Upstate Master Naturalist Class

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Sponsor:        Pickens County Extension partnered with SC State Parks and
                     SC Department of Natural Resources

Location:        Numerous natural areas of the Upstate (see list below)

Date:              August - November (each Thursday)

Time:              8:30 AM to 3:30 PM (most classes)

Admission:     $600.00

Contact:         Dr. James H. Blake
Email:             jblake@clemson.edu
Phone:           (864) 898-8321

Upstate Master Naturalist Classes are led by content experts from Clemson University, SC State Parks, and SC Department of Natural Resources. Classes meet on Thursdays, and class times vary depending on field trip activities.

During this 12-week course, we will visit the upstate's finest natural areas, including Jones Gap State Park, Table Rock State Park, King Creek, Oconee Station State Historic Site, Caesars Head State Park, Sassafras Mountain, Jocassee Gorges, Jumping Off Rock, Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve, Lake Conestee Nature Park, and the Clemson Experimental Forest.

Participants will be responsible for their own lunches and transportation to and from study sites. As part of the course fee, you will receive a Master Naturalist toolkit which includes a hand lens with lanyard, Master Naturalist manual, write-in-the-rain notebook, and several field guides.

The Upstate Master Naturalist Class is an outdoors program. As such, access to some sites visited by the class requires hiking on trails of moderate difficulty. Participants must be in good physical condition and able to hike 1-2 miles, without difficulty or assistance, over terrain with steep sections, where footing will be uneven, with frequent tree roots, rocks, muddy areas, and fallen tree trunks to climb or step over. Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots are required. In addition, several sites do not have restroom facilities requiring the use of the woods. Do not register if you cannot meet the physical demands that will be encountered in this course. The outings cannot be modified, as doing so would drastically impact the program's educational value.


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The Upstate Master Naturalist Class waiting list is now open. Note that your first opportunity to register for an Upstate Master Naturalist Class will be in 2023. In June of 2023, an email announcing the opening of registration for the class will be sent to everyone on the list. Registration is first-come, first-served, so the first 20 people to register will be in the 2023 class.

Join the Upstate Master Naturalist Class Waiting List