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Prog orientation.01.09

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Prog orientation.01.09

  1. 1. The Texas Master Naturalist Program Sponsored by : TM
  2. 2. The Mission <ul><li>“ To develop a corps of well-educated “Master Volunteers” to provide education, outreach and service dedicated toward the beneficial management of natural resources within their communities .” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Program Goals <ul><li>• To improve public understanding of natural resource ecology and management. </li></ul><ul><li>• To enhance existing natural resource education and outreach activities. </li></ul><ul><li>• To develop a Master Naturalist™ volunteer network that is eventually self-sufficient. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Addressing an Urbanized Society <ul><li>82% of Texans live in Urban Areas. </li></ul>
  8. 9. “ Ten Years of Tending to Texas” Tami Davis I March 1997 Alamo Area Chapter holds its first training I I 1998 North Texas, Capital Area & Hays County Chapters Developed 1999 State Program Coordinator hired Cross Timbers Elm Fork & Gulf Coast Chapters Developed
  9. 10. “ Ten Years of Tending to Texas” Tami Davis I 2000 First State Meeting Held Wildlife Management Institute’s President’s 2000 Award East Texas, Lindheimer, Lost Pines & Mid-Coast Chapters Developed
  10. 11. “ Ten Years of Tending to Texas” Tami Davis I 2001 Brownwood, Cradle of Texas , Galveston Bay Area & Trans Pecos Chapters Developed I 2002 TPWD Lonestar Legends Award Jeff Quayle discovers Senecio quaylei TAMU Vice Chancellor’s Award National Audubon Society’s Habitat Heroes Award Hill Country, Rio Grande Valley Rolling Plains & South Texas Chapters Developed TNRCC Environmental Excellence Award
  11. 12. “ Ten Years of Tending to Texas” Tami Davis I 2003 2000 Volunteers Trained Big Country Heart of Texas, Highland Lakes, Panhandle, Upper Texas Coast Chapters Developed I 2004 Coastal Prairie, Post Oak, & Western Edwards Plateau Chapters Developed Assistant State Coordinator hired Introduced the State Curriculum Manual Conducted Formal Program Evaluation Implemented Milestone Awards First 5,000 hr. service award given Celebrated our 5 th Anniversary
  12. 13. “ Ten Years of Tending to Texas” Tami Davis I 2005 Brazos Valley, Gideon Lincecum, Heartwood, Red River, Rio Brazos, Tierra Grande Chapters Developed I 2006 1 Million Public contacts made White Rock Lake Project receives Lonestar Land Steward Award US Dept. of Interior‘s Take Pride in America Award Blackland Prairie, Llano Estacado, & South Plains Chapters Developed ½ Million Service Hours Recorded 2 nd National Training
  13. 14. “ Ten Years of Tending to Texas” Tami Davis I 2007 TEA Environmental Educator of the Year Award Cinco Tierra Chapter Developed I 2008 Cypress Basin & El Camino Real Chapters Developed 1 Million Service Hours in 10 years? ( Will we make it?!?) Celebrated our 10 th Anniversary 28 States have developed a Master Naturalist program based off of ours!
  14. 15. Master Naturalist Certification Minimum Requirements <ul><li>40 hours of combined classroom and field instruction. </li></ul><ul><li>8 hours of approved advanced training. </li></ul><ul><li>40 hours of approved volunteer service projects. </li></ul><ul><li>___________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>After certification, requires 40 hours volunteer service and 8 hours advanced training annually. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Important Rules to Follow “Do Not” <ul><li>Miss Class </li></ul><ul><li>Profit </li></ul><ul><li>Take the title of Master Naturalist in vain </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate personal biases or agendas </li></ul>
  16. 17. “Basic Training” <ul><li>Present day and Historical Naturalists. </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Naturalist Disciplines. </li></ul><ul><li>Land management and Land use History. </li></ul><ul><li>Ecological Concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>Ecoregions of Texas. </li></ul><ul><li>Management of Natural Systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation and Communication. </li></ul>40 hours of combined classroom and field experience:
  17. 18. “Advanced Training” <ul><li>Focuses on volunteers’ area of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>Is mainly field oriented. </li></ul><ul><li>Takes advantage of local partnerships. </li></ul><ul><li>Is directed at specific trained volunteers. </li></ul>8 hours
  18. 19. Volunteer Service Projects <ul><li>Are self-directed. </li></ul><ul><li>Are coordinated by the local Chapters. </li></ul><ul><li>Consist of opportunities developed by local partners. </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of individual skills. </li></ul>RX Fire Education at Dripping Springs High School Hays County Roadkill Survey Blackland Prairie Restoration. Local Speakers Bureau 40 hours of volunteer service projects that:
  19. 20. Project Examples • Wildscape Maintenance and Demo Areas • Construction of Interpretive Trails and Maintenance • Streambank, Marsh and Prairie Restorations • Brush and Exotic Plant Control • Fish, Wildlife and Plant Inventories • Native Plant Seed Collections & Rescues • Natural Resource Youth Camps • Interpretive Tours
  20. 21. The Benefits • Helping to make a difference for Texas’ Natural Resources – now and in the future. • Learn from experts in their field. • Providing important and valuable natural resource information.
  21. 22. Benefits <ul><li>Gaining an appreciation for and an understanding of natural environments </li></ul><ul><li>Building new friendships and working relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Individual & chapter awards and recognition </li></ul>
  22. 23. Popular Vote Contests: Photo & Art <ul><li>Plants: 2 nd Place </li></ul><ul><li>Katherin Bedrich, El Camino Real Chapter </li></ul>
  23. 24. Popular Vote Contests: Photo & Art <ul><li>Chapter Projects/Master Naturalists at work or play: </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd Place </li></ul><ul><li>Paula Englehardt, El Camino Real Chapter </li></ul>
  24. 25. Popular Vote Contests: Photo & Art <ul><li>Scenery: 2 nd Place </li></ul><ul><li>Paula Englehardt, El Camino Real Chapter </li></ul>
  25. 26. ONCE CERTIFIED? Maintaining certification is your responsibility <ul><li>Stay involved in chapter meetings and projects </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of advanced training opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Keep accurate records </li></ul>
  26. 27. Progress So Far….! - 39 Chapters - 300+ Partners - 174 counties - Over 70% of Texas - 4,000 volunteers
  27. 28. Progress So Far….! <ul><li>500+ Volunteers have trained annually. </li></ul><ul><li>88,000+ hours of community outreach & service projects annually--with a value of more than $1.5 Million annually . </li></ul><ul><li>100,000+ youth and adults and private landowners reached by Texas Master Naturalist Volunteer efforts annually. </li></ul><ul><li>Developed or enhanced 430+ miles of interpretive trails </li></ul>
  28. 29. Progress So Far….! <ul><li>300+ organizations have developed partnerships with local Texas Master Naturalist Chapters. </li></ul><ul><li>16 National, State and Local Awards for Program and Chapter Efforts </li></ul><ul><li>A volunteer’s discovery of a new plant to science. </li></ul><ul><li>Raised $120,000 in grants and donations for program and projects support. </li></ul>
  29. 30. Program Accomplishments (1997 through 2007) <ul><li>Over 650,000 hours of volunteer service valued at $8 Million </li></ul><ul><li>Over 100,000 hours advanced training </li></ul><ul><li>Approx. 1.25 million people reached </li></ul><ul><li>Over 50,000 acres of habitat enhanced </li></ul><ul><li>Over 700 trail miles developed or improved </li></ul>
  30. 31. Statewide Annual Meeting & Advanced Training October 23 - 25, 2009 Mo Ranch Hunt, Texas
  31. 32. The Future Looks Bright! <ul><li>National Master Naturalist Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Texas has trained other states in establishing programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>28 other state programs exist as a result </li></ul></ul>
  32. 33. For More Information: Michelle Haggerty, Prog. Coord. Texas Master Naturalist Program Texas Parks & Wildlife Department 309 Sidney Baker South Kerrville, TX 78028 Ph: 830-896-2500 Email: Sonny Arnold, Asst. Prog Coord. Texas Master Naturalist Program Texas Parks & Wildlife Department 111 Nagle Hall, 2258 TAMUS College Station, TX 77843-2258 Ph: 979-458-1099 E-mail: [email_address] State Website:

Editor's Notes

  • The Texas Master Naturalist program is a natural resource based volunteer training program jointly sponsored statewide by Texas Parks &amp; Wildlife and the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. These 2 agencies jointly recognized that it was within their missions to develop a program that enhances our abilities to accomplish our missions especially among audiences not traditionally reached by our previous outreach and extension efforts. This partnership with TPW and TCE is probably one of the most intensive partnerships these 2 agencies have had together in a long time. An example of the intensity of this partnership is that I am a 100% TPW employee, however, I am housed 2 hours away from our headquarters and instead am housed at the TCE HQ at TAMU.
  • As the statewide program established itself with the help of the statewide advisory committee, the committee identified the mission and goal of the program “to develop a corps of well educated “Master Volunteers who provide education, outreach and service dedicated toward the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities” We see this mission as one that fits both the TPW and TAEX agency missions. Additionally we see this mission being broad enough so that other natural resource agencies and organizations at the local level can identify with it too.
  • The committee also established the objectives of the statewide program as: To improve public understanding of natural resource ecology and management through the instruction and education we provide them in the program. To enhance existing natural resource education and outreach activities through the volunteer services the master naturalists provide. We essentially are training these volunteers to be an extension of us as employees. We cannot possibly reach the more than 21 mill people there are in Texas today without their help. To develop a TMN volunteer network that is eventually self-sufficient.--After we invest training in these volunteers they stay active and communicate through local chapters that are run by the volunteers and advised by the local coordinating committees.
  • The same is true for Texas. We are an urbanizing society. We have 21 mill. People in Texas and 82% of those live in an urban area. Texas has 3 of the top ten largest cities in the United States. Many of these residents and landowners in these rapidly developing areas are 2-3 generations removed from direct land management (framing, ranching or forestry) and they rarely seek traditional forms of outreach and extension prior to making their land mgmt. Decisions. The Texas Master Naturalist program utilizes a train the trainer approach to diffuse knowledge gained by natural resource professionals to these volunteers who in-turn communicate their new knowledge to others. More people are acting as educators and Agency personnel time is no longer such a constraint. One of the things TMN has been effective at is reaching and addressing these new constituents that have become a new audience to both agencies. We need these constituents we are reaching in these areas to be urban ambassadors for us. Th number one detrimental occurrence to our natural resources is urban sprawl and development. Texas has three of the largest cities in the US. We need volunteers in urban and rural areas to be NR stewards and educators of others in helping to suppress the amount of detriment to our natural resources.
  • As the basis of the program, TMN trainees are instructed with at least 40 hours of hands-on and lecture style instruction both in the classroom and in the field which is designed to give them understanding of natural history and ecological processes influencing their local ecosystems. And this training utilizes local experts in the given topic. After becoming a Master Naturalist participants are expected to continue their volunteer efforts through active membership in their local chapters.
  • The overall goals of our curriculum is to provide non-biased natural resource information and materials in an interesting format to create naturalists and inspire our clientele to become stewards of their natural resources. We have found that the curriculum is most effective when presented as discussion and answers to broadly posed questions and issues. Volunteers learn about: - Present day and historical naturalists--who were observers, note takers, experimenters, teachers, and people who asked questions--Mastering these techniques is what really makes them a MASTER NATURALIST. --Traditional Naturalist disciplines-- they were “ologists” ornithologist, botanists, entomologists, mammalogists, geologists --Ecological concepts such as populations, landscapes, succession, restoration, etc. --Ecoregions of TX. First they’ll learn about all ecosystems in general and then they will narrow down and focus on their local ecoregion. --Mgmgt of Natural Systems--such as woodland mgmt., urban mgmt., prairie mgmt. And wetlands mgmt. Interpretation and Communication--we want them to not only know the info but we want them to be able to utilize and relay it and present that info to other public groups too.
  • The annual requirement of advanced training promotes continued learning, exploring and development just as historical naturalists practiced. The advanced training opportunities can be made available through the TMN program at the state level , provided by the local chapter, or sought out by the individual. However, every opportunity should be pre-approved by the local chapter. Advanced Training should be more in depth on a subject than the training they originally received or a training that will help them and the program benefit directly from. This is where your local partners will be valuable in offering the opportunities.
  • The projects can be short projects such as participating on a speakers bureau or they can be long term projects such as overseeing a park restoration.. Chapters may wish to develop “signature projects” or volunteers may seek projects that fit the TMN criteria individually. Individual projects are subject for review by the local chapter. This is another area where the partnerships developed at the local level become very important. Their service projects should be something they want to volunteer in and a project that the program and agencies can capitalize on their strengths.
  • State Parks who currently involved in the program include: Sheldon Lake Tyler Cedar Hill Galveston Island Government Canyon Honey Creek Lake Brownwood Matagorda Island Brazos Bend San Jacinto
  • Through the TMN program you can help children and adults in your community learn about Texas’ natural resources. When talking to the volunteers These are benefits they say they get out of the program and from being a certified TMN.
  • When I first came to this program we had just 4 chapters, to date we have 18 chapters centered out of the most populated and urbanizing communities of Texas such as Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Houston and El Paso In addition the program will expand into at least 5 new locations in the coming year.
  • So far these local chapters have trained over 1,200 volunteers. And we continue to train more than 600 volunteers each year. Obviously, that number increases as our number of chapters increase. Through the end of 2001, these volunteers have provided over 89,000 hours of service valued at more than $1million. From an agency standpoint their work ahs been equivalent to approximately 34 FTE’s and their service outreach and education has directly reached more than 200,000 youth adults and private landowners. This is above and beyond the outreach that our agency employees have also been able to contribute.
  • These volunteers have made an impact on more than 5,000 acres through their management and restoration efforts. Their local chapters have developed partnerrships with more than 180 different organizations. We have even had a volunteer discover a plant new to science, and it since has been confirmed and named after him.
  • These volunteers have made an impact on more than 5,000 acres through their management and restoration efforts. Their local chapters have developed partnerrships with more than 180 different organizations. We have even had a volunteer discover a plant new to science, and it since has been confirmed and named after him.
  • -Provides cross-Chapter idea sharing. -Is an opportunity for them to receive their advanced training for the whole year. -Is an opportunity to provide new program information relevant to all Chapters and volunteers. -provides an opportunity for our Volunteer Representatives Council to meet. At our first Annual Meeting and Advanced training: 135 people attended, All 13 Chapters were represented, 2 Developing Chapters were represented.
  • Compare to other programs we are more intensive and all encompassing. In 1999 we met with other who run similar volunteer programs across the nation. At this time there were 10. But what we found was that many of these programs were not as broad in their training as the TMN programis. The go by names such as the Coverts program or Forestry Education program, Master Forester program. NH, VT, MD, MA, OR, MN, PA, NY, WI. Many of them had been in existence anywhere from 4-15 years. And interesting enough none of the programs had as many active volunteers as the TMN program at this time. We were less than a year old and had already trained more volunteers than any of the other programs. No local partners, focused on single systems mgmt. The TMN program is the model program for at least 20 other states developing a Master Naturalist program. We have even had other states come to visit our program to learn and implement the program in their home state. There is even plans for the development of a regional Master Naturalist Program. At some time in the near future, just as the Master Gardener Program has, I envision the Texas Master Naturalist Program following their lead and develop and implement a Junior Master Naturalist program as well. With the development of a regional program, I have no doubts that someday within the next couple of years we will see a Master Naturalist program in every state and they will look up to you as the first, the biggest and the best. Other Countries are looking to us as a model program too--China, Mexico, Canada, Australia.