Maine Master Naturalists explore pond life. PHOTO COURTESY OF KAREN ZIMMERMAN

Maine Master Naturalist program announces course



ELLSWORTH — The Maine Master Naturalist Program (MMNP) is accepting applications for its 2019-20 program session to be held in Ellsworth.

The course provides over 100 hours of classroom and outdoor experience, focusing on field natural history: geology, identification of flora and fauna, wetland and upland ecology, ecological principles, and teaching methods.

By the end of this certification program, which includes a final capstone project, participants will have developed the skills to lead a walk, present a talk, and provide outreach to schools, land trusts, nature centers, and parks.

The hands-on training runs from March 27, 2019 through March 18, 2020, includes 13 Wednesday evening classes and 12 Saturdays. It also requires additional homework study. Tuition of $500 covers course texts, handouts and supplies.

Applications are due through the website by Jan. 2, 2019. Visit mainemasternaturalist.org.

Upon enrollment, participants agree to give 40 hours of volunteer service at a conservation non-profit or school during the year following certification, and must continue to volunteer (20 hours/year) to remain active Maine Master Naturalists.

A MMNP course is being planned for Waterville in 2020. Maine Master Naturalist volunteers have led programs from Cape Elizabeth to the western mountains, and from Camden to Jonesboro, in addition to other sites. More than two hundred people have graduated from the program in the previous seven years. The program’s goal is to develop a network of volunteer naturalists throughout the state.

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