Montana Master Naturalist



The goal of the Montana Master Naturalist Program is to increase natural history knowledge and promote awareness, understanding, and stewardship of Montana’s natural environment by developing a corps of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within their communities. The core of this program is the Montana Master Naturalist Certification Course, which is approximately 40 hours of classroom and field time. The Montana Audubon Center is the home for this program in Billings and works with the Montana Natural History Center in Missoula to offer state-wide certification. Students who complete the course become certified as Montana Master Naturalists. To maintain their certification, Montana Master Naturalists are required to log 20 hours of volunteer service and participate in 8 hours of continuing education annually.


“The Master Naturalist class has truly enriched my life. I am more observant now than I ever was. How rewarding to know even more about the living things I share the environment with.” ~D.M., Billings Master Naturalist student 2018


Spring 2021 Certification Course

This course is designed for adults who want to deepen their knowledge of the natural world. We’ll explore everything from birds and insects to geology and plant ID. You’ll hone your naturalist skills as we practice journaling, animal tracking, and the art of observation. This year’s course will combine online meetings with in-person meetings outdoors later in the spring.

  • 12 weekly meetings
  • 6 – 8pm on Thursdays from March 25 – June 10
  • The first seven classes will be held online. The last five classes will be held in person and outdoors (weather-permitting).
  • The course also includes two Saturday field trips (approximately 9am – 4pm on April 24 and May 22)

The course is taught by the MAC’s Community Programs Coordinator and certified Montana Master Naturalist Heather Bilden. Guest instructors from Rocky Mountain College, MSU-Billings and local government agencies lend their expertise on several of the subjects. The weekly classes include lectures, labs, and field trips. View the previous course syllabus here: Syllabus MAC S2020 (some elements are subject to change). Contact Heather with questions about the course.


Registration Information

  • Cost: $350 or $315 for Audubon Center members
  • Ask us about scholarships
  • Space is limited – REGISTER HERE today!
  • Full payment is due upon registration. The course fee (minus a $50 administrative fee) is refundable only if cancellation is made 20 days prior to the start of class. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after this deadline with the following exceptions:
    • Any programs cancelled by the Montana Audubon Center are eligible for a full refund.
    • In the event a program fee can be rolled over to a following cycle or year, that offer will be made available to the paying program participant, and a spot will be reserved for the participant.
    • If a program is cancelled by a participant due to reasonable health and safety concerns from exposure risk to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Montana Audubon Center will issue a full refund.
    • If any participant experiences major illness, injury, or loss of a family member prior to the start of a registered program the participant is eligible for a full refund.


Naturalist Field Days

Field Days provide opportunities for continued in-depth and hands-on field experiences that build on the knowledge gained in the Master Naturalist Certification Course. Geared toward the Master Naturalist, but open to any curious outdoor explorer, our Field Days explore a variety of subjects and environments across the region. Stay tuned for future offerings!


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