2023 Class Page

This page provides the schedule, class materials, link to homework and class evaluations, and other details for the 2023 Class.

On this page:

New Class Director Sue Matkin, newclass@ntmn.org

Our mission is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers who provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the State of Texas. Learn. Volunteer. Repeat.



Your homework includes completing a post-class evaluation after each class session and a guided reading assignment prior to the next session. Homework assignments and evaluation links are here. Beginning with the second class, please complete each guided reading assignment before class. A 70% or better on each assignment is required to receive credit for the assignment. You may take each quiz multiple times as needed to achieve a score of 70% or better.


2023 Class Schedule and Field Trip Schedule

CLASS Schedule: 2023 Classes will be held in person and online via Zoom. The first three and last two classes are planned to be in person at this point. Students will need to register for zoom virtual classes each week in order to maintain needed security level on Zoom. To obtain certification, each trainee must attend at least twelve of the thirteen classes. If you need to miss a class, please contact Priscilla Shaner about arranging a make-up class at another chapter in the DFW area. These chapters meet in McKinney, Fort Worth, Denton and Waxahachie. Some are further away; some meet during the day, and others do not begin their class series until fall.

Report hours to: NTX: Initial Training: TMN Initial Training Hours (Each class and field trip approved for 3 hours Initial Training)

Use the “Describe your training” text box to state the class topics for each date.


NTMN 2023 Class Schedule

Date Unit Topic Instructor
31-Jan   Introduction to Texas Master Naturalists, and Sam Kieschnick
  Unit 5 Ecosystem Concepts  
7-Feb Unit 4 Ecological Regions of Texas Dan Northcut
14-Feb Unit 6 Ecosystem Management Rachel Richter
  Unit 21 and Urban Ecosystems Brett Johnson
21-Feb Units 14,18 Aquatic Ecology and Ichthyology Mikaela Hanson
28-Feb Unit 17 Forest Ecology and Management Ben Sandifer and Rick Travis
7-Mar Unit 20 Prairie Ecology and Management Brandon Belcher
21-Mar Unit 15 Herpetology – Amphibians Jessie Crowley
    Snakes K.C. Rudy 
28-Mar Unit 10 Taxonomy Sam Kieschnick
  Unit 16 Mammalogy  
4-Apr   VMS Review, and Laura Kimberly
  Units 7,8 Geology and Effects of Weather and Climate Dan Northcut
11-Apr Unit 13 Entomology Dr. Adam Mitchell
18-Apr Unit 12 Ornithology Dr. Tania Homayoun
25-Apr Unit 11 Botany Tiana Rehman
2-May Unit 22 Citizen Science, and Sam Kieschnick
  Unit 24 Laws Ethics Regulations  



Field Trip Schedule:    

To obtain certification, trainees must attend one field trip in each category of Forest, Wetlands and Prairie. Sign up for weekend field trips is open.  Several options are available for each category.  To ensure optimum experience and interactions with classmates, leaders, and field trip environments, enrollment in some field trips will be limited to a small group.  

Please review the attached list of field trip destinations and be prepared  with a first choice and a backup choice in each category. 

The sign-up sheets are now open and ready for you to sign up.  

Click here to go to the signup sheets.

Please sign up for ONE field trip in EACH ecosystem.  Once a trip reaches capacity, it will “close,” so the quicker you sign up, the more likely you are to get your first choice destinations.  And remember – all these trips are FABULOUS!  

All the info about dates, times and locations are on volunteer signup, but do let Susie Stillwell know if you have any questions.

  • Once you’ve signed up for all three, put them on your calendar!
  • If you need to change from one scheduled field trip to another, please email Susie Stillwell to request an alternate trip.

Class handout materials and field trip resources may be provided by instructors, speakers, and field trip leaders.  They will be posted as available.  Please keep in mind that not all instructors provide a handout.

FOREST Field Trip Options   

Location More Information
Ned and Genie Fritz Buckeye Trail
7000 Bexar Street
https://trinityrivercorridor.com/recreation/texas-buckeye-trailA mile-long trail into the Great Trinity Forest that, at one point, borders the Trinity River. 
Spring Creek Preserve
1770 Holford Road
https://springcreekforest.org A 69-acre preserve that features old-growth bottomland forest, with 20-40 ft tall limestone cliffs cut by a spring water stream. Over 650 species of plants & animals have been observed, including Solomon’s seals, very rare for this area.
Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center
1206 W. FM 1382
Cedar Hill, TX
https://dogwood.audubon.org/Set at the mouth of a forested canyon, Dogwood Canyon is a 200-acre natural habitat with two miles of hiking trails. It is one of the few remaining places in Dallas County to observe native trees, grasses, wildflowers, etc.. The 3,000 acres greenbelt that surrounds DCAC is an important stopover for migrating birds and other species.


PRAIRIE Field Trip Options

Location More Information
Clymer Meadow
4318  FM 1562
Celeste, TX
https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/clymer-meadow-preserve/ The 1,400-acre Clymer Meadow Preserve contains some of the largest and most diverse remnants of the Blackland Prairie, including imperiled plants such as little bluestem-Indiangrass and gamagrass-switchgrass.  Owned by the Nature Conservancy of Texas, Clymer Meadow serves as a study center and is seldom open to the public.
Connemara Preserve
On the border of Allen and Plano just to the east of Alma Drive, north of Hedgcoxe Drive and just south of Bethany Drive.
A 72-acre oasis of beauty and serenity in the midst of suburban sprawl. Owned by the Connemara Conservancy Foundation, it is rich in floral diversity that is reminiscent of the tall grass Blackland Prairie that once existed in north Texas.
Lake Lewisville Environmental Learning Area (LLELA)
201 E. Jones St., (corner of Jones and Kealy streets), Lewisville, TX
https://www.llela.org/llela-homeA 2,000 acre property in Lewisville where the Blackland Prairies and the Eastern Cross Timbers meet, intersected by the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.  



*Note: JBS is the best place in town for wetlands education.  There will be two trips to JBS on the calendar, and we are hoping that we can get 100% of trainees registered in one of these Saturday morning classes.  Understanding that Saturday mornings may not work for everyone, I’ll work with those of you who can’t attend the JBS trips to try and schedule an alternative option.

Location More Information
John Bunker Sands Wetlands Center
655 Martin Ln
Seagoville, TX 
https://www.wetlandcenter.com/Located in the middle of the 2,000-acre East Fork Wetland Project, the JBS provides education and research opportunities pertaining to water conservation, wetland systems and wildlife management. The Center serves as the hub of environmental and social interest of man-made wetland habitats on the Rosewood Seagoville Ranch property. This includes the North Texas Municipal Water District’s 2,000 acre East Fork Wetland Project, and an additional 1,200 acres of bottomland hardwood forest restoration as part of the Bunker Sands Mitigation Bank.


Class Project Descriptions and Presentation

This year’s projects are:

  • Project #1Bison Hill – to add a series of trails on the remnant prairie at White Rock Lake highlighting the richness and importance of this ecosystem  
  • Project #2Tenison Park Creek Restoration – to continue restoration on a 195’ riparian area of Tenison Park in East Dallas suffering from erosion due to over-mowing
  • Project #3Twelve Hills – to assess, plan, prepare and implement a prairie restoration on one plot of land within Twelve Hills, in North Oak Cliff.
  • Project #4Brookhaven Garden – to advise and assist with design, installation and maintenance of the existing pollinator garden at Brookhaven College, as well as participate in education and outreach events. 

Sign-ups for Class Projects

Class Projects Coordinator: David Parrish, dparrish1953@yahoo.com, 469-733-6089


Certification Process and Timeline

To reach initial Texas Master Naturalist certification:

    • Complete training program: 40 class- room hours, 3 field trips, homework, and participation in the class project.  Because of Covid-19 limitations, we may have to reduce the number of participants per Field Trip.
    • Obtain a minimum of 8 hours of chapter approved advanced training the year.
    • Complete a minimum of 40 hours of approved volunteer service within the year.

You may begin to accrue volunteer (VH) and advanced training (AT) hours on February 1st (provided your background check is complete). Master Naturalists maintain certification each year by completing 8 hours of advanced training and 40 hours of volunteer service.

Master Naturalist, North Texas Chapter 

North Texas Master Naturalist 2023 Class Initial Certification—Three Timing Options 

Do you want to certify in time to receive your name badge in July 2023, at the Summer Social? You will need to complete all six steps by June 15, 2023: 

  1. Complete all course work, including homework, and any necessary make up classes*
  2.  Attend all three field trips including make up field trips 
  3. Volunteer 40 hours including class project hours 
  4. Log the class training and field trip hours in VMS** (3 hours for each class and 3 for each field trip)
  5. Attend 8 hours of advanced training 
  6. Log the advance training in VMS** 

For those who certify in time for the July Summer Social, you will receive only the name badge. Your initial dragonfly certification pin will be available at the Awards Dinner in February, . 

Do you want to certify in time to be recognized and receive your name badge and initial dragonfly certification pin in February 2024 at the Awards Dinner? 

You will need to complete all six steps by January 31, 2024 

  1. Complete all course work, including homework, and any necessary make up classes*
  2. Attend all three field trips or make up field trips 
  3. Volunteer 40 hours including class project hours 
  4. Log the class training and field trip (3 hr. each) hours in VMS** 
  5. Attend 8 hours of advanced training 
  6. Log the advance training in VMS** 

To be recognized at the February/March Awards Dinner for double certification—earning the name badge, initial dragonfly certification pin, and annual recertification pin—complete and log 80 volunteer hours and 16 advanced training hours by January 31, 2024. 

To be recognized for milestone VH awards of 250, 500, 1000 etc., log by January 31, 2024. 

To certify by January 31, 2024—meeting basic requirements of the program to certify by the end of the year—and receive your name badge and initial dragonfly pin after February 28, 2024. You will need to complete all six steps in the timeframes noted below 

  1. Complete all course work, including homework, and any necessary make up classes by January 31, 2024* 
  2. Attend all three field trips or make up field trips by December 31, 2023
  3. Volunteer 40 hours including class project hours by January 15, 2024
  4. Log the volunteer hours within 45 days.** To meet completion dates the hours must be logged in by the day listed.
  5. Attend 8 hours of advanced training by January 15, 2024 
  6. Log the advance training in VMS within 45 days. (or by completion date)


More Information

Field Trip Resources

Prairie Field Trips Clymer Meadow Preserve

If you would like to volunteer at Clymer Meadow contact Brandon Belcher by phone 903-752-0676 or email Brandon.Belcher@TNC.org Clymer Meadow Public Plant List 2018

Aquatics Field Trips The folks at John Bunker Sands Wetlands recommend the Texas Aquatic Science web page.

Forest Field Trip

 Great Trinity Forest Lichens 2017

White Oak Syngameon-2


Holcomb Thesis – Elm Fork Forest Ecology


Links to Videos of Classes 2022


Class Handout Materials Class materials are sometimes provided prior to class and sometimes after class. Depending on your preference, print, download and save, or come back to this page. You are not required to bring these materials to class. Please keep in mind that not all instructors provide a handout.

Many of the links below are hold-overs from prior years, but are such good resources, we have maintained them for student access:


NTMN Overview presented by Scott Hudson  (link coming soon)

 Forest Resources

    Introduction to North Texas Woodlands  by Rick Travis

Previous Presentation:

Forest Ecology and Management presented by Steve Houser

Additional Handouts:

         DCMGA Right Tree Trifold

Links2Artcls 4RcmndPlntngPrnng&Care-4

Benefits of Trees NCTCOG Article

Recommended Trees for No Central Tx DCMG

Resources Regarding Trees – Rev 02-11-2019

VNT Color Brochure for Class-1

ISA Newsltr Sep 2013 SH article Balance Eco w-Environ

Prairie Ecology:

Prairie Ecology and Management_instructor Brandon Belcher_


Taxonomy, Mammalogy presented by Sam Kieschnick

Coyotes in the Metroplex



Entomology by Dr. Mike Merchant

Entomology Part 1

Entomology Part 2

Entomology Part 3

Volunteering for Insects

 Entomology by Janet Hurley


Ornithology presented by Tania Homayoun

Ornithology Part 1

Ornithology Part 2

Previous Presentation: Aquatic Ecosystems and Ichthyology presented by Will Budnick

Aquatic Ecosystems part 1

Aquatic Ecosystems part 2

Aquatic Ecosystems part 3

Aquatic Ecosystems part 4

Ichthyology part 1

Ichthyology part 2

Herpetology by KC Rudy


Botany by Tiana Rehman

How to Participate as an Armchair Botanist




Posts by Catogory


7:00 PM - Chapter Meeting
Friends of Oak Cliff Parks Wildflower Walk - (AT) Sunday, April 28, 2024   11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Join us for a walk through the...
April 29, 2024    
7:23 pm - 8:23 pm
Board Meetings are open to all members and to the public. Please contact the Vice President at vicepresident@ntmn.org for meeting details if you want to...
May 1, 2024    
7:00 pm - 8:45 pm
Chapter Meeting Placeholder. A further description monthly meeting will appear here as the scheduled meeting draws near. Join us in north Dallas at Dallas College...
Walk & Talk Bird Tour at John Bunker Sands Wetland Center (AT) Saturday, May 4, 2024  |  730am-930am Join us as we go on a...
Native Plants and Prairies Day 2024 will be held Saturday May 4th at the Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake, 521 E. Lawther...
Laura W Bush Native Texas Park – Guided Walk (AT) Saturday, May 4, 2024  |  10:00am-11:00am  The park guides are Certified Master Naturalists from 3...
1st Saturday Nature Walk – Friends of LLELA (AT) Saturday, May 4, 2024  |  10am-12noon Fees:  There is no additional fee for this class, just...
Night Hike at the Heard Museum (AT) Saturday, May 4, 2024  |  8pm – 10pm Explore the thrilling sights, smells, and sounds of night with...
Friends of Oak Cliff Parks Kids’ Bird Walk- (AT) Sunday, May 5, 2024   11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Join us for a walk through the...
2nd Saturday Bird Walk at the Heard Museum (AT) Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  8am-9:30am 2nd Saturday Bird Walks are intended to help beginning and...
World Migratory Bird Day - Guided Hike || Trinity River Audubon Center (AT) Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  8:30am-9:30am CST Join us for a guided...
World Migratory Bird Day – Guided Bird Walk || Trinity River Audubon Center (AT) Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  8am – 9am || 9am –...
Laura W Bush Native Texas Park – Guided Walk (AT) Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  10:00am-11:00am  The park guides are Certified Master Naturalists from 3...
World Migratory Bird Day – Wild DFW Hike || Trinity River Audubon Center (AT) Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  11am – 12noon World Migratory Bird...
3rd Thursday Bird Walk at the Heard Museum (AT) Thursday, May 16, 2024  |  8am-9:30am 3rd Thursday Bird Walks in the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary are...
Morning Bird Walk || Trinity River Audubon Center (AT) Saturday, May 18, 2024  |  7:30am-8:30am Join us for a monthly bird walk to enjoy the trails...
May 18, 2024    
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Dallas County Texas Master Gardener Association is holding its 2024 Garden Tour on Saturday, May 18th, from 10am - 5pm, rain or shine. Many...
Friends of Oak Cliff Parks || Tree ID Walk - (AT) Sunday, May 19, 2024   9am – 11am Join us for a walk through the...
Thrive Nature Walk –Lewisville Parks & Rec (AT) Sunday, May 19, 2024 | 9am-10:30am Sights of plants and wildlife, smells of fresh air and trees,...
Chandor Nature Trail Guided Hike, NPSOT Cross Timbers Chapter (AT) Sunday, May 19, 2024  |  12noon – 2:30pm As a thank you for Cross Timbers...
Laura W Bush Native Texas Park – Guided Walk (AT) Saturday, May 25, 2024  |  10:00am-11:00am  The park guides are Certified Master Naturalists from 3...
Laura W Bush Native Texas Park – Guided Walk (AT) Saturday, June 1, 2024  |  10:00am-11:00am  The park guides are Certified Master Naturalists from 3...
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