Steps to becoming an Oregon Master Naturalist - Coursework
Certification in the Oregon Master Naturalist Program happens in several parts. Here is the basic overview of how you can become an Oregon Master Naturalist:
The course “Oregon Master Naturalist Online” provides a basic overview of Oregon’s natural history and the management of its natural resources.
We currently offer courses in 3 specialization areas, but, in time additional ecoregion specializations will be offered. The number of classes required varies by ecoregion.
This is a 2-day course in Interpretation Techniques that is highly encouraged for those who intend on volunteering as an eductor, guide or interpreter at a park, nature center, or other natural area.
This online curriculum is a basic overview of Oregon’s natural history and how its natural resources are managed. It's your first step along the path to becoming an Oregon Master Naturalist.
You’ll receive a certificate of completion once you’ve successfully completed this step.
This curriculum is evolving. The curriculum will continue to be improved upon and more sections will be added. We invite you to revisit this curriculum over time to learn about more topics as they are developed.
Here is what is currently included in the online course:
UNIT 1: Oregon’s Natural and Cultural History
Chapter 1 – Location, location, location: How Ecoregions can help us understand Oregon’s natural diversity
Chapter 2 – Oregon's Foundation: Earth Processes and Geology
UNIT 2: Oregon Watersheds
Chapter 1 – An introduction to Watersheds in Oregon
UNIT 3: Managing Oregon’s Landscape
Chapter 1 – Fundamentals of Ecology and Wildlife Management
Chapter 2 – Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Ecology and Management in Oregon’s Forests
Chapter 3 – Rangelands: An introduction to Oregon’s wild open spaces
UNIT 4: Climate Change
Chapter 1 – Oregon in a Changing Climate
To learn more about this online course, visit http://pne.oregonstate.edu/course/oregon-master-naturalist-online. This course is offered through Oregon State University's Professional and Non-credit Education program.
Play this video to get one participant's perspective of the Oregon Master Naturalist Online Course
The online curriculum is only one way you can learn about Oregon’s natural history.
As an Oregon Master Naturalist, it is important that you explore your environment and experience the natural surroundings in a hands-on way. To achieve certification, complete at least one course based upon Oregon’s 8 ecoregions, as defined by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Conservation Strategy. Ecoregions are ecologically distinct regions defined by climate, geology, and the plants and animals that occupy them.
A course is a “specialization” in one particular ecoregion. The courses are taught in person at locations within an ecoregion and cover various topics in more depth than we can devote in the online curriculum.
Enrollment in these courses is currently handled through the following online registration site: http://tracker.oregonmasternaturalist.org/
We currently offer courses for the following Ecoregions:
Oregon Coast Specialization - This course is offered on an annual basis, generally beginning in mid-winter. Classes for this specialization rotate along the length of the Oregon Coast. Click here to see the list of classes for the Oregon Coast Specialization.
Willamette Valley Specialization - This course is offered on an annual basis, generally beginning in late spring or early summer, at locations throughout the Willamette Valley. Click here to see the list of classes for the Willamette Valley Specialization.
East Cascades Specialization - This course is offered on an annual basis, generally beginning in late spring or early summer, currently at locations in central Oregon. Click here to see the list of classes for the East Cascades Specialization.
In time, specializations will be created for the Klamath-Siskiyou, Columbia Plateau, Blue Mountains, and Northern Basin and Range Ecoregions. Some combining of regions is possible.
Attendance is required at a minimum number of classes, to be determined on a case-by-case basis for each Ecoregion Specialization.
If you intend to volunteer your time as an educator, guide or interpreter at a park, nature center, or other natural area, we highly encourage you to complete a 2-day course in Interpretation Techniques.
You may substitute this training for another training approved by the Oregon Master Naturalist Program. Contact the Program Coordinator, Jason O'Brien, at Jason.OBrien@oregonstate.edu for more information.
*If you are volunteering in any other capacity (click here for volunteering details), you DO NOT have to take this training, although it is open to any Master Naturalist Participant who is interested.