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University of Minnesota Extension

Master Naturalist instructor training

Minnesota Master Naturalist is a volunteer training program in which adults learn about Minnesota’s natural resources, are trained to be stewards of our environment, and learn how to teach these skills to others. Organizations that prioritize science-based environmental education can offer these courses by sponsoring a staff member to complete an instructor training course.  

Instructors are trained to lead Minnesota Master Naturalist classes in all three Minnesota biome areas: Big Woods, Big RiversPrairies and Potholes; and North Woods, Great Lakes. All class materials are provided at no cost to instructors. And each 40 hour class you lead as an instructor can be scheduled to best fit the needs of instructors and students.

Become part of a statewide effort to increase natural resource volunteering in citizen science, interpretation, program support and stewardship throughout Minnesota. 

Schedule and cost

Instructor training courses are offered twice a year in spring and fall in rotating locations throughout the state. Current offerings can be found below or on the Master Naturalist volunteer website course page.

The training course fee is $75.00 and includes all materials needed to teach all three biomes. Training lasts two days, and lunch and snacks are included.  Participants must cover their own lodging and transportation costs.

If your organization has a group of staff to train and would be interested in hosting the training at your site, please contact us.

How to apply

Individuals interested in becoming an instructor register for the training on the Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer website, and send in a signed letter of support from your organization's director or supervisor on official letterhead. This letter should indicate that the organization is willing to host a Minnesota Master Naturalist class.

Approval of applications will be determined by applicant qualifications, appropriateness of the sponsoring organization and geographic considerations. Instructors will be notified of acceptance by email.


Registration open

Register for the next instructor training to be held at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Reserve on March 2, 2023. The in-person session will be followed by an online session on March 16, 2023.

Find out more and register

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