Fall master naturalist course begins at FENCE September 11

Published 3:05 pm Monday, August 2, 2010

The fall term of the South Carolina Master Naturalist course developed by Clemson University and offered by FENCE in Tryon begins its 12-week fall term on September 11. The application deadline is August 15, with on-line applications available on the FENCE website, fence.org.

The course, taught by credentialed specialists in geology, ecology, botany, wildlife biology and environmental science, has graduated 28 certified master naturalists since its introduction at FENCE in late 2008. The curriculum is field-based, not only at FENCE but at a number of sites in the Upstate, the Piedmont and South Carolinas low country.

Post-course evaluations by graduates have been enthusiastic. The SCMN program has ignited my pursuit to learn all I can about plants, geography, invertebrates and mammals, one graduate wrote; while another said that the course provided an appreciation of the unique nature of the area where I live. The instructors were very good and used excellent teaching tactics.

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Master naturalists are certified to design and lead natural history activities in schools, state parks, environmental centers and other educational venues and must provide 30 hours per year of such activity to maintain certification, providing a basis for long term growth in nature education. My love of learning, wrote one graduate, has been reawakened.