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Joy Rafey

Maryland Master Naturalist Program


Member profile details

Membership level
4. Program Membership - Active and Renewal
First name
Last name
Extension Program Assistant
University of Maryland Extension
Address 1
11975 Homewood Road
Ellicott City
Zip Code
Program Name
Maryland Master Naturalist Program
Program Web Site URL
Program Mission
The Maryland Master Naturalist Program engages citizens as stewards of Maryland's natural resources and ecosystems through science-based education and volunteer service in their communities.
Program Description (include how it meets membership criteria)
A science-based natural resource statewide training program jointly sponsored by University of Maryland Extension (UME), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other state and local agencies and organizations. Volunteers receive 60 hours of classroom and in-the-field training in return for 40 hours of service in their community. Partnerships with state and local environmental organizations, agencies, and citizen groups support a network of locally directed Chapters around the state. Program Facilitators administer and coordinate volunteer training programs using a state-sanctioned volunteer training manual.
Program Partners
MD Department of Natural Resources; Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education; Howard County Conservancy; Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge
Curriculum (general objectives and topics, types of instructors, and planned time frame)
Volunteer training consists of at least 52 hours of classroom & lab training and 8 hours of field trip experience. Group projects (capstone projects) are also a requirement of the training (see Service section).

Core Curriculum:
Unit I: Introduction to Maryland Natural History;
Unit II: Flora & Fauna Identification and Behavior;
• Taxonomy
• Ornithology
• Botany
• Microbes
• Mammals
• Insects
• Freshwater fish
• Reptiles & Amphibians
Unit III: Ecological Principles;
Unit IV: How Humans Affect the Landscape;
Unit V: Teaching/Interpretation;
Unit VI: Science & Field techniques
Describe the service component of your program
The purpose of volunteer work is to provide a service to the community with regard to natural resources and to help the volunteer gain knowledge and experience. Projects must either involve educating the public or enhancing the natural resources of the state. All ideas for volunteer projects must be approved in advance by the local Program Facilitator. If the Program Facilitator has difficulty deciding whether a project is appropriate, they should consult with the State Coordinator. All volunteer hours should be recorded by the volunteer on a personal log sheet and totaled by activity. This includes planning meetings and events, committee and administrative work, and time spent preparing for activities.

What counts as volunteer hours? An activity that primarily benefits the volunteer (e.g. native plant garden in one’s own backyard) will not count as volunteer hours. Projects done on private lands must be open to the public. Only Master Naturalists scheduled to give a presentation may include preparation time as part of volunteer service hours. Travel time can be counted in excess of 30 minutes. Advocacy work cannot be counted as volunteer time.
 Linked members (1)
Name Email Phone
301 405-6268
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