Learn and Serve in Nature
Supported through the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, the Master Naturalist program promotes awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the natural environment by developing a network of well-informed volunteers dedicated to conservation service within their communities.
To become a Master Naturalist, individuals complete 40 hours of expert-led training at locations across the state. Equipped with new knowledge, experiences, and connections, Master Naturalists then go on to serve stewardship, citizen science, and education efforts in Wisconsin and continue their learning through advanced trainings.
Master Naturalists come from all walks of life – college students, retirees, teachers, farmers, hunters, nature guides, professionals, young parents – and represent all levels of knowledge about the natural world. They help monitor weather, maintain trails, teach children about pollinators, and so much more.
Do you care about nature and enjoy learning about the state’s natural resources? Join us!
What do Master Naturalists Do?
A whole lot! After their training, Master Naturalists provide and support educational opportunities, gather data as citizen scientists, and help take care of Wisconsin’s land and water. Many Master Naturalists are involved with multiple organizations and activities. We help find opportunities for Master Naturalists looking for new connections with organizations across the state. Get involved!
Make a difference – your help is needed.
Find your pack – make connections with people who share your interests.
Recharge your batteries – refresh your life with new purpose.
Learn about some of the volunteer opportunities in citizen science from instructors, hosts, and Master Naturalists themselves.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension facilitates the Master Naturalist program. Extension develops and maintains the course content; provides registration and evaluation services; facilitates opportunities for Master Naturalists to learn and serve with other organizations; hosts the online reporting portal and recognizes efforts of Master Naturalists. Extension also trains Master Naturalist Instructors and provides professional development and outreach to engage instructors, host organizations and stakeholders. Master Naturalists perform their volunteer service with other organizations across the state, and in certain instances, with Extension programs outside of the Master Naturalist program.
Organizations across the state partner with the Master Naturalist program by hosting the volunteer training at their location. These organizations often provide volunteer opportunities in environmental education and interpretation, stewardship or citizen science and include nature centers, parks, “Friends of” groups, field stations, museums, government agencies, non-profits.
Master Naturalists provide service to over 650 stakeholder organizations across the state. These programs range from local watershed groups to statewide natural resources organizations and offer citizen science, stewardship, and educational programming opportunities. Track large carnivores, participate in a prescribed burn, or lead an educational program for youth! The Master Naturalist program can connect you with a stakeholder organization and volunteer opportunity that feels right for you.
Master Naturalists volunteer over 25,000 hours of service each year to over 650 organizations across the state. Our impact is meaningful and measurable.
Clearly the program is facilitating many Wisconsin citizens to become involved in caring for the state's resources--a wonderful investment.
Friends of the Pheasant Branch Conservancy, 2019