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Wisconsin Master Naturalist sessions held; Aug. 22 deadline

4:40 PM, Aug. 19, 2013  |  Comments
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Do you enjoy learning about the wonders of nature? Are you looking for volunteer opportunities that involve teaching about or protecting our amazing natural resources? If you answered yes to these questions, then you may want to become one of the first Wisconsin Master Naturalists.

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program is a statewide effort to promote awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the state's natural resources. Its goal is to develop a corps of informed volunteers dedicated to education and service within their Wisconsin communities. Course participants receive 40 hours of training in natural history, interpretation, and conservation stewardship. Classes combine classroom instruction with field experiences.

Once trained, a Wisconsin Master Naturalist provides volunteer service in one of three areas: education/interpretation, stewardship, or citizen science. To maintain certification, a volunteer must complete 40 hours of service each year and eight hours of advanced training.

The Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit is partnering with Riveredge Nature Center in Newburg and UW-Extension to offer the first Master Naturalist training in the area. The training will be held at Riveredge Nature Center from Sept. 5 through Nov. 7 (Thursdays) in the evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Class sessions cover the following topics: geology/landscapes, ecology, plant communities, wildlife, water, aquatic life, human impacts, and interpretation.

There will be two all-day field trips - one on Saturday, Oct. 12, and the other on Saturday, Nov. 2. The training fee is $250. Some financial scholarships are available. On-line registration ends Aug. 22. To register visit wimasternaturalist.org.

For further information, please contact Jackie Scharfenberg, forest naturalist, at the Ice Age Visitor Center. She may be reached at 533-8322, Wednesday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You may also contact Mandy Zopp at Riveredge Nature Center - email mzopp@riveredge.us or call 262-375-2715.

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