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Publication #WEC 161

Florida Master Naturalist Program1

Martin B. Main and Ginger M. Allen2

The Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) is an adult education Extension program developed by the University of Florida and provided by the Cooperative Extension Service and other partner organizations. FMNP training increases knowledge about Florida ecosystem processes, plants and wildlife, and conservation and management issues. The FMNP benefits persons seeking to obtain educational contact hours or wishing to increase interpretive skills for use in educational programs as volunteers, employees, and ecotourism guides.

The FMNP provides training in three ecosystem subject areas – Freshwater Wetlands, Coastal Systems, and Upland Habitats. Each ecosystem module is taught separately and each provides 40 educational contact hours that includes classroom learning (videos, presentations, and hands-on and practical experience in interpretation) and three field trips. Students are required to complete a group final project as a synthesis of information learned during the program. Students receive detailed course manuals and, upon completion, University of Florida (UF) certificates, patches, and pins denoting their area of expertise (e.g., Wetlands Naturalist). FMNP students are registered in the UF database of Florida Master Naturalists. The FMNP does not provide university credit toward a degree-seeking program.

Instructors schedule their own classes, and students may take one, two, or all three modules. Additional information for prospective FMNP instructors and students, scheduled courses, regional training locations, and online registration forms are available on the FMNP website at

A pdf file (216 KB) of the Florida Master Naturalist Program brochure can be printed from this document. Select landscape for a 11 x 8 1/2-inch poster.



This document is Fact Sheet WEC 161, one of a series of the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension. First published June 2002. Revised October 2007. Reviewed August 2013. Please visit the EDIS website at to access more publications.


Martin B. Main, associate professor and Extension wildlife specialist; and Ginger M. Allen, sr. biological scientist and coordinator, The Florida Master Naturalist Program; respectively, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center - Immokalee; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.