CLOSED: Volunteer Training, Friends of Urban Nature, northeast Madison; begins July 8, 2017

Friends of Urban Nature (FUN), a coalition of Madison Parks, Friends groups, and Nature groups, is happy to offer the 2nd annual Summer Wisconsin Master Naturalist Volunteer Training course. Held on a series of Saturdays in July and August, this course offers a special focus on learning about Nature Recreation, Nature Education, Nature Restoration, Natural Health, and Connecting Communities and Kids with Nature.


Each Saturday session has a mix of indoor and outdoor education featuring morning and afternoon Field Trips.  Naturalists and Topic Experts will help you discover and interpret the history, geology, human impacts, ecology, birds and wildlife of nearby Urban Natural Areas including Warner Park, Cherokee Marsh, UW Arboretum, and the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Participants will also enjoy a special all day Field Trip to Devils Lake with Geology Professor David Mickelson and the nearby historic Aldo Leopold Shack on the Wisconsin River with Stanley Temple, former Director of the UW Nelson Institute. 


Wisconsin's historic prairies, oak openings, lakes, rivers, and streams, and the native birds, wildlife and natural ecosystems they support, and related topic chapters from the Master Naturalist Class instruction manual, will be woven into all of our studies. Participants will also meet representatives of DNR, Parks, Friends and Nature groups to learn about many opportunities for Master Naturalists to engage as volunteers, participate in Citizen Science, help provide leadership for activities, job opportunities, and community involvement.

Speakers Include:

  • Chuck Henrikson - Birding Intro to Ecosystems at Warner Park
  • Sylvia Marek - Interpreting the Landscape at UW Arboretum
  • Wayne Pauly - Prairie Restoration at Yahara Heights County Park
  • David Drake - Wisconsin Mammals and Urban Canid Project at Lakeshore Nature Preserve
  • Tom Murn - Ecosystems and Human Impacts at Owen Conservation Park
  • Steve Sample - Bird Research and Citizen Science
  • Eva Lewandowski - Citizen-based Monitoring
  • Nelson Eisman - Wetlands and Aquatic Life at Cherokee Marsh
  • Seth McGee - Plants of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve and Biocore Prairie
  • David Mickelson - Geology of Wisconsin at Devils Lake
  • Stanley Temple - Wisconsin Ecology and History at the Aldo Leopold Shack


People of all skill levels and backgrounds are invited to attend!  This course is conducted 'in the round' encouraging participation and sharing of ideas and experiences.  It can be taken for personal enrichment or career enhancement and you are welcome to attend even if you cannot complete all 6 Saturdays.  The course includes an individual Capstone project for each student, and UW students can talk to their instructor about the opportunity to take this course as an independent study for credit.  Those who complete all 6 Saturdays (or equivalent make-up activities approved by instructors) and 40 hours of follow-up volunteer activity become Certified Wisconsin Master Naturalists. 

Schedule: Saturdays, July 8, July 15. July 22, August 5, August 12, August 19; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Fee: $250 includes all class materials and a one-year membership with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.  Bring your own lunch.

To apply for one of 4 possible scholarships of up to $200, please fill in the application form at  You should do this before registering.  Please indicate in your application if you are willing to fulfill some of your 40 hours of follow up Master Naturalist Volunteer time by assisting a local Madison FUN partner Friends group.

Location: Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625 Northport Drive, Madison, WI  53704


PLEASE NOTE - Course participants that want to be certified Master Naturalist Volunteers will be required to:

  • Attend at least 90% of classroom time and all field study.
  • Participate in field trips, even in inclement weather.
    • Some travel in personal vehicles may be necessary to reach field trip locations.
    • Some field trips may involve some moderate activity on uneven terrain. Please consult with the program office ( before registering if you have concerns.
  • Complete a capstone project during the course.


  • Registration deadline is July 6, 2017
  • Class size is limited to 20 participants.
  • Course cancellation policies:
    • If a registrant cancels his/her registration for this course prior to May 31, 2017, s/he will receive a full refund less a $25 administrative fee. No refund will be made if a registrant cancels after the course deadline (5/31/17).
    • The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program reserves the right to cancel a course if fewer than 10 people register by the registration deadline. If the program cancels the course, all registrants will receive a full refund.

Course Dates: 

Monday, December 31, 2018 - 8:30am


Paul Noeldner, Anke Keuser