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Goodwin Master Naturalist Program

Are you a landowner, citizen, teacher, educator, land trust employee, conservation planning board member or natural resource professional looking to increase your knowledge of the natural environment?

If so, join us for our Master Naturalist training. The mission of James L. Goodwin Conservation Center’s Master Naturalist program is to develop a diverse community of naturalists who promote stewardship of the environment.

Through this program, participants will learn about the ecosystems of Connecticut, the animals and plants that inhabit our area, and current conservation issues affecting our wildlife and natural resources. The program includes a mix of indoor classroom presentations and outdoor hands-on field sessions where participants learn to identify, interpret, and understand key ecological Connecticut’s natural resources through education and service.

The program consists of two courses that meet on Saturdays with some additional dates for field trips and graduation.

Level I (Apprentice Naturalist) consists of a minimum of 35+ hours of instruction composed of classroom sessions and field trips. 

Level II (Master Naturalist) is taught by a number of experts in the natural resource community as well as university professors, state and federal agency biologists and specialists. Participants complete a research project as well as educational outreach as part of the requirement for graduation.

The Goodwin Conservation Center’s Master Naturalist Program is the work and passion of a team led by Juan Sanchez. Juan Sanchez received a Masters in Science and Natural History with his Teaching certification from UCONN. His education experience spans 4 decades. His field work and research are equally impressive, spanning the hemisphere from the Amazon basin to inventorying lichen in Newfoundland and Ontario. He is a board member of the Connecticut Bird Conservation Research and Connecticut Botanical Society, and a member of the CT Entomological Society and CT Science Teachers Association. Juan left his position as Naturalist at the Goodwin Center but is still actively involved with the program.

For more information, and for the dates of upcoming Master Naturalist programs, email DEEP.Goodwin@ct.gov or call 860-455-9534. For upcoming programs taught by Master Naturalist graduates, check out the monthly program listings at Goodwin, CFPA, and the Master Naturalist Hikes MeetUp group https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-with-Goodwin-Master-Naturalists/