To develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.
Ilymatogyra arietina, a common Cretaceous bivalve fossil from 97-to 96-MYA found in Central Texas
The Capital Area Master Naturalist chapter provides instruction and support to adults who wish to learn and apply the principles of sustainable use, conservation, and maintenance of natural resources of central Texas. This program is presented through a collaborative effort of professionals from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Agrilife Extension Service, City of Austin Parks and Recreation and Wildland Conservation Division, Austin Nature & Science Center, Sierra Club/Lone Star Chapter, Lower Colorado River Authority, Travis County Parks, and the Texas Agrilife Extension Service, as well as past students of the Master Naturalist Program. CAMN is a chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist program, a statewide organization sponsored jointly by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Agrilife.
The initial work to create the Texas Master Naturalist Program began in 1997. The Capital Area Master Naturalist Chapter is one of the original four chapters (Bexar, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston) and is one of the largest of the current forty-eight chapters in Texas. CAMN began in 1998 and became a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2001. CAMN trains thirty or more persons annually and these volunteers fulfil many duties in local public and conservation programs in and around the Austin area.
CAMN membership is open to anyone who has been certified as a Master Naturalist or who has completed or is progressing towards completion of training to be a Master Naturalist.
Central Texas Habitats
Austin straddles two central Texas ecosystems which are divided by the Balcones Escarpment. The Balcones Escarpment is the surface expression of the Balcones Fault; to the west of the escarpment lies the Edwards Plateau and the ecology of the Texas Hill Country. The Texas Hill Country consists of 24 acres of savanna over a bedrock of karst limestone. To the east of the escarpment lies the Texas Blacklands Praire
CAMN has NN active members and in 2020 those members contributed NNNN hours of volunteer service to the community.
Member volunteer activities included trail building, habitat restoration, community outreach and education, wildlife rehabilitation, native plant propagation and invasive plant removal, leading hikes and tours, conducting bird, plant, and insect surveys in natural spaces, performing the administrative tasks necessary to keep a chapter running, and so many more contributions to our natural world and local community.
We work with state, county and city governmental agencies providing support to staff working to preserve and protect parks, preserves and natural areas. We work with non-profit organizations, schools and universities on projects that study, preserve and protect natural areas and native flora and fauna and that educate and introduce the public to natural resources.