The Rolling Plains Master Naturalist group will begin its new training classes on March 11. Most of the classes, except for field trips will be taught in Room 209 in the Bolin Science Hall at Midwestern State University.
The goal of the Texas Master Naturalist program is to educate and train volunteers who will provide service and educate their communities about the importance of nature in their daily world.
This year’s classes will be taught by area experts including meteorologist Bryan Rupp; master naturalist Penny Miller; Texas Archaeology Society member Patti Hamilton; MSU professors Dr. Ray Willis, Dr. Johnathan Price, Dr.Roy Vogtsberger, Dr. James Masouka, Rebecca Dodge and Dr. Charles Watson. Other teachers will be Robert Mauk and Tom Lang from Texas Parks and Wildlife and Jerry Payne, retired manager of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The classes will cover weather and climatology, ornithology and bird watching, fresh water fisheries and conservation, introduction to archaeology, overview of local geology and soils, and natural resource conservation.
Four field trips will be included:
- Lake Gordon, for fisheries and birding observation
- River Bend Nature Center, for grassland and wildflower ecology and morpohology
- Hackberry Flat (Frederick, Oklahoma), to observe wetland ecology and migratory birds
- Lake Arrowhead State Park, to discuss zebra mussels and invasive species
Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. and field trips are held on Saturdays. The cost for the series is $80. The program provides an excellent opportunity for science teachers and scout leaders to further their knowledge, or for anyone that just has an interest in local fauna and flora. Class size is limited to 25. Applications are due by March 5 to Robert Mauk, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 409 Chester Ave., Wichita Falls, Texas 76301; or call 940-766-2383.