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University of Minnesota Extension

Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer training

Training tailored to Minnesota’s unique biomes

Map depicting the four biomes of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Master Naturalist training course includes 40 hours of lectures, hands-on activities, videos and field trips that cover in-depth specific aspects of Minnesota's natural history.

We offer courses for each of Minnesota’s three biomes:

  • Big Woods, Big Rivers – The Eastern Broadleaf Forest includes three of the largest rivers in the state.

  • North Woods, Great Lakes – The Laurentian Mixed Forest covers 23 million acres of northeastern Minnesota.

  • Prairies and Potholes – The Prairie Parkland Province biome is dotted with "pothole" lakes and is hotter and drier than other regions.

You must complete 40 hours of training to become a certified Minnesota Master Naturalist. You will be certified in the biome that you take, and you need only take one biome course to start volunteering.

The cost of the course includes manuals and supplies. Income-based scholarships are available. See the Master Naturalist volunteer website for more information.

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