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Capital Area Master Naturalists

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Logging Your Hours in VMS

To log into VMS, go here:
Tips for making your VMS entry:

VMS Opportunity Codes are defined by the activity.  The codes and examples of activities are outlined in the table below. It is important to use the correct opportunity code when you enter your hours. All entries are reviewed by the CAMN Membership Committee. If the description of your volunteer activity does not match the code you used or you did not describe your activity, you will be asked to edit your entry before it is approved. 

Volunteer Service: Entries in VMS should include information about what service you provided and for whom you provided the service. Please include the sponsoring organization or location, the organizer or contact person, if appropriate, and a brief description of the activity. If this is a new opportunity, include a note that it was pre-approved. For example: Ongoing activity: Watered plants in the native plants nursery and pollinator gardens at the BCP Vireo Preserve, Jim Doe, supervisor.

Advanced Training: Entries in VMS should Include the sponsoring or hosting organization, the speaker, and the topic. Include a note that the training was pre-approved if it is a new training opportunity. With very few exceptions, all AT opportunities must be attended live and include the ability to ask questions of the speaker. For example: BCP Wild Neighbors webinar by Wildland Conservation Division biologist Johnny Doe on Golden Cheeked Warbler breeding habits

Travel Time: For Volunteer Service, CAMN guidelines allow travel time to be added to the volunteer hours reported, up to 90 minutes round trip. Travel time should not exceed actual volunteer activity time. Periodically, a member has a specific skill set or is participating in an activity where travel time can be a more significant portion of the volunteer service. Travel time in excess of 90 minutes round trip or greater than hours worked should be pre-approved; please contact membership@camn.org to discuss. Travel time cannot be added to advanced training hours.

Why Log Your Hours: Volunteer service is central to the Master Naturalist Program and recording service hours in the Volunteer Management System (VMS) is essential to the Texas Master Naturalist Program.  The Texas Master Naturalist Program is funded by a federal grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  For a state to receive assistance under this particular grant, the state must provide a “match” of 25% of the total grant dollars received.  In other words, the grant pays $0.75 for every $0.25 that is submitted as a match.  The monetary value of volunteer service hours recorded in VMS is how our match is calculated.

CODEOPPORTUNITYDESCRIPTIONEXAMPLES
ATAdvanced TrainingAdvanced Training you attend as a participant
  • AT sessions at TMN Statewide Annual Meeting
  • Rainwater Harvesting Steward Program Training
  • Project WILD Instructor/Facilitator Training
  • Monthly chapter meetings
CBChapter & Program Business/AdministrationActivities related to managing and running a master naturalist chapter and its committees.
  • Board of Director or committee duties
  • Newsletter or website management
  • Management of chapter records
  • Hours reporting (not personal hours)
  • Representing chapter at multi-chapter events
  • Other chapter administration
  • Assistance to State Program Office
FRField Research (Including Surveys)Planning, leading, or participating in data collection and/or analysis of natural resources where the results are intended to further scientific understanding.
  • Field surveys
  • Banding and tagging
  • Amphibian and/or Bird Counts
NPANature/Public AccessField-based activities that improve and manage the public’s access to natural areas or resources. Creating and/or maintaining nature trails, wildscapes and/or interpretive areas.
  • Working on hiking trails
  • Working on interpretive gardens
  • Working on wildlife viewing blinds
  • Working on wildscapes for public access or viewing
  • Developing interpretive hikes (NOT leading)
OTOtherAny activity approved by a chapter that is not defined above. In general a chapter should only have a small percentage of hours in this activity (< 5%). When this activity code is used, a chapter should investigate the reason.
  • Contact Membership committee for approval
POPublic Outreach (Indirect)Leading, organizing, or staffing an educational activity where participants come and go and are able to inquire on a broad set of topics. Writing an educational article or brochure.
  • Manning booth or visitor center
  • Writing articles or brochures
  • Wildlife Hotline
RMNatural Resource ManagementActivities that improve the health of a natural area or resource. Natural resource management, restoration, rescue, and rehabilitation. Projects intended to improve the health of the resource or ecosystem for its own sake, NOT for the sake of greater public access, appreciation or interpretation.
  • Invasive species or trash removal
  • Plant rescue or seed collection
  • Restoring or improving natural habitat
  • Building/placing wildlife houses, towers, chimneys
  • Developing an eco-system plan
  • Wild animal rescue
TGTechnical GuidanceAny work that provides written management recommendations to land owners and/or land managers.
  • Writing ecosystem management plans
  • Land Management Assistance Program (LMAP)
  • City/Community/Regional Habitat Conservation Plan Committee
TRTraining & Educating Others (Direct)Leading, planning, instructing, or staffing an educational activity where participants have a planned learning objective and generally stay for the full event (e.g., planned start and end times with a single agenda).
  • Classroom instruction
  • Workshops
  • Presentations
  • Webinars
  • Chapter Training class
  • Leading interpretive hikes


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