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SC Master Naturalist Training

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Becoming a Master Naturalist

The South Carolina Master Naturalist Program is currently offered through Host Site locations around the state. Information on the classes offered can be found by following the links under Training. These field-based training sessions typically last 12 weeks, meeting all day, one day per week.

Advanced training is offered by Host Sites throughout the state and by the State MN Office specifically to provide additional training for Master Naturalists in different biogeographical regions. Eight (8) hours of advanced training are required each year as part of the volunteer service requirement.

Certification Levels

  • SC Master Naturalist

Complete a 12-week SC Master Naturalist course plus 30 hours of volunteer service which includes 8 hours of advanced training.

  • SC Statewide Master Naturalist

1. Complete a 12-week SC Master Naturalist course plus 30 hours of volunteer service which includes 8 hours of advanced training. Volunteer service hours and advanced training must be entered into the Master Naturalist Online Volunteer Hour Reporting System.

2. Complete 16 hours of advanced training in each of two (2) additional SC biogeographical regions. The biogeographical regions in SC are the Blue Ridge, Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain (combined Inner Coastal Plain and Outer Coastal Plain), and Coastal Zone (see links to maps below). Each host site has class sessions in two biogeographical regions. In order to earn advanced training hours towards the SC Statewide Master Naturalist certification, you must go outside of those two regions for your advanced training. Below is a list of host sites and the main biogeographical regions they cover during class.

Upstate – Blue Ridge & Piedmont
Catawba – Piedmont & Sandhills
Midlands – Sandhills & Piedmont
Winyah – Coastal Plain & Coastal Zone
Charleston – Coastal Plain & Coastal Zone
Lowcountry – Coastal Plain & Coastal Zone

For SC Statewide Master Naturalist certification:
Upstate graduates must obtain 16 hours of advanced training in each of two of these biogeographical regions - Sandhills, Coastal Plain, Coastal Zone.
Catawba and Midlands graduates must obtain 16 hours of advanced training in each of two of these biogeographical regions - Blue Ridge, Coastal Plain, Coastal Zone.
Winyah, Charleston and Lowcountry graduates must obtain 16 hours of advanced training in each of two of these biogeographical regions - Sandhills, Piedmont, Blue Ridge. 

Advanced training hours must be entered into the Master Naturalist Online Volunteer Hour Reporting System.

3. Complete the 6-hour Advanced Training - Interpretation for the Master Naturalist offered by the State Master Naturalist Office or an interpretation course approved by the State Coordinator. This is a stand-alone course and does not count towards the 32 hours of advanced training in the additional biogeographical regions nor does it count towards your yearly 8 hours of advanced training to maintain your Master Naturalist certification. Training hours must be entered into the Master Naturalist Online Volunteer Hour Reporting System.

South Carolina Statewide Master Naturalists are recognized by an emerald placed in the first jewel location on the Master Naturalist name tag. Name tags must be sent to the State Office where certification will be verified from the Online Volunteer Hour Reporting System and the emerald awarded.

The following SC Master Naturalists have earned the designation of SC Statewide Master Naturalist:

2014 - Linell Goodall, Hilda Flamholtz, Kathy Burriss, Dan Whitten, Carl Cole, Barbara Watson, Nancy Thompson, Judith Kramer, Jimmy Watson, Tom Pray, Terri Mendonca, and James Blake.

2015 - Sue Williams, Gina Varat, Sanna Schantz, Pam Barbour, Jean Arden, Polly Powell, Patsy Winkel, Susan Hamilton, Sherrie Whitten, Ray Wade, Bobbie Wilhite, Rick Keup, Ric Barnett, Carol Ulmer, Pam Floyd, and Anne Palyok.

2016 - Craig Williams, Dale Hutto, Bill Altman, Wally Niebauer, Ellie Elzerman, Bill Thielfoldt, Liesel Hamilton, Dee Dee Williams, Elizabeth Anderegg, Susan Lech, Jimmy Vissage, Ray Ward, Nicole Riddle, Tricia Kyzer, and Yvonne Plemmons.

SC Biogeographical Regions Maps

Biogeographical Regions Overlayed Highways (1.2 MB)

Biogeographical Regions Overlayed Counties and Interstates (1.4 MB)

Biogeographical Regions Overlayed Counties, Cities and Highways (3.85 MB)


Required Paperwork for Training

All participants who go through SC Master Naturalist training at our various Host Sites around the state are required to complete certain paperwork. Generally, this paperwork is completed on the first day of class. Occasionally, the Host Site may direct you to download, complete and bring forms, located here, with you to the first class.