Take Our Basic Training to Become a Master Naturalist

ARMN’s Basic Training Course provides the knowledge and skills that will enable you to become an active volunteer with the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists. 

The Basic Training Course typically lasts 14 weeks and includes online classes on weekday evenings (6:45-9:30 pm) and 4 day-long field trips on weekends, which are determined near the start of training. 

Among other things, the Basic Training Course covers:

  • The significance of naturalists and natural history
  • The geography of Virginia and its distinctive zones
  • Basic concepts of geology and soils
  • Basic ecology
  • Principles of weather and climate
  • Native plants and plant communities
  • Identification of non-native invasive plants and understanding
    problems they create
  • Identification of local trees
  • The role of insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals in our local
  • Citizen science and research skills
  • Basic education and interpretation skills that support sharing
    knowledge with others

The Volunteer Basic Training course requires a significant time commitment. Trainees should not miss more than two classes, and all missed classes or field trips must be made up. Field trips involve walking on woodland trails and may include some hills and uneven surfaces. Alternate field training can be arranged to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

As Virginia Master Naturalists, graduates commit to providing at least 40 hours per year of volunteer service in citizen science, outreach and education, and/or stewardship projects, such as habitat restoration.

Are you ready to become a Master Naturalist? Learn how to apply here.