image of prescribed burn for habitat maintenance at UW Arboretum, two volunteers are tending to the fire

Photo Credit © UW Arboretum

Ecological Restoration Master Naturalist Training

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Training Dates

October 1 - October 24, 2021


UW-Madison Arboretum

1207 Seminole Highway

Madison, WI 53711



Marian Farrior

Bryn Scriver

Amy Jo Dusick

Beth Stetenfeld


University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum and UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve will offer a Master Naturalist training in October. This course is for volunteers who want to learn more about the art and science of ecological restoration, whether for your own learning or to prepare for volunteer environmental stewardship at a restoration site. In addition to the Master Naturalist curriculum, we will emphasize native Wisconsin plant identification, ecosystems of southern Wisconsin, and the practice of ecological restoration. We will learn from experienced restoration managers and naturalists, participate in hands-on learning, and visit various types of restoration sites in the surrounding area. University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum is the birthplace of ecological restoration and includes 1200 acres of various ecosystems in an urban oasis. Lakeshore Nature Preserve is a 300-acre natural area for teaching and research, situated on 4.3 miles of Lake Mendota shoreline on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The United Nations has declared 2021-2030 to be the Decade on Ecological Restoration; this Master Naturalist training is a way to participate in the global movement to restore our world.

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist program is a network of well-informed volunteers dedicated to conservation service, leadership, and lifelong learning. The Master Naturalist training provides 40 hours of coursework in natural history, interpretation, and conservation stewardship. Trainings combine classroom instruction with field experiences and are taught by professional natural resources educators and scientists. Due to COVID-19, we anticipate the training to be held mostly in outdoor settings. Once trained, Wisconsin Master Naturalists provide 40 hours of service and take 8 hours of advanced training each year to maintain their certification and receive a recognition pin.


Friday, October 1st: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Saturday, October 2nd: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Sunday, October 3rd: 8:30 am - 1:30 pm

Friday, October 22nd: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Saturday, October 23rd: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Sunday, October 24th: 8:30 am - 1:30 pm

Class Size



To be a certified Master Naturalist, you will be required to:

  • Attend regularly. Only four hours of training may be missed.
  • Be 18 years old or older.
  • Participate in field trips, even in inclement weather.
  • Travel in personal vehicles as necessary to reach field trip locations.
  • Experience moderate activity on uneven terrain. Please consult with the program office before registering if you have you have questions about accessibility.
  • Complete a capstone project during the training.

** Master Naturalist Trainings are primarily outdoor learning experiences which may include extended periods of standing, hiking on both flat paths and off-trails with inclines, and a variety of weather conditions. If you have questions about the activity level of the training, please contact the program office prior to registering.

Financial Hardship

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist program believes that finances should not be a barrier to learning. Reduced registration fees are available for those who indicate the fee is a hardship. Reduced fees will be available during the registration process at a self-selected rate of either $200, $150, or $100. Our hope is that by participating in the Master Naturalist program you are able to give back your time to organizations that need your help. And if your financial situation changes in the future that you’ll consider a donation back to our program.

COVID Considerations

Keeping the health of everyone in our community in mind, we’re approaching our programming with intentional steps. These steps follow CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and UW–Madison guidance. These requirements are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

During our upcoming training:

  • We will concentrate our learning outdoors, as much as possible.
  • Individuals who are not vaccinated should wear a face covering when indoors.
  • In counties where this is substantial or high transmission, it is strongly recommended that all individuals (regardless of vaccination status) wear a mask when indoors.
  • Six foot distancing from individuals outside of immediate households is recommended as a way to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Proof of vaccination is not required for participation.
  • All individuals are welcome to continue protected practices, such as face coverings and distancing, even if it is not required or advised. Individual masking choices should not be interpreted as an indicator of vaccination status.

Host sites and field locations may have more stringent requirements. Please follow the guidance that they provide at that time. We recommend bringing a face covering with you each day to be prepared for those situations. Participants should stay at home if they feel ill, show signs of COVID-19, or have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID19.

As we continue to move forward, we expect the guidance from the CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and UW–Madison to evolve and therefore these COVID considerations for Master Naturalist trainings may change.

This training has passed