Signed in as:
Signed in as:
New volunteer training courses are held annually from January into early May.
The 2024 class has begun.Subscribe to our email list to receive updates about the 2025 cohort.
Training to become a Master Naturalist develops skills to build relationships with community partners and to engage in projects that benefit the environment and our communities. The training is interactive and consists of weekly meetings and presentations by subject matter experts, team-building exercises, group projects, and field explorations. We also include self-reflective tasks to further understand natural and cultural concepts, including best practices in environmental education and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in our programs.
The Master Naturalist program leads to certification by volunteering with other chapter members working in small groups to design, implement, or facilitate programs for natural and cultural history organizations. Volunteering is a required element of the course. If you have neither the time or interest to volunteer, we suggest you seek a natural history course at a community college rather than applying to our program.
Master Naturalists are not expected to know everything about the natural world. The definition of a "master" refers to a person who devotes time and energy to learning and practicing their skill. As a "master," we become more aware of our environment on new levels and seek new ways to engage with it. Let the fun begin!
This volunteer course begins in January and runs into early May. It is conducted online on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-8:30 PM via Zoom with in-person Field Labs on Saturday mornings in various parks around the valley. You are required to participate in 5 Field Labs or may attend all 8-10 available. Virtual Field Labs are available for some field experiences and may be substituted if the activity conflicts with your schedule, or you have physical limitations.
Self-reflective weekly assignments/projects provide opportunities to gain additional knowledge and are due within reasonable deadlines. Expect to devote 6 hours each week: 3 hours for the Zoom class and an additional 3 hours to complete course assignments/projects. Trainees are partnered with certified Master Naturalist mentors who provide support and guidance.
Much of the communications within our organization and with our partners is via the computer. To effectively participate, you must be willing to use software such as Canvas (our online course management system), Volgistics (our volunteer hours tracking system), and the Google Suite of products. You need not be an expert using these and we will assist you as necessary.
Our 60-hour training program prepares you to provide volunteer service to community organizations seeking skilled natural and cultural volunteers throughout Arizona. Master Naturalists volunteer by sharing their skills, knowledge, and leadership to help others learn about Arizona’s natural world and cultural diversity.
Our volunteer opportunities are diverse. You may select from:
To become fully certified in your training year, you must contribute by December 31 of that year:
To maintain standing as a certified Master Naturalist, expect to pay annual dues ($25) for each subsequent year and contribute:
Year 2 -
Year 3 and beyond -
If, at any time, you require assistance with completing your hours, we are happy to help you.
Video - 12 minutes
The Arizona Master Naturalist Association seeks to engage and serve a diversity of audiences in our communities and strives to make our programs accessible to an array of diverse ages, cultural backgrounds, economic strata, professional experiences and ethnic backgrounds. Our registration fees are $300 (subject to change each year). We provide financial assistance for those unable to pay full price for the program through a sliding scale for course fee payment.
Our application is open to candidates from September 1 until the class is full. If you are interested in becoming a Maricopa County Master Naturalist, please join our email list (scroll to the bottom to signup). Our monthly newsletter explains activities you can attend prior to taking the course and will alert you to the opening of the application in September. Visit our public events calendar for upcoming events.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org