Master Naturalist Program

master-naturalist-logo

The Master Naturalist Program is meant to engage individuals as stewards of Delaware's natural ecosystems and resources through science-based education and volunteer service in their communities.

Become a Master Naturalist

 

Become a certified Delaware Master Naturalist and provide a continuing commitment to nature!  The Delaware Master Naturalist Program is a science-based natural resource training program jointly coordinated by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and Delaware Nature Society.  The program will provide a foundation for trainees to become naturalists and upon completion of initial training, Master Naturalists will give back to Delaware’s natural world with volunteer services to include education and outreach, service projects, and citizen science. See the "Trainee Recruitment" section below for information on the current trainee class and upcoming opportunities.

 

about the Delaware Master Naturalist Program (PDF)

Delaware is a state of “small wonders” with lots to see, do, learn and enjoy!  Becoming a Certified Delaware Master Naturalist volunteer is an exciting way to explore our beautiful state and to help preserve its environmental wealth.  The idea of a Delaware Master Naturalist Program took shape in Fall of 2018. In Spring of 2019, under the collaborative direction of University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, the Delaware Nature Society and guided by a State Steering Committee, the program’s framework was created. By spring, 2020, the pilot Master Naturalist volunteer training program will be conducted by Delaware Nature Society at the Ashland Nature Center!

Mission: The Delaware Master Naturalist Program trains citizens as ambassadors and stewards of Delaware’s natural resources and ecosystems through science-based education and volunteer opportunities.

 

Goals: 

 

  • Promote awareness and appreciation of ecological resources in the State of Delaware

  • Develop a network of trained volunteers to serve as catalysts for local environmental conservation through education, research and stewardship

  • Provide a structured, science-based program to educate and certify citizens who maintain their lifelong learning quests as Delaware Master Naturalists 

  • Engage citizens in environmentally-focused volunteer service within their communities

THE CURRENT CLASS IS NOW FULL!
Please check back soon for information the next registration period.
 

Individuals must apply through a registered LOP. The list of registered LOPs can be found on the "Participating Organizations (LOPs)" tab on this webpage. The list will be updated as additional LOPs sign on. Each LOP is allowed up to a maximum of 5 applicants per class, so space is limited.

Have questions or concerns? Call Blake Moore at 302-730-4000 or send an email to rbmoore@udel.edu.

 

Current program members may access their training materials online via Google Drive. You do not need to have a Google or UD account to access, only the password provided by your program leader. Follow the link below to login.
 

View Training Materials

 

What is an LOP?

 

A Local Organizing Partner (LOP) is an environmental organization (nonprofit, government, etc) that agrees to provide volunteer opportunities for Delaware Master Naturalists. The LOP works closely with trained Master Naturalists to coordinate and execute Master Naturalist volunteer projects, recruit volunteers into the program, and work with other organizations to maximize the Delaware Master Naturalist mission. 

There is no cost to register as a LOP. Once accepted to the program, LOPs will receive a Local Organizing Partner Resource Manual.

 

Program Benefits

 

There are many benefits to becoming an LOP, including access to trained volunteers that can help accomplish and expand your mission. These volunteers can lead efforts, initiate service projects, gather research data and recruit additional volunteers, all while requiring limited supervision. 
 

As an LOP, you can...

  • receive support from the statewide program;
  • advertise volunteer opportunities on Delaware Master Naturalist website;
  • reach a wider group of stakeholders through the DMN Network;
  • gain access to volunteer management system to track volunteer hours (easy to use and extract data from); and
  • connect with interested individuals via the State Program Coordinator.

Additional program details >>

 

Register NOW >>

The following organizations are participating LOPs for the Delaware Master Naturalist Program.
 

 

  • Delaware Wild Lands 
    • Contact: Brenna Ness, bness@dewildlands.org, 302-378-2736 
    • Volunteer Service Activities for Delaware Master Naturalists: Stewardship (invasive plant control, trash pickup), Citizen Science (bird nest box monitoring, horseshoe crab surveys), Education and Outreach (tabling events).

 

  • Hagley Museum and Library 
    • Contact: Susan Strawbridge, sstrawbridge@hagley.org, 302-658-2400 ext 257 
    • Volunteer Service Activities for Delaware Master Naturalists: Citizen Science, Education and Outreach, as well as specific project work


  • Trustees of New Castle Common/The Hermitage
    • Contact: James Meek, Trustee, James.l.meek@gmail.com 
    • Volunteer Service Activities for Delaware Master Naturalists:: Stewardship and leading citizen science projects.
    • About: The Trustees of The New Castle Common is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1764 and reincorporated by the Delaware Assembly in 1792. Its purpose is to preserve and protect the historic Common lands for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of the town of New Castle. Income is derived primarily from property rentals and investments.

      The Trustees own about 640 acres, including a farm (100 acres), riverfront parks, meadows and buffer areas around residential areas, shopping centers and a 250 acre area of marsh and forest north of town. The Hermitage Natural Area (100 acres) within this latter area is the primary location where Delaware Master Naturalist will work.  This area contains a large lightly managed 2nd growth forest (last farmed c1950), a large marsh area (currently used only for observation, study and great birdwatching) and a native grass/wildflower meadow under active restoration by invasive removal and native plant replanting.

      The Trustees are looking for prospective Delaware Master Naturalists who are interested in leading citizen science projects, but the major need is for help with restoration and removal of invasive aliens. The meadow is the current focus working on removal of mile-a-minute, oriental honeysuckle bush and vine, bittersweet, stilt grass and garlic mustard. In the off-season Delaware Master Naturalists would work on cutting vines, identifying and tagging desirable plants in the forest and overgrown areas, refreshing nature trails, and possibly applying herbicide to the thin layer of phragmites that grow adjacent to the natural areas.

 

  • University of Delaware Cooperative Extension 
    • Contact: Blake Moore, rbmoore@udel.edu, 302-730-4000
    • Volunteer Service Activities for Delaware Master Naturalists: Education, Outreach and Stewardship

 

Is your organization ready to become a Local Organizing Partner? Please read the "LOP Recruitment" tab below and then... 

Regsiter AS AN LOP

Upcoming events

Program contact

Headshot for Blake Moore
Blake Moore
Extension Agent - Natural Resources
 302-730-4000