|Sponsor:||South Carolina Wildlife Federation|
|Date:||March 21 - June 6, 2014|
|Time:||9:00 am to 3:00 pm (times will vary)|
|Contact:||Sara Green, Director of Education|
Based out of Columbia, the Midlands Master Naturalist Class will be held each Friday from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm (times will vary, but no later than 3:00 pm) starting March 21 and ending June 6, 2014. The class is sponsored by the SC Wildlife Federation and taught by Dr. Austin Jenkins, who will draw upon other experts to address certain topics. Jenkins is a naturalist who teaches biology at USC Sumter, and, in partnership with others, has graduated six classes of Master Naturalists in the past.
The goal of the course is to train participants to be better naturalists. No prerequisite or prior knowledge is required. Students will learn identification skills, ecological concepts, and natural history of the plants, animals, and ecosystems encountered. Students will see how this knowledge can be applied to manage for wildlife and to ensure that human impacts on our Earth are sustainable. Through the established connections, participants will develop the skills necessary to become lifelong students of nature and environmental volunteers in their community.
The fee of $600 for the course covers the cost of the Midlands Master Naturalist Course Book, four excellent field guides, a hand lens, and entrance fees to field trip sites. The class has limited capacity and will take 20 people in the order that they register. Classes will be held at parks and natural areas across the Midlands – we will explore the swamplands of the Congaree, the lilies of Landsford Canal, the granitic domes of Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve, and much more. Participants should be in good physical shape – many classes will involve lengthy hikes with easy to moderate difficulty.
The 2014 Midlands Master Naturalist course is part of the statewide Master Naturalist Program. Participants completing the class and 30 hours of approved volunteer service will receive Master Naturalist certification and will be eligible to join a local chapter and participate in advanced training courses.