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Peggy Doty
Extension Educator, Energy and Environmental Stewardship
University of Illinois Extension
1350 West Prairie Drive
Sycamore, IL 60178-3166
Phone: 815-758-8194
FAX: 815-758-8199
psdoty@illinois.edu

Judith Hodge
Program Coordinator
University of Illinois Extension
205 Cadillac Court
Unit 3
Belvidere, IL 61008-1733
Phone: 815-544-3710
FAX: 815-544-4606
hodg@illinois.edu

Jayeeta Chowdhury-Woodstrup
Program Coordinator
University of Illinois Extension
1350 West Prairie Drive
Sycamore, IL 60178-3166
Phone: 815-758-8194
FAX: 815-758-8199
Jayeeta@illinois.edu

Elizabeth Sosa
Program Coordinator
University of Illinois Extension
421 W Pines Rd, Ste 10
Oregon, IL 61061
Phone: 815-732-2191
FAX: 815-732-4007
sosa6@illinois.edu

Master Naturalists

Master Naturalists

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The University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist Program is designed for adults of any age that desire the opportunity to learn about and positively impact our local environment.

The goal of the program is not to teach you "everything there is to know" about the subjects being covered, but to give you an engaging exposure to the natural world--one that encourages you to seek out lifelong learning opportunities to further your development as a naturalist.

Master Naturalist Program participants have the opportunity to:

  • learn about Northern Illinois' natural history, ecosystems, plant and animal communities and environmental issues,
  • enhance your love of nature through hands-on training and community-based service,
  • practice lifelong learning and sharing,
  • interact and build relationships with new acquaintances with similar interests,
  • give something back to nature and your local community,
  • and learn from and work side-by-side with experts.

Master Naturalists agree to complete 40 hours of field and classroom learning during the training and 60 hours volunteer service within two years to become a Certified Master Naturalist. To remain active in the program, an additional 30 hours volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education must be performed yearly.

Please note that Master Naturalist volunteer opportunities are extremely flexible and are tailored to fit your personal interests, abilities and time restraints. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your local Program Coordinator or Extension Educator Peggy Doty at (815) 732-2191.

  • Illinois Master Naturalists

  • Master Naturalist Annual Agreement PDF

  • Master Naturalist Application Word

  • Winterfest 2018 Schedule PDF
    The annual Winterfest 2018 will be on Saturday, January 20. University of Illinois Extension and DeKalb County Forest Preserve partner each year to offer a day for families to get outside, have fun, and explore an enjoyable destination. Winterfest is from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will be at the Natural Resource Education Center in Russell Woods Forest Preserve, located 1 mile west of Genoa on state route 72. University of Illinois Extension staff and volunteers offer a variety of educational and recreational activities for the whole family.