Master Naturalists' training set for January

Dec. 4—A new crop of Texas Master Naturalists will hit the books and field with the South Texas Border Chapter in January.

Registration for the training is open through Dec. 17 for classes, which begin next month.

The border chapter classes are open to residents of Starr, Hidalgo and Cameron counties who are at least 18 years of age. Winter Texans are welcome.

The Texas Master Naturalist program is an educational volunteer program sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Sea Grant Program and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Classes are taught by local professors and other field experts, including those from TPWD, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Students attend weekly virtual classes Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. beginning Jan.10 and continuing through March 28. Attendees will need internet access, a computer, iPad or Android pad. Using a smartphone is not recommended.

Field trips are a required element of training that will provide unique access and learning opportunities. Special field trips will be held in person following current county and departmental public health guidelines.

Trainees may join volunteer teams with other chapter members and work among local partners in activities at federal, state and local wildlife parks, coastal naturalist programs and other public entities.

Texas Master Naturalists train as docents and nature guides at local wildlife preserves, learn about native plants and habitat and help develop public native gardens, join citizen science projects, present nature programs to organizations and learn about the gulf and beach inhabitants and trends.

The cost of the program is $150, which includes textbook, fees, T-shirt, name tag, and one-year membership.

Scholarships of $100 are available. Scholarship requests are due by Dec. 17.

To apply for the class and to view the special in-person field trip schedule, follow the instruction sheet on the chapter's website at www.stbctmn.org

To request a scholarship application, or if you have other questions, contact Anne Mayville, at [email protected] or Jim Gerry at [email protected]