Contact Us

Brenda Hileman-Chamness
Office Support Assistant - Union County
University of Illinois Extension
515 E Vienna St., Suite G
PO Box 604
Anna, IL 62906
Phone: 618-833-6363
FAX: 618-833-6304

Southern Illinois Master Naturalist

Southern Illinois Master Naturalist

2. How Do I Become a Master Naturalist?

How Do I Become a Master Naturalist?

You become a Master Naturalist by joining a class, completing the training, passing the end-of-class test, and providing volunteer hours to the Master Naturalist program.

What Is the Cost and What Will I Learn?

You will be asked to pay a fee of $250 to help cover the cost of materials and training. This includes the Master Naturalist manual filled with helpful resources and reference publications. During the training program, you'll learn about many different facets of the natural world.

A combination of classroom instruction and demonstrations is used to present information about topics such as:



Geology and Soil








Reptiles and Fish

Urban Environment


OK, What Steps Should I Take?

  1. Apply for Master Naturalist training, which usually occurs once a year. Click here to download an application. Part of the application process is a 15-minute informal, in-person interview.
  2. Upon acceptance into the program, you must attend approximately 70 hours of classroom instruction and field study. These sessions are typically offered one day a week over a two-month period and are led by expert educators in the region.
  3. Pass a comprehensive, open-book exam based on the classroom instruction.
  4. Complete 60 volunteer hours during the next 12 month period.
  5. Sign the Annual Volunteer Agreement Form.

To maintain your certification in subsequent years, you must complete 10 hours of continuing education and 30 hours of volunteer activities annually.