What to Expect

Every Virginia Master Naturalist Training will include:

  • PlantBoth field and classroom experiences, with a minimum of 25% of the course time spent in the field
  • Information from unbiased, research-based sources
  • Material on the following topics:
    • Introduction to the Virginia Master Naturalist program
    • American Naturalists
    • Basic Ecology
    • Biogeography
    • Geology
    • Nature of Naming
    • Education and Interpretation Skills
    • Citizen Science and Research Skills
    • Ecology and Management of the systems occurring in the region
    • Overview of vertebrates, invertebrates, trees and other plants (biology, ecology, identification, conservation and management)

By the end of the course, a Rivanna Master Naturalist will know:

  • All aspects of their role as a Virginia Master Naturalist, the mission and objectives of the program, and the guidelines for participation
  • What a naturalist is and does and the significance of naturalists and natural history
  • The biogeography of Virginia, including the physiographic regions and the geological and ecological aspects that make them distinct
  • Basic concepts of ecology
  • Basic concepts of geology
  • Basic resource management principles
  • Some native flora and fauna in the region
  • The general process of science
  • The roles of Virginia state agencies in the management and conservation of natural resources

By the end of the course, a Rivanna Master Naturalist will be able to:

  • Use a key to identify organisms
  • Use a field guide
  • Share knowledge with others (verbally and/or in writing)
  • Make and record observations in nature
  • Recognize when he or she does not know the answer to a question, but be able to seek out answers from people, books, or other reliable resources

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