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Capital Area Master Naturalists

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Volunteer Guidelines

Volunteer Service Requirements
(adapted from

In order to attain certification, a Texas Master Naturalist trainee must complete a minimum of 40 volunteer service hours within one year of the initial training series, and every year thereafter in order to renew certification.

Volunteer projects may be a series of short experiences such as serving on a speaker’s bureau – or they may involve the long-term efforts of an entire volunteer team. Either way, for a master volunteer, the opportunity to do meaningful and interesting work is the reward.

Texas Master Naturalist trainees will vary in their abilities. Some will want volunteer opportunities to be presented to them, while others will see a need and want to design their own project. Texas Master Naturalist trainees should be encouraged to design volunteer projects that are interesting to them, capitalize on their individual talents, and are dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.

Volunteer hours credited for the Texas Master Naturalist program may not be credited from or to another volunteer program, nor can natural resource-related job responsibilities be counted towards volunteer service hours.

A trained volunteer, no matter how little or how much volunteer service they are providing the chapter within a given year, is always considered a Master Naturalist volunteer. Master Naturalist volunteers in any given year are either “Certified” or working towards certification for that given year.

Unanticipated situations, i.e. family illness, medical procedures, accidents, etc., that will prevent a member from attaining the required 40 hours of volunteer service can be addressed in an appropriate manner by the Chapter’s Executive board.

Initial Certification
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 8.13.56 PMA volunteer shall be presented with a Texas Master Naturalist certificate and a color dragonfly pin when that volunteer has completed all of the required 40 hours of Texas Master Naturalist initial training; the minimum 40 hours of service; and the minimum 8 hours of advanced training. Each of the above requirements must be completed within the first year of that volunteer’s involvement in the Texas Master Naturalist program. 

Certification and Milestone Pins
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 8.13.56 PMThe Master Naturalist program offers a series of pins commemorating different milestone achievements within the program. The milestone pins honor those volunteers that have given 250 (silver dragonfly pin), 500 (bronze dragonfly pin), 1,000 (gold dragonfly pin) and 5,000 hours of service (gold dragonfly w/ diamond). These milestones are cumulative. A volunteer may reach these milestones within one year or over the course of several years. Given these milestones, it is important that a chapter and a volunteer always report service hours above and beyond the 40-hour minimum.

The Master Naturalist program will also have a specially designed pin for each year a certified volunteer maintains their certification by obtaining the required service and advanced training–which at the state level consists of a minimum of 40 hours of service and eight hours of advanced training annually. There will be a new pin design each year and this design will only be available during that given year.

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