URBANA, Ill. - Several University of Illinois Extension units are accepting applications for the Master Naturalist volunteer training program. Using a combination of science-based education and volunteer service, trainees learn the ecology of forests and grasslands, streams and wetlands, and get hands-on experience about plants and insects, frogs, toads and snakes, and birds and mammals. Participants will gain an appreciation of the physical and human context of our environment through sessions on anthropology and environmental ethics.
The Extension unit provides educational support while the partners offer opportunities for volunteer service with the help of local experts.
Master naturalists must contribute 60 hours of volunteer service the first year and 30 volunteer hours each of the following years that they are in the program. Master Naturalist programs partner with local nature agencies to provide volunteer opportunities.
Extension units currently accepting applications include:
Boone, DeKalb, and Ogle Counties
Calhoun, Cass, Greene, Morgan, and Scott Counties
DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties
Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell Counties
Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, and Stark Counties
Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties
Logan, Menard, and Sangamon Counties
Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair Counties
A $250 fee covers classroom sessions and field training, handouts, and the Master Naturalist manual. For more information on the program and application and to ask about scholarships, contact University of Illinois Extension. Visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu and click on Find an Office. A list of current programs can be found at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/mn/ . Note any special accommodation needed when registering.