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. Your organization can offer these courses by sending a staff member to an instructor training course.
Instructors are trained to lead Minnesota Master Naturalist classes in all three biome areas: Big Woods, Big Rivers; Prairies 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 and apply to the Master Naturalist instructor program today!
Learn more about instructor training
Having a staff member trained as a Master Naturalist instructor allows your organization to train volunteers on-site, giving you a pool of highly skilled and dedicated volunteers to help out with those back-burner projects you've always wanted to do.
The capstone projects led by Minnesota Master Naturalist instructors will benefit your organization by providing creative ideas and improved environmental education programming.
Instructors generate programmatic funds for their sponsoring organization by receiving a portion of participant tuition: $75 per participant is provided to the instructor’s employer.
Educational requirements include a minimum of either a Bachelor's degree in environmental science, education, or related field; or demonstrated comparable practical experience providing environmental education programs.
Instructors must work for an organization, agency, or group that places a priority on science-based environmental education and is willing to provide support for Minnesota Master Naturalist training. Instructors need a classroom and the capability to show presentations (computer and projector) for all class sessions except the field trips.
Applicants must provide a letter of support from the instructor's sponsoring group/agency, stating that they support the instructor in this pursuit and can provide the necessary space, time and equipment.
Instructors are expected to provide a Minnesota Master Naturalist training at least once within the twelve months following the instructor training and once every two years after the first training. Instructors propose a class to the Minnesota Master Naturalist state program for review and approval at least six weeks prior to the start of a class. Courses can be scheduled to best fit the needs of instructors and students.
Instructors will lead 40 hours of classroom lectures, discussions, and field trips; monitor students' progress and attendance; and assist in the completion of capstone projects. Upon completion of the class, instructors will submit participant outcomes and return unused participant books and pins to the Minnesota Master Naturalist state program office, and prepare and submit an invoice to initiate payment to the sponsoring facility.
You're not in this alone! Participant registration is online and coordination will be done by the statewide organization. Materials for each participant are provided by the state office and will be mailed to instructors at the class site.
Instructor training courses are offered twice a year in spring and fall in rotating locations throughout the state. Current offerings can be found on the Master Naturalist course page.
The training course fee is $75.00 and includes all materials needed to teach all three biomes. Trainings last 2 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.
Applying to the Minnesota Master Naturalist Instructor program is easy. Individuals interested in becoming an instructor simply register for the training on the Minnesota Master Naturalist 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 qualifications of the applicant, appropriateness of the sponsoring organization and geographic considerations. Instructors will be notified of acceptance status via email.