The Basic Training Course typically lasts fourteen weeks. ARMN generally offers both daytime and evening classes, alternating between the Spring and Fall, in order to accommodate a wide variety of participants and schedules:
- Daytime class – Both Classroom Instruction (morning) and Field Work (afternoon) is completed during the day on a weekday.
- Evening class – Classroom Instruction is completed during a weekday evening and Field Work on a weekend day.
Attendance at classes and field trips is mandatory for certification. Trainees should not miss more than two classes, and all missed classes or field trips must be made-up. Make-up opportunities may be available during the next training cycle, by special arrangements with neighboring chapters, or, for certain cases, by viewing a videotaped class.
Trainees will be evaluated with take-home mid-term and final exams and will be required to do a short presentation on a natural resource topic at the end of the training course.
Note: Field Trips involve walking on woodland trails, which may include some hills and rock-scrambling. Alternate field training can be arranged to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
After completing basic training, students commit to provide at least 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of continuing education each year to be certified as a Master Naturalist. ARMN maintains a listing of Approved Service Projects and offers Continuing Education options throughout the year.