Iowa Master Naturalists (IMN) is a 501c3 nonprofit run entirely by volunteers.  Our mission to educate a corps of adult volunteers about Iowa’s environment and natural history, thus empowering them to promote awareness, appreciation, and stewardship of the natural world in their communities.

The Iowa Master Naturalists (IMN) program offers approximately 40 hours of instruction for a cost of $250, which also includes all materials.  Because of continued concerns about Covid 19 variants, the spring 2022 course, scheduled to be held in Story County, will be a hybrid of online and in-person instruction.  Classes will begin on Sat, Mar 19 and continue through Jun 4.   For most units, 1-2 hours of content will be posted online at the beginning of each week.  Students will have one week to view that online content (at a time of their choosing).  Each Saturday between Mar 19 and Jun 4, students will meet “in person” at the Story Conservation Education Center at McFarland Park in Story County.  These sessions will begin at 12:30 PM and will usually last at least an hour. During this meeting, students will have the opportunity to ask questions over the online material for the week, take a short, easy quiz over that material, and present their “homework” to the class.  A field trip often follows (or occasionally precedes the weekly session.

Each session is a little different, but topics covered in recent courses include:
Iowa Geology
Iowa Insects
Iowa Mammals
Iowa Fish
Iowa Aquatic Invertebrates
Iowa Amphibians and Reptiles
Iowa Birds
Iowa Fungi
Iowa Night Skies
Iowa Prairies
Iowa Woodlands
Iowa Archeology 

Certification requirements:

  1. To be certified as an Iowa Master Naturalist you must demonstrate that you viewed the weekly online course content by completing a short easy quiz over each unit.  These quizzes will be administered during the Saturday “in person” sessions each week.  You may miss one in-person session and drop one quiz without endangering your certification status.
  2. Certification as an Iowa Master Naturalist also requires participation in least four of the ten or so  field trips offered.  Many students participate in all field trips and this is strongly encouraged.
  3. The final requirement for certification Iowa Master Naturalist is the completion of at least 40 hours of volunteer work in areas of environmental education, stewardship or citizen science (or some combination thereof) within 12 months after completing the basic training course. Eight hours of advanced training are also required.  If students have difficulty meeting this requirement, because of Covid-related closures, we will cheerfully grant you an extension.

To register for the Spring 2022 course in Story county, click on the “Application Form” tab in the top menu.  Return your completed application form by email to info@iowamasternaturalists.org .  

Iowa Master Naturalists is a 501c3 nonprofit, and is run entirely by volunteers.