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
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.
We will be offering the course in two formats in 2022:
The course is taught by the MAC’s Master Naturalist 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 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.
To maintain their certification, Master Naturalists are required to complete 20 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of continuing education each calendar year.
If you need the password, contact Master Naturalist Coordinator Heather Bilden.
Recertification Deadline: January 1. For example, if you graduated in 2020, your deadline is Jan. 1st, 2022.
Join the Master Naturalist graduate Google Group by contacting Heather Bilden.
The activity needs to:
Each volunteer service activity may fit under one of these categories: Citizen Science, Stewardship, Education, Organizational Support, Other.
Citizen Science involves volunteers assisting with scientific research. These projects usually involve gathering data and returning it to researchers. Examples include:
Stewardship includes natural resource management activities. Examples include:
Education includes the presentation and/or development of educational materials. Examples include:
Organizational Support projects include working to ensure the functioning of any conservation/environmental organizations. Examples include:
Other projects should be described when you submit hours
Montana Master Naturalist continuing education needs to:
Most activities will:
Where to find continuing education opportunities in the Billings’ area: