Oregon Master Naturalist Online Course

"I learned so much in the online course.  It provided important background information for the ecoregion course.  I believe that the combination of the two courses provided me with sufficient knowledge to engage others in an intelligent and articulate manner concerning factors that influence the health of the Willamette Valley."

- Participant, Online Course

2019-2020 Online Course Season

Enrollment is now open for the 2019-2020 season

Registration for the Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 course sessions are open at this time. Click here to begin the registration process.


Course Delivery

This course is delivered entirely online using Oregon State University's online learning system called Canvas. A new topic (see below) is covered each week. For each topic, there is a main interactive reading containing images, figures and video, a written assignment with class discussion (via a discussion board), and a quiz. One new topic is released each week, for a total of 8 weeks. Four additional weeks are available for those who need extra time. Successfully completing the course requires passing a 25-question multiple choice, true-false final exam.

Course Topics

  • Oregon Ecoregions

How ecoregions frame the Oregon Master Naturalist Program and help organize Oregon’s natural diversity

  • Oregon Geology and Earth Processes

Geological processes of Oregon (e.g. 400 million year history of plate tectonics, volcanism, earthquakes and tsunamis, Pleistocene floods) and the atmospheric, hydrological, and biological connections to geology

  • Introduction to Watersheds in Oregon

Basic physical, biological, and chemical processes, and watershed management issues

  • Principles of Ecology and Wildlife Management

Foundational ecological concepts related to wildlife and plant communities, wildlife management history and science

  • Ecology and Management in Oregon’s Forests

Forest community types, biological & successional processes, forest wildlife, sustainable management strategies, contemporary conservation issues

  • Ecology and Management in Oregon’s Rangelands

High desert sagebrush, shrub-steppe and bunchgrass ecology, dryland plant and wildlife adaptations, rangeland management concepts

  • Oregon in a Changing Climate

Pre-historic climate conditions, contemporary climate trends, basic climate change science, projected impacts on Oregon landscapes