Master Naturalist Program


Nature lovers, 16 years of age and older will become certified Master Naturalists in this cooperative program developed by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. At Oglebay, a selected training site, the program is led by the WV Division of Natural Resources with assistance from Davis and Elkins College, Canaan Valley Institute, and the WV Cooperative Extension Service. Classes are taught by Oglebay Good Zoo Educators, Oglebay Institute’s Schrader Environmental Education Center staff, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources’ biologists, and university experts.



48 hours of core classes include lessons about mammals, birds, wildflowers, trees, nature interpretation, and much more. In addition, participants will have a choice of 16 hours of electives on astronomy, tracking, nature illustration, geology, nature photography, etc. Those in the program have up to four years to complete the training, which will usually take place over a weekend offered in spring, summer, fall, and winter.


In addition to coursework, Master Naturalist candidates must complete 30 hours of approved volunteer activity to become certified and must provide 16 hours of volunteer activity annually to retain certification. Volunteer activity can be completed at a West Virginia State Park, Oglebay Good Zoo, Schrader Environmental Center, area schools, or on other projects, such as assisting with future Master Naturalist classes.


The Master Naturalist program is similar to the Master Gardener’s program.


For more information call Vickie Markey at 304-243-4068 or email


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