By C.V. Moore
New River Community and Technical College will offer a class in July and one in August as part of the Master Naturalist program.
The Master Naturalist program is a nationally recognized organization designed to train interested people in the fundamentals of natural history, nature interpretation and teaching and instilling in them an appreciation of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship.
To become a certified Master Naturalist the program requires completing 64 hours of classroom and field training, plus 30 hours of volunteer work. New River Community and Technical College will offer courses at multiple campus locations throughout southeastern West Virginia.
On July 20 from 8 a.m. to noon, New River will offer “Birds,” which cover West Virginia species and conservation concerns, how to identify birds in the field by sight and sound, and will explore some methods of studying wild birds.
On Aug. 6, “Mushrooms” will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. In this course you will be shown how to safely collect and prepare wild mushrooms, how to properly collect fungi for scientific study, along with what type of notes to take at the time of collection.
You do not have to pursue your Master Naturalist certification to enjoy these classes.
Both classes will be held at the WorkForce Education office on Northside Drive in Summersville and will finish with field work close to the classroom.
The tuition for each of these courses is $25.
If you are interested in Master Naturalist Certification there will be a one-time $40 fee that covers the manuals and program registration fee.
For more information on the Master Naturalist Program or to register for the July and August courses, call 304-883-2446.