Nebraska Master Naturalist program sets 2015 training sessions

The Nebraska Master Naturalist program has announced its 2015 schedule of training sessions.

"The Nebraska Master Naturalist program is an adult education program, providing volunteers with hands-on experiences in Nebraska's natural resources," said Bruce Mellberg, program coordinator. "While learning about Nebraska's flora, fauna and native ecosystems, trainees are prepared for natural resource interpretation, citizen science projects and so much more."

The program offers participants the opportunity to get up close and personal with Nebraska's natural legacy. Participants will undergo sixty hours of in-depth training led by experts in their fields.

2015 training dates and locations are as follows:

• Feb. 4-7, Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary (Kearney-Grand Island-Hastings area)
• April 16-18, Wildcat Hills Nature Center (Scottsbluff/Gering area)
• May 7-9, Cedar Point Biological Station (Lake McConaughy-Ogallala-North Platte area)
• June 7-10, Nature Conservancy's Niobrara Valley Preserve (Valentine-Ainsworth-Basset)
• October: Lincoln area facility TBA
• November: Omaha area facility TBA

To date, certified master naturalists have contributed more than 22,000 of hours of service, valued at more than $490,000, in the areas of Interpretation and Outreach, Resource Conservation and Management, Outdoor Skills and Recreation and Citizen Science Research.

Applications are available at Individual registration is $150 and spaces are limited. Call Matt Jones, program assistant, at 402-937-8601 for more information.

"Become a certified master naturalist and join a dedicated network of conservation volunteers, discover exciting experiences, connect with conservation organizations and share your passion for the great outdoors," Mellberg said. "Most importantly, connect with Nebraskans who share your passion for nature."

— Mekita Rivas, Natural Resources

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