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Register now for 2017 Master Naturalist class

By: Melissa Schneider / Published: Aug 08,  2017

Individuals interested in learning more about conservation of Mississippi's natural resources can attend the Coastal Mississippi Master Naturalist class.

The seven-week course begins at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center, located at 1815 Popp's Ferry Road in Biloxi.

Classes meet once a week. New this year, all classes (except one) will meet on weeknights or Saturdays.

Classes will take place at various locations through Oct. 17. Weekday classes meet from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday classes begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. See the syllabus/class schedule here.

"We are doing a lot of cool trips this year including inshore and offshore trawling, shark longlining, hiking through De Soto National Forest, a boat trip through the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and visiting a longleaf pine plantation," said Eric Sparks, coastal ecology extension specialist with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and a professor with Mississippi State University.

A former Master Naturalist class took place on a research vessel.
A former Master Naturalist class took place on a research vessel.

Master Naturalist candidates will learn about insects, birds, fish, forest ecology, human impacts on the coastal environment, wildlife and forest management and more.

Registration is $250 per person and includes course materials and supplies. Seating is limited.

Participants must complete all classes and activities in the 40-hour basic training course to earn Master Naturalist certification. To maintain certification, individuals must complete a minimum of 8 hours of advanced training and 40 hours of volunteer service each year afterwards.

Master Naturalist students learn about forestry at a Longleaf pine plantation.
Master Naturalist students learn about forestry at a Longleaf pine plantation.

To register, visit the Mississippi Master Naturalist website. Create an account by clicking on the “My Account” button in the upper right portion of the screen followed by the red text that says “Create an Account.”

Complete all of those fields then click “Create Account.”

The next step will be to register for the course. To do this you will click on the “Courses” tab on our homepage. Then click on the course title “BWBR - 2017 Coastal Chapter Basic Training.” Please review all of the information on that screen. Once you have done that and want to continue registering for the course, click on the “Take Course” button at the bottom of the screen. You will then be prompted to complete an application and pay for the course ($250). 

 For more information, contact Eric Sparks.

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