Maine Master Naturalist Program
The mission of the Maine Master Naturalist Program is to train people to be volunteer naturalists who will enrich nature education in Maine. In a year-long course, MMNP teaches participants to volunteer for organizations around the state and inspire all kinds of audiences about Maine’s natural world.
The Maine Master Naturalist Program believes that Maine’s natural world and outdoor spaces should be inclusive, accessible, and safe for everyone without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, citizenship status, ability, or age. We strive in training Maine Master Naturalists to practice and promote the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
The 2022 courses are under way in Wells and Calais.
The 2023 course will be in Auburn. Click here for class dates, further information, and the online application. The application will be available from September 1 until 5 p.m. on October 16.
MMNP may hold courses in Orono in 2024 and in southern Maine in 2025. These plans are tentative and could change. As soon as plans are set, the information will be posted here.
MMNP offers a rigorous, yearlong course where students learn about Maine’s plants, animals, geology, ecological systems, and more. Organized and taught by experienced Maine Master Naturalists and outside experts, the course provides hands-on learning in the classroom and in the field. Students deepen their learning through extensive homework including nature journaling, sketching, and field observation. View the Course Description page for a list of topics and other details.
Since 2012 MMNP has held over a dozen courses at locations from Wells to Calais and South Paris to Mount Desert Island. The organizers are continually enhancing the program, seeking ways to reach more people and to expand into more areas of Maine. Further courses are in the planning stages. Information will be posted here as soon as details are in place.
After graduation, Maine Master Naturalists are required to volunteer to share their knowledge with others. To date, MMNP has trained over 200 Maine Master Naturalists. These volunteers have provided thousands of hours of nature programming on a wide range of topics throughout a substantial portion of Maine, reaching audiences of all ages.
Graduates join the MMNP “nexus of naturalists” with opportunities to connect with other graduates and to continue learning about Maine’s natural environment.
What Does the Course Look Like?
Maine Master Naturalists are available as volunteers to educate the public about the natural world. If your organization is planning an event that could use Master Naturalist volunteers, please get in touch with MMNP below or on the ‘Contact Us’ page. Your request will be sent to our graduates. MMNP can’t guarantee that a Master Naturalist will be available for your event, but it’s likely that someone will step up to help.