Become a Master Naturalist

What is a Pennsylvania Master Naturalist?

A Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is an individual with a passion for the natural world who participates in an intensive training program and uses his or her knowledge by giving back to the community through volunteer service.  This year-round program has three components: an initial volunteer training course, volunteer service hours, and advanced training classes.

  • Natural Science Training: All Master Naturalists will receive an in depth, 50-hour training in natural history, natural sciences, biodiversity, and nature interpretation.
  • Service Hours: Service hours give Master Naturalists an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned during the training. After the initial training course, trainees must complete at least 30 hours of service in order to become certified PA Master Naturalist volunteers. To remain certified, volunteers must complete 20 hours of service each subsequent year. 
  • Advanced Courses (elective hours): Continuing education is an important part of a naturalist’s life; therefore, we require a certain number of credit hours each year on specialized topics. After the initial training course, trainees must complete at least 8 hours of advanced training in order to become certified PA Master Naturalist volunteers. To remain certified, volunteers must complete 12 hours of advanced training each subsequent year.

Duration: Pennsylvania Master Naturalist training is a lifelong journey measured with annual training and volunteer service requirements. 

Who Should Apply:  Adults who are interested in deepening their knowledge of and connection to the natural world and the local conservation community through natural science education and volunteer service are perfect candidates to become PA Master Naturalist volunteers.  

Training Courses: View current Training Course offerings.