Saturday, June 27, 2015

MDC to host Master Naturalist class orientation in Sedalia

Master Naturalists serve conservation and nature

Missouri Master Naturalists are dedicated volunteers to work on conservation projects and help at special events, such as this booth about birds at the Wings Over Weston birding festival.
Photo by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation
Sedalia, Mo. – The Hi Lonesome Chapter of Missouri Master Naturalists will hold an orientation for upcoming training classes 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, at the Discovery Room on the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia. The Discovery Room is at the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) display area at the Fairgrounds.
   Missouri Master Naturalists are dedicated volunteers who love the outdoors and enjoy connecting people with nature. They receive special training in ecology, conservation and biology. Chapters hold field trips and social events, and members volunteer at MDC special events or research projects. They may be teaching youths about turtles one week and helping researchers collect prairie seed the next.
   The Hi Lonesome Chapter will begin registration for the next training class on Aug. 6. An enrollment fee of $75 covers costs for supplies and material such as books, which the member will keep. Master Naturalist Training classes will be held 6 to 9 p.m. on ThursdaysSept. 3 through Nov. 19.
   The orientation session on July 9 is not a mandatory requirement to taking the Master Naturalist classes. But the session is recommended as a good overview of the program and what is offered.
   Participants taking the classes will receive natural resource training from experts on topics such as ecology, soils and geology, wildlife management, agriculture and conservation, aquatic ecology, grasslands and prairie, birds, caves and more. The training will include threeSaturday field sessions.
   For more information contact Theresa Cline, chapter president, 660-22303515; or Steve Cooper, MDC wildlife management biologist, steven.cooper@mdc.mo.gov; or Connie Mefford, University of Missouri Extension in Benton County, meffordc@missouri.edu660-438-5012.
   The Missouri Master Naturalist program is a partnership of MDC and University of Missouri Extension.