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Frequently Asked Questions


 
WHO SPONSORS THE MASTER NATURALIST PROGRAM?
WHEN ARE MEETINGS HELD?  WHAT HAPPENS AT THE MEETINGS?
WHEN AND WHERE ARE CLASSES HELD?
WHAT CLASS AND FIELD TRIP SUBJECTS ARE COVERED?
WHO ARE THE INSTRUCTORS FOR CLASSES AND FIELD TRIPS?
HOW ARE VOLUNTEER HOURS COUNTED? WHAT TYPES OF ACTIVITIES ARE APPROVED?
WHAT IS ADVANCED TRAINING? WHAT ACTIVITIES QUALIFY AS ADVANCED TRAINING?
HOW IS VOLUNTEER ACTIVITY TRACKED?
HOW DO I MAINTAIN MASTER NATURALIST CERTIFICATION?
WHAT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE?


WHO SPONSORS THE MASTER NATURALIST PROGRAM?

The Texas Master Naturalist statewide sponsors are:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPW) and Texas AgriLife Extension (TAE).

Locally the program is presented through a collaborative effort of professionals from:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPW), Texas AgriLife Extension (TAE), Fort Worth Nature Center (FWNC), and Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT).



WHEN ARE MEETINGS HELD?  WHAT HAPPENS AT THE MEETINGS?

Meetings are held at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., normally on the third Monday of the month at 7:00pm.  Various speakers present topics of interest to Master Naturalists, general Chapter business is conducted and social time scheduled, giving you the opportunity to get to know your fellow Master Naturalists.



WHEN AND WHERE ARE CLASSES HELD?

The Cross Timbers Chapter holds one Certification class per year.  Certification classes begin in the fall and are held at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, 9601 Fossil Ridge Road.  Field trips are held at the Nature Center and at other locations.

The training sessions are designed to provide an understanding of nature's order and relationships of organisms to each other and to their surroundings. Over a nine (9) week period, experts in ecology provide fifty (50) class hours focused on the wetland, forest and prairie ecosystems found in our region, including 4 class session-related field trips.



WHAT CLASS AND FIELD TRIP SUBJECTS ARE COVERED?

  • Orientation: Welcome, Program Orientation and Statewide Program Mission
  • Aquatic/Wetland Systems - Characteristics of water and local aquatic systems
  • Field Trip - Aquatic and Wetlands - Group and individual activities
  • Herpetology
  • Forest Systems - Forest types of the Cross Timbers region
  • Mammals
  • Field Trip: Forest Field Trip - Group and individual activities
  • Prairie Ecology
  • Invertebrates
  • Field Trip: Prairie
  • Urban Ecology
  • Field Trip: Urban Field Trip-multiple sites demonstrating different ecological accommodations
  • Course Wrap-up - Summary and volunteer opportunities in the Cross Timbers Chapter

WHO ARE THE INSTRUCTORS FOR CLASSES AND FIELD TRIPS?

Omar Bocanegra, Biologist, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Brett Johnson, Urban Biologist, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Steve Campbell, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Michael Perez, Naturalist, FWNC&R*
Suzanne Tuttle, Director, FWNC&R*
Laura Veloz, Naturalist, FWNC&R*
Michelle Villafranca, Natural Resource Specialist, FWNC&R*
Chad Etheridge, FWNC&R*

[ * Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge ]



HOW ARE VOLUNTEER HOURS COUNTED?  WHAT TYPES OF ACTIVITIES ARE APPROVED?

To obtain certification as a Texas Master Naturalist, trainees must complete forty (40) hours of volunteer service within the first year of the initial training series, in addition to completion of all training classes and field trips. Trainees may start volunteering once training classes have begun, and have until December 31st of the following year to complete the requisite hours.

In order to retain the title of Certified Master Naturalist, you must volunteer for and complete forty (40) hours in each subsequent year ending on December 31st.  If unable to complete the required hours due to extenuating circumstances, contact the Board of the Cross Timbers Chapter for guidelines.

Volunteer service hours are those direct contact hours spent on Texas Master Naturalist projects approved by the Board of the Cross Timbers Chapter.  Approved opportunities are listed for the Cross Timbers Chapter , posted on the chapter web site and announced at general meetings.  The Cross Timbers Chapter serves as a clearinghouse for notifying members of appropriate volunteer and advanced training opportunities.

Texas Master Naturalists are encouraged to design their own volunteer projects and advanced training opportunities to submit those to the Board of the Cross Timbers Chapter via the VOL & AT Committee Chair in writing for approval as a Master Naturalist activity.  Texas Master Naturalists are also encouraged to identify projects and advanced training opportunities elsewhere in their own communities that are potential volunteer credit-appropriate activities and to notify the Board via the VOL & AT Committee Chair for approval.

A volunteer project will be approved by the Board of the Cross Timbers Chapter if the project:

Projects not already approved by the board of the Cross Timbers Chapter must be submitted in writing for review by the Volunteer & Advanced Training Committee prior to the event.

Examples of projects that would not receive approval include:

Volunteer service hours consist of actual time of service, preparation and travel.

If you cannot find answers to your VOL and AT questions after checking the FAQ and Forms pages contact the VOL & AT Committee Chair at .



WHAT IS ADVANCED TRAINING?  WHAT ACTIVITIES QUALIFY AS ADVANCED TRAINING?

To obtain certification as a Texas Master Naturalist, trainees must complete eight (8) hours of advanced training within the first year after the initial training series in addition to the classes. Trainees may start accumulating advanced training hours while attending the initial training series and have until December 31st of the following year to complete the advanced training hours.

In order to retain the title of Master Naturalist, a volunteer must complete eight (8) hours of advanced training in each subsequent year ending in December.  If unable to complete the required hours due to an extenuating experience, contact the Board of Cross Timbers Chapter for guidelines.

The purpose of advanced training is to provide Texas Master Naturalists an opportunity to focus their interests on one, or a few, specific topics that interest them, promoting an ever-deepening knowledge of their local ecosystems.  Approved advanced training opportunities are posted on the chapter web site, sent to members via e-mail and announced at general meetings.  The Cross Timbers Chapter serves as a clearinghouse for notifying members of appropriate advanced training opportunities.

Advanced training opportunities not already approved by the Board of the Cross Timbers Chapter must be submitted in writing for review by the VOL & AT Committee Chair prior to the event.  Advanced training opportunities will be approved by the Board of the Cross Timbers Chapter if the training presents information about a local ecosystem, its characteristics, management, etc.

Examples of training opportunities that would not receive approval include:

Advanced training hours DO NOT include travel time.

If you cannot find answers to your VOL and AT questions after checking the FAQ and Forms pages contact the VOL & AT Committee Chair at .



HOW IS VOLUNTEER ACTIVITY TRACKED?

Use the activity report form to document and report hours. Forms will be available at general meetings, can be downloaded from the Forms page of this web site.  All hours must be reported in writing or via e-mail.  Keep a copy for your records.

  • Turn in forms at the general meetings or send via e-mail or US Mail to your specific Timekeeper. All forms must be dated, carry the memberís unique PIN #, and be signed (unless submitted via e-mail).
  • Prior to doing any volunteer or advanced training activity, make sure the activity has been approved by the Cross Timbers Chapter Board of Directors VOL & AT Committee Chair.  This information is available on the Activities page of this website.
  • Hours must be reported at least quarterly, but preferably monthly, if possible.
  • You are not limited to forty (40) volunteer service hours and eight (8) advanced training hours.  Report all hours to demonstrate the wonderful work done by the Texas Master Naturalists of the Cross Timbers Chapter. Reported hours are sent at year’s end as part of the chapter’s annual report to the State Coordinator and serve to match federal funding for statewide grants.


HOW DO I MAINTAIN MASTER NATURALIST CERTIFICATION?

For the Cross Timbers Chapter, a minimum of forty (40) hours of volunteer service and eight (8) advanced training hours are required each year.  Diverse volunteer and advanced training opportunities make it easy for you to choose an area of study and work that reflects your individual expertise and interests.



WHAT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE?

Approved Volunteer and Advanced Training Activity List
  Open this form as a PDF document


If you can not find answers to your VOL and AT questions after checking the FAQ and Forms pages
contact the VOL & AT Committee Chair at .








Are you interested in joining the Cross Timbers Master Naturalists?
For additional information, e-mail



Cross Timbers Texas Master Naturalist
PO Box 1540 • Fort Worth, Texas 76101-1540

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