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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.  The Fall 2022 IMN Basic Training Course will be hosted by Dubuque County Conservation.  Classes will typically meet at the E.B. Lyons Nature Center at the Mines of Spain Recreation Area just south of Dubuque.   Classes meet from 12:00 noon to approximately 3:00 PM on Saturdays beginning Sep 10 and continuing through Dec 3.  There will be no class on Sat, Nov 26 because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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).  During the Saturday in-person meetings, students will have the opportunity to ask questions over the online material for the week, take a short, easy quiz over the online material, and present their “homework” to the class.  An educational program, usually with an outdoor or hands-on component, is also typically part of each Saturday 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 Foraging
Iowa Prairies
Iowa Woodlands
Iowa Archeology 

Certification requirements:

  1. 1) To be certified as an Iowa Master Naturalist, a student must attend at least 11 of the 12 in-person sessions and successfully demonstrate that they have viewed the online course content for each unit, usually by completing a short, easy, quiz.  These quizzes will be administered during the Saturday in-person sessions each week.  Students may miss one in-person session and drop one quiz without endangering their certification status.
  2. Certification Iowa Master Naturalist also requires the completion of at least 40 hours of approved 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 approved advanced training are also required.  If students have difficulty meeting this requirement, because of Covid-related closures, we will cheerfully grant an extension.

To register for the Fall 2022 course in Dubuque county, click on the “Application Form” tab in the top menu.  Return your completed application form by email to info@iowamasternaturalists.org .  Since this program is designed for adults, we ask that applicants be 18 or older.

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