The UW-Extension’s Environmental Resources Center worked closely with project partners to develop a quality, self-sustaining, education program for Wisconsin citizens. The program will improve volunteer skills and provide opportunities to use those skills. It will also provide statewide standards of achievement for Wisconsin master naturalist (WIMN) volunteers, and an infrastructure to support the work of K-12 and nonformal educators, land managers and other natural resources professionals.
Many organizations have collaborated with the WIMN program by providing staff to participate on the Advisory Committee. These individuals have been instrumental in guiding the development of the program, in providing and reviewing content, and in providing pilot training opportunities. Thank you to all of these organizations and their staff members, who have or have had representatives on the Advisory Committee:
- Beaver Creek Reserve
- Cable Museum of Natural History
- Friends of Wisconsin State Parks
- Milwaukee County Parks
- Northland College
- The Ridges Sanctuary
- Trees for Tomorrow
- Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education
- Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
- University of Wisconsin System
- Central Wisconsin Environmental Station - UW Stevens Point
- Cofrin Center for Biodiversity - UW Green Bay
- Environmental Resources Center - UW-Extension and UW-Madison
- Natural Resources Education Program - UW-Extension
- Treehaven Field Station - UW Stevens Point
- Arboretum - UW-Madison
- Forest & Wildlife Ecology - UW-Madison
- Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey - UW-Extension
- Wehr Nature Center
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- Wisconsin Professional Geologists Association.
The WIMN program has benefited tremendously from a close partnership with the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program, University of Minnesota Extension. The Minnesota program was established seven years ago with the assistance of a $2 million National Science Foundation grant. WIMN has relied heavily upon Minnesota’s work, which has been studied through a rigorous, five-year evaluative process. The Minnesota professionals have been extraordinarily generous in providing advice, materials, resources, and training for this effort. The WIMN program also benefited through study and evaluation of other master naturalist programs in 25 states throughout the country.
The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve (LSNERR) is a new partner in this effort and is looking to WIMN to help grow the number of volunteers providing conservation services in Lake Superior coastal communities. LSNERR is particularly interested in supporting the development of the WIMN Great Lakes advanced training curriculum and course to enhance their outreach objectives.