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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General

What is the mission of the Missouri Master Naturalist™ program?
To engage Missourians in the stewardship of our state’s natural resources through science-based education and community service.
What are the program objectives?
  1. Improve public understanding of natural resources ecology and management by developing a pool of local knowledge about natural resources ecology that can be used to enhance education efforts within local communities.
  2. Enhance existing natural resources education and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a team of dedicated and informed volunteers.
  3. Develop a self-sufficient Missouri Master Naturalist™ network.

Certification

Who sponsors the Missouri Master Naturalist™ program?
At the state level, the Missouri Master Naturalist™ program is sponsored jointly by the University of Missouri Extension (MU Extension) and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Partnerships at the local level are encouraged and may include other public agencies, as well as private organizations whose interests are within the boundaries of the program.
How do I become a Certified Missouri Master Naturalist™?
Volunteers have a maximum of fifteen consecutive months, or less, from the first training session in their first year to complete 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training to become a certified Master Naturalist.
Do I need to complete 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training each year?
Yes, every year each member needs to complete a minimum 40hrs of volunteer service and a minimum 8hrs of advanced training to recertify their membership.
Do I receive a different name badge once I become a Certified Missouri Master Naturalist™?
Yes, once you have become Certified and no longer an “intern,” you will receive a different name badge that states your new certification.
When must I wear my Missouri Master Naturalist™ name badge?
You must wear your name badge when you are participating in a service or advanced training opportunity that you are obtaining Master Naturalist hours for. The name badge identifies you as a Missouri Master Naturalist™ and acknowledges your membership in the group.
How do I earn a pin?
You will earn a color dragonfly pin upon certification. Thereafter, every year that you become recertified, you will receive a specially designed pin that is available for that year only. These pins are limited editions; each is only available during a given year.
Milestone pins can also be obtained for reaching milestone levels. These levels include 250, 500, 1000, 2500 and 5000 hours. These hours are cumulative. Volunteers may reach a milestone within one year or over the course of several years.
Can I become recertified in the same year that I earned my first certification?
Yes, to become recertified in the same year that you are certified, you must complete your initial (certified) 40 hours service and 8 hours advanced training with an additional (recertified) 40 hours of service and 8 hours advanced training. Earning recertification in the same year that you are certified will enable you to earn the limited edition pin that is available for that year.
If I am an active member, but was not able to become recertified for a given year, am I still considered a Master Naturalist?
Volunteers who are active but unable to recertify in a given year are still considered Master Naturalists, but they won’t be considered certified or receive the limited edition pin for that year. Every Master Naturalist certified or not, has the opportunity to (re)certify every year.
Can a member become inactive? Can an inactive member become active again?
Members can choose to go inactive at any time, as well as become active again at any time and resume their recertification efforts.

Service Projects and Advanced Training Opportunities

What organizations does the Master Naturalist program partner with?
Our partners include but are not limited to:

Chapter Membership

Is there a fee involved to join a Chapter?
Dues are collected for each chapter on a yearly basis. The dues are $10/year and need to be sent to the Treasurer by the end of January for that year.
How do I know if I am a member of the Great Rivers or Confluence Chapter? Am I allowed to change Chapters?
As a Missouri Master Naturalist™ Intern and Certified member, you may choose to join either Chapter. You may also decide to change Chapters.
Your membership for a Chapter is not decided by what County you live in.
Can I be a member of both Chapters?
No, a member is a dues paying participant in a Chapter. You may only submit dues to one Chapter. However, you are welcome to attend monthly meetings, service projects and advanced training opportunities approved by either Chapter.
When does my Chapter have its monthly meeting? Where is it held at?
The Chapter meetings are posted on the Missour Master Naturalist website under “Meetings.” You will be able to find out the location of the meeting, time it is scheduled and agenda for meeting if it has been posted. The agendas and minutes for previous meetings can also be accessed on the same webpage.
Can a member be removed from the program?
In all efforts, the Missouri Master Naturalist™ program must remain fair, objective, accurate and comprehensive. When it becomes obvious that an individual or group of individuals participating in any capacity of the program is misrepresenting the program and its written objectives, then that individual or group of individuals may be asked to step down from positions of leadership and/or participation in the program. The Missouri Master Naturalist™ program could revoke participation, certification, and/or chapter charter in such a case.
Any participant who suspects an individual (volunteer, advisor, etc) is acting in a contrary manner to the program’s tenets, policies, written rules or guidelines should contact their chapter advisor or the state program coordinator.