior Master Gardener program here in Florida - offered through 4-H, maybe they will do the Junior Master Naturalist as well for the kids.

I highly recommend the program - meet new people, learn a lot, and have some fun being the student for once!

I would love to connect with other Master Naturalists as well on this site - so if you are on, be my friend!!

If they don't have a program in your state or country, maybe you can start one!

See you outside,
Christy
Hi Christy,
As you can see, there was interest in Master Naturalist programs from wide and far. Thanks for this great background on your Master Naturalist journey. Since you are one, I would be very interested in knowing if there is a list of all Master Naturalists in the country that you communicate with, or perhaps a newsletter where you could post something about The Children & Nature Network. Since we are a network of networks, this Master Naturalist network seems like....well... a natural fit. We are expecting snow in parts of the Northwest tonight. Could you please send some of your warm weather our way. Let me know if you are still heading west this summer. jt

Christy Schultz said:
Hi everyone,
I am embarassed to say that I didn't see this discussion until just now!!

Yes, I am a Florida Master Naturalist. It is a wonderful program that is offered through the University of Florida Extension Centers. I believe that Florida was the first state to have the program but don't know if that is a fact. We also have the Master Gardener Program as well. Many states are offering the master naturalist program now.

It is a wonderful way to get to know where you live and to have a deeper understanding of why and how the nature where you live is how it is. The people taking the course are diverse in their backgrounds, ages, and jobs. Many park employees are now required to take the course as part of their training or continuing education.

I loved participating in the program because it offers a holistic view of the natural world - instead of breaking it down into pieces and only studying about one specific thing - you learn a little bit about it all to gain a wider perspective.

Our course also incorporated interpretive ideas - giving suggestions on how to reach the public with the information gained.

They have a Junior Master Gardener program here in Florida - offered through 4-H, maybe they will do the Junior Master Naturalist as well for the kids.

I highly recommend the program - meet new people, learn a lot, and have some fun being the student for once!

I would love to connect with other Master Naturalists as well on this site - so if you are on, be my friend!!

If they don't have a program in your state or country, maybe you can start one!

See you outside,
Christy
Very interesting. I however live in Canada so am not aware of such a program... would love to start up my own but have no clue how to start it up.... any suggestions?
TX master naturalist. Right now I am running a blog, TheNatureSchool.net to help parents and others who work with children find ideas and tools to connect with nature. I teach High School Integrated Physics and Chemistry and I would welcome ideas that I can use in that curriculum that will connect kids to nature and understanding environmental issues in that context.
My husband and I are both Florida Master Naturalists- we own and operate Kayaks Etc offering kayaking tours for all ages 2 to 102. We donate our time, skills and equipment to several youth groups in the area. We had a successful year with Boys and Girls Club and the kayaking team we started there.

In the summer we run a kids kayak adventure camp where we are outdoors all day long inthe water, collecting critters to look identify and then release.

This fall we are adding Family Fun Days to our calendar- for very low price families can come kayak, canoe and stand up paddle in the Indian River Lagoon.
Hi Kristen and thanks for your post letting us know about your program and expertise. You and Christy Schultz form a core resource group for teachers, parents and kids in Florida. I wish all states had the same. Please make sure folks on this site know how to contact you if they want to connect with you and your husband. Thanks again for your post. John

Kristen Beck said:
My husband and I are both Florida Master Naturalists- we own and operate Kayaks Etc offering kayaking tours for all ages 2 to 102. We donate our time, skills and equipment to several youth groups in the area. We had a successful year with Boys and Girls Club and the kayaking team we started there.

In the summer we run a kids kayak adventure camp where we are outdoors all day long inthe water, collecting critters to look identify and then release.

This fall we are adding Family Fun Days to our calendar- for very low price families can come kayak, canoe and stand up paddle in the Indian River Lagoon.
Thanks John I will put our contact info o=in my profile-
I did a program on nature deficit last night for a group of lady anglers- it was amazing to hear their comments about how unsafe it is to let their grand children and children outside to play-
how do we counter this?


John Thielbahr said:
Hi Kristen and thanks for your post letting us know about your program and expertise. You and Christy Schultz form a core resource group for teachers, parents and kids in Florida. I wish all states had the same. Please make sure folks on this site know how to contact you if they want to connect with you and your husband. Thanks again for your post. John

Kristen Beck said:
My husband and I are both Florida Master Naturalists- we own and operate Kayaks Etc offering kayaking tours for all ages 2 to 102. We donate our time, skills and equipment to several youth groups in the area. We had a successful year with Boys and Girls Club and the kayaking team we started there.

In the summer we run a kids kayak adventure camp where we are outdoors all day long inthe water, collecting critters to look identify and then release.

This fall we are adding Family Fun Days to our calendar- for very low price families can come kayak, canoe and stand up paddle in the Indian River Lagoon.

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