Friday, January 9, 2015

Become a Master Naturalist!

You'll never look at downed trees the same way again!  
Recently, I earned my certification as a Maryland Master Naturalist. As part of this program, I took 60 hours of classes and instruction covering the ecology, geology, flora, and fauna of the state of Maryland. In order to keep my certification, I have to volunteer 40 hours a year and take 8 hours of refresher classes yearly. One way that I have been volunteering is to write up a short flyer each month for the Audubon Naturalist Society to post at their trail heads on the Woodend Nature Center sanctuary. I've decided to share these naturalist thoughts here in this blog on select Fridays.

Nearly every state in the US has a Master Naturalist Program. If you like spending time in nature, I encourage you to look into the training. I think it's a great opportunity for those of us who enjoy time outdoors. Here are a few reasons why:

- Training costs are low when compared with earning a similar certificate or degree.

- You meet lots of great eco-minded folks.

- You develop a greater appreciation and understanding of natural spaces around you.

- You'll have something new to add to your resume.

I developed a new appreciation for fungi as a part of my training. I used to always think of fungi as a sort of weird exception to plants. Nope! Fungi are totally different than plants and animals and have completely different life cycles and evolutionary strategies. Thinking about fungi has fueled some of my creative writing. :)

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