Initial Training

Class of 2024 Initial Training

State minimum training requirements include 40 hours of combined classroom and field experiences designed to introduce Members-in-Training to the ecosystems of the Mid-Coast Chapter area. The intent of the training is to provide Members-in-Training with the information, tools, and skills they need to teach this information to others. In addition, major components of State TMN curriculum are introduced. Note: Applicants for the Class of 2025 will be wait-listed in order of application.

Dates and times are subject to change. Any individual session schedule and agenda updates will be provided to class members as each session approaches, but last-minute changes may need to be made; historically, we have needed to reschedule field sessions due to weather.  

Introduction & Orientation
Feb 3, 9:00 am-3:00 pm—Aransas County AgriLife, Rockport
TMN & Mid-Coast Chapter history, Why Master Naturalists are needed, Initial Training Requirements, Introduction to Volunteering, Member Volunteering Experiences, Using the Volunteer Management System and Chapter website This session is critical.

Geology and Ecozones
Feb 8, 5:30-7:30 pm—Virtual via Zoom

  • Geology of the World
  • Texas Geology
  • Texas Ecological Regions

Archaeology and Early Texans
Feb 17, 9:00 am–2:30 pm—Museum of the Coastal Bend, Victoria

  • Introduction to regional cultural history and archaeology
  • Tour of the museum
  • Overview of citizen archaeology work
  • Volunteering opportunities

Upland Ecology, Birds, Soils, & Rangeland
Feb 29, 5:30-7:30 pm (virtual) and
Mar 2, 7:15 am (at the gate)-3:00 pm—Welder Wildlife Refuge, Sinton area

    • Bird identification, mist-netting, and birding
    • Systems approach to understanding a landscape in transition: soils and vegetation
    • Overview & tour of Welder Wildlife Refuge: soils, plant communities, habitats, rangeland succession
    • Volunteering opportunities

Mid-Coast of Texas Ecology
Mar 21, 5:30-7:30 pm (virtual) and
Mar 23, 9:00 am–3:00 pm—Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Austwell area

  • Introduction to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and volunteering opportunities
  • Introduction to iNaturalist and eBird
  • Tour of the Refuge as presented to visitors
  • Nature Journaling/Taking Field Notes
  • Learning to use a plant key on Heron Flats Trail

Riverine & Riparian Ecology
Apr 4, 5:30-7:30 pm (virtual) and
Apr 6, 10:00 am-3:00 pm—Fennessey Ranch, Refugio area

  • Riverine Ecosystems
  • Riparian Ecosystems
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Interpreting Nature
Apr 18, 5:30-7:30 pm (virtual) and
Apr 20, 10:00 am–3:00 pm—Lake Texana

  • Overview of Interpretation—How to present what you know
  • Interpretation Theory
  • Preparation and Message Delivery–Tips & Techniques
  • Herpetology
  • Volunteering opportunities

Coastal Prairie & Wetland Ecology
Apr 25, 5:30-7:30 pm (virtual) and
Apr 27, 9:00 am-3:00 pm—Powderhorn Ranch

  • Introduction to Coastal Prairies, Wetlands and Estuaries
  • Texas Water Law and Water Use
  • Field Work in an Estuarine System
  • Freshwater and Saltwater Wetland Ecology
  • Prairie Grassland Ecology

Bay & Barrier Island Ecologies
May 9, 5:30-7:30 pm (virtual) and
May 11, 7:30 am-3:00 pm—R/V Katy & Mustang Island SP

  • Introductions to Bays and Barrier Islands
  • Coastal Fisheries and Ecosystems Management
  • Geologic/Beach Processes and Future of Texas Barrier Islands
  • Barrier Flats and Salt Marsh Ecology/Geology
  • Bay, Gulf of Mexico and Barrier Island Inhabitants
  • Volunteer Opportunities

The Importance of Native Plants & Graduation

May 30, 5:30-7:30 pm (virtual) and
Jun 1, 9:00 am-3:00 pm—Barnhart Ranch, Goliad area

  • Importance of Native Plants in Mid-Coast Ecologies
  • Plant Identification on a local Nature Trail
  • Graduation of the Class of 2023 Members-in-Training

Mid-Coast TMN-Related Optional Activities

  • Mid-Coast Chapter Meeting & Advanced Training—Sat, Feb 10, 10:00 am; Wings Rescue Center, Rockport. AT: Owls!
  • Mid-Coast Board of Directors Meeting—Sat, Apr 13, 10:00 am; format & location TBD
  • Mid-Coast Chapter Meeting & Advanced Training—Sat May 11, 10:00 am; format & location TBD

Not a member?

If you live in our area and think the Mid-Coast Chapter might be for you, check out the Join Us! page to get and overview and submit your Application.

Don’t live in our area?
Check out the State Texas Master Naturalist website and find a chapter near you!

Membership in the Chapter is open to qualifying individuals regardless of race, age (must be 18 years of age or older), sex, religion, disability, or national origin.