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Master Naturalist

Master Naturalist Certification Class

The next class will be starting in September 2017
Once a month from September 2017 to May 2018, Second Wednesday of the month, beginning September 13, 2017
9:00 am – 4:00 pm each day at the Nature Center and other fieldtrip sites…

The Georgia Master Naturalist certified program (sponsored by The University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources) is a hands-on environmental education program that explores habitats and ecosystems in Georgia and human impacts on these environments.

The monthly sessions may explore the following areas (total of over 50 hours):

  • Nature Journaling
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Watershed & Canoe study of the Natural History on the Chattahoochee River
  • Wetland Ecology
  • Water Quality Issues in the Chattahoochee River Watershed
  • Ecoregions of Georgia (The Natural Community of Georgia)
  • Lichens
  • Mushrooms/Fungi
  • Tree ID & Forest Lore
  • Mammals of Georgia
  • Snakes of Georgia and Amphibian Monitoring Study
  • Minerals, Rocks and overall Geology of the State of Georgia
  • Basic Birding techniques…Birds of Prey
  • Urban Forestry
  • Forestry Ecology & Wildflowers (at Thompson Mills Forest Arboretum, Braselton, Georgia)
  • Insects

This program is a combination of lectures and outside hands-on learning through field studies on the property of the Nature Center and some offsite field experiences. Relevant resource materials are given. This program can also provide SDU’s for teachers and others. An informed person can help make changes in their lives as well as their community and safeguard the environment. After completing this fun and interactive program, the Georgia Master Naturalist graduates are encouraged to share their knowledge with their communities by volunteering in local schools, scout programs or nature centers.

Past participant comments about the program –

This program included a very interesting mix of topics which gave a beginner like me a broad look at Georgia from a Naturalist’s perspective.

All of the classes were terrific and the speakers excellent.  I especially like the order of the topics. They seemed to build on each other and fall in the right seasons. I still have lots of reading to finish.

I thought the program was awesome.  I loved all the different speakers and exposure to different aspects of nature.

The Master Naturalist program has given me a broader sense of my place in our ecosystem as well as the myriad ways we impact and are impacted by the natural world around us. I in no way feel that I have mastered any of the material but I do feel much better prepared to direct friends, family and interested parties to the organizations and people who can help address local issues and needs. I also feel more plugged in, more aware of the resources available to further my learning, address local environmental needs/concerns/issues. It has really whetted my appetite for more!

I enjoyed learning from the excellent instructors who are experts in their respective fields.   The class has really inspired me to increase my knowledge of nature and the great outdoors!

Regardless of subject, the speakers all had one thing in common, a passion for what they study.

I took the program to enhance my basic understanding of Biology, Botany, Geology, Ornithology and Entomology. These areas are all of interest to me and the program was very valuable to enhancing my understanding. As a result I am more interested in environmentalism, ecology and naturalism. I intend to pursue more knowledge in these areas and hope to provide volunteer work at the Chattahoochee Nature Center or other venues.

Thank you for opening up your personal and professional rolodex to enhance my insight into nature.  I have always loved being in nature and this course was inspiring and engaging!  The presenters gave a great overview of their subjects, along with a wonderful balance of informative detailed information and myth busters.  I personally enjoyed the “hands-on approach” of being out in nature.  Again, a well-balanced format of classroom discussion and then visual application.

The canoe trip was a very enjoyable outing, as well as a good opportunity to use some of our learning from all the classes leading up to that day. 

Supplies: Bring your own lunch, water bottle and coffee mug. Snacks, coffee and tea will be provided.

Program Fee*
$550 non-members/$500 members (Pre-registration is required)

To become a member of Chattahoochee Nature Center, please visit

*includes the following –

  1. Hand Lens and Lanyard
  2. The Natural Communities of Georgia by Leslie Edwards, Jonathan Ambrose, and L. Katherine KirkmanPhotographs by Hugh and Carol Nourse A landmark reference to the ecological diversity of the state
  3. The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws The ultimate guide to nature drawing and journaling. Ways to use your journal to enhance curiosity, creativity, and sharpen your naturalist’s eye. (Reviews for The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling)
  4. Master Naturalist Certificate, Shirt, and Nametag (Georgia Master Naturalist certified program *sponsored by The University of Georgia’s) at the last class…
  5. Session handouts provided by the speakers…
  6. Guided Canoe Trip on the Chattahoochee River

For more information on this certification program please contact Tom Howick, Director of Education & Master Naturalist Coordinator, at or 770-992-2055 x235

Refund & Cancellation Policy

If a class is cancelled for any reason you will receive a full refund. If you wish to cancel your reservation, please contact our office at least six business days prior to your scheduled program. $20 of your registration fee will be retained by CNC. You will receive confirmation when we receive your cancellation. If you do not receive confirmation within one business day, we have not received your cancellation. No refunds will be given for cancellations made fewer than 6 business days prior to your scheduled program.

Refunds will be paid by check, please allow 4 – 6 weeks.