Volunteer educators, citizen scientists, and stewards helping Virginia conserve and manage natural resources
Virginia Master
Naturalist Program
460 Stagecoach Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Phone: 434-872-4580
Fax: 434-872-4578


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Basic Training Core Objectives | Background Readings | Continuing Education Webinar Series

Basic Training Core Objectives

The basic training course covers the background knowledge and skills that every naturalist needs to have. Each chapter tailors the course to fit its local environment and community, so no two courses are exactly the same. All the courses will meet the following objectives and guidelines.

A Virginia Master Naturalist will know…

A Virginia Master Naturalist will be able to…

Every Virginia Master Naturalist training will include…

Additional information for Virginia Master Naturalist Chapters on how to develop the basic training course is available in the Guidelines for Basic Training.

Background Readings

Links to each section of our Virginia Master Naturalist training manual will be posted here as they are completed. This manual provides background readings on the natural history and natural resource management topics covered in the basic training course. The readings are in-depth, typically covering much more material and more details than can be covered during class. Chapters may choose to print and copy the readings for their volunteers, or download them and provide them on a CD, or just point the trainees to the URLs.  The files are in PDF format, so you will need to download Adobe Reader to view them.

Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Manual Sections


Botany: Introductory Version

Forest Ecology and Management



There are also some additional links to readings that are not park of the training manual, but are written by our sponsoring agencies and highly suitable for Master Naturalists.  These are all PDF files unless otherwise indicated.

Virginia Biogeography and Geology

Overview of the Physiography and Vegetation of Virginia

The Geology of Virginia (website)

Sustaining America's Aquatic Biodiversity Series

Other Topics

Educators and Virginia's Wildlife Laws

Managing Wildlife Damage: Snakes (including basic biology of snakes and safe, humane, and legal methods for excluding and removing them from buildings.)

Continuing Education Webinar Series

Upcoming Webinars

Click link below for information (title, abstract, presenter bio, and participant link) on attending the next webinar in our continuing education webinar series.

May 5: Wavyleaf Grass: A Looming Threat to Forests in Virginia, Maryland, and Beyond…

Recorded Webinars

Links to Stream Online Recordings

Download: Denny Casey presenting An Evening at the Virginia Museum of Natural History

Download: Pete Pfeiffer presenting The Volunteer Management System for Virginia Master Naturalists

Download: Pete Pfeiffer presenting The Volunteer Management System for Administrators

Download: Marie Studer presenting The Encyclopedia of Life

Last revised on Tuesday, April 15, 2014