The Maine Master Naturalist Program (MMNP) will accept applications starting on September 1 for its upcoming 2022 naturalist training course. The deadline for applying is October 15, 2021.

The course will run from January through October 2022. The exact dates are listed and applications are available on MMNP’s website at www.mainemasternaturalist.org. The course tuition of $650 covers instruction, field guides, naturalist equipment, and other materials. Upon completion of the course, graduates are certified as Maine Master Naturalists. 

The Wells Reserve at Laudholm and the Maine Master Naturalist Program are sponsoring fellowships for two students in the 2022 Maine Master Naturalist Program Wells Reserve training course who are Black, persons of color, or members of the Wabanaki peoples or another Indigenous group. The sponsorship will cover the $650 cost of tuition. 

MMNP’s vision is to develop a statewide network of Master Naturalists who educate and inspire the public to understand, value, and protect Maine’s natural world. Toward that end, students participate in rigorous classes and field experiences focused on Maine’s flora and fauna, and ecological principles for one Wednesday evening class and one Saturday per month with homework required throughout the term of the course. Students are also required to complete a capstone project and shadow nature educators. They receive instruction and practice in teaching, and, with this background, are expected to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for Maine’s natural world by volunteering with schools, land trusts, nature centers, parks, or conservation organizations.

The Maine Master Naturalist Program is an entirely volunteer organization with all Board members, instructors, and mentors volunteering their time to provide a high-quality and hands-on experience for students. Over two hundred fifty Master Naturalists have graduated from the program since its inception in 2011.