Master Naturalist

Master Naturalist

Personal Enrichment

Offered through Continuing Education

@ Forest Park | Meramec | Off-Site

Become a Master Naturalist. Explore the majesty of nature, the beauty of landscape and gardening, and the importance of ecology in our world. From home gardening to birdwatching and exploring nature, the Master Naturalist program has it all!

Program Coordinator

Continuing Education

Phone

314-984-7777

Click on the headings below to view our available courses:

Ecology

Register and pay online for Ecology courses

Call 314-984-7777 to register for fall classes by phone, or click the button above to register and pay online.

Indoor Composting: Make and Take Home a Bokashi Bucket

Don't throw away those scraps-up to 20% of household trash can be composted! The bokashi bucket system can be used year-round, it's quick, convenient and has no household smells. In this hands-on session, you will construct and learn to maintain an indoor composting system capable of decomposing food and house plant trimmings for a family of four. In a space-saving bokashi system, effective microorganisms transform all types of kitchen waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. All equipment, materials and handouts provided and included in fee. You'll leave class with a working indoor composting system in the form of a bokashi bucket. Class offered in partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden Earthways Center. Registration deadline 9/5. No refunds after this date. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
ECOL:704 | $49 | Age 60+: $49
F01 | Tu 7-8:30 p.m. | Kat Golden | Sept. 18 | MC - SW, 204

Landscape and Gardening

Register and pay online for Landscape & Gardening courses

Call 314-984-7777 to register for fall classes by phone, or click the button above to register and pay online.

Fall Gardening for a Blooming Beautiful Spring

Have a bloomin' beautiful spring! Join local nursery owner, Nancee Kruscheck, as she discusses how to prepare your flowerbeds and gardens this fall for next spring. Learn the best bulbs and perennials to plant to achieve vibrant spring color and design impact; learn how to properly divide your perennials; and steps to take to prepare your gardens to withstand winter and come back greener and more lush than before. You'll be the envy of the neighborhood! Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:707 | $25 | Age 60+: $19.50
F01 | Sa 9-11:30 a.m. | Nancee Kruescheck | Sept. 22 | MC - SO, 109

Right Tree, Right Place: Selection and Planting Techniques

Many problems that our trees encounter can be traced back to selecting the wrong tree for a site or improper planting technique. Industry experts agree that fall is the best time to plant trees after the summer heat and before the winter freeze. Come learn how to choose the correct tree to fulfill your landscape needs and how to set-up for success by utilizing proper planting protocol! Community forester, Tom Ebeling, will walk you through the basics of tree planting and choosing the right tree for the right place. Offered in partnership with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:708 | $25 | Age 60+: $25
F02 | Th 6-8 p.m. | Tom Ebeling | Oct. 18 | MC - SO, 204

Shrubs and Perennials: What's Best for the Midwest?

Fall is the best time to plant to help establish a good root system for your landscape! Come discover some of the many new varieties of plants out on the market cultivated for smaller spaces in your yard. From small shrubs to perennials with more color and smaller sizes, join nursery owner and plant expert Nancee Kruscheck and learn about how hardy these varieties are and where they will work best in your garden. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:708 | $25 | Age 60+: $19.50
F01 | Sa 9-11:30 a.m. | Nancee Kruescheck | Oct. 13 | MC - SO, 108

Landscape Basics: Plan Now for a Beautiful Spring

Do you need some tips for a great landscape? Get practical advice from nursery owner, Nancee Kruscheck, and learn about: laying out bed lines, edgings, gravel vs. mulch, weed barrier vs. plastic, plants and spacing. Now is the time to devote your efforts to having a better landscape next season! Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:711 | $25 | Age 60+: $19.50
F01 | Sa 9-11:30 a.m. | Nancee Kruescheck | Oct. 6 | MC - SO, 111

Go Native! Native Landscaping for Bees, Butterflies and Pollinators

Fall is a great time to start thinking about what you want to bloom in the spring to attract pollinators to your landscape. Butterflies along with bees and other insect pollinators are environmental barometers. Healthy landscapes have large numbers and a wide diversity of pollinators contaminated or altered landscapes do not. The best plants lure pollinators to their flowers by offering pollen, nectar, resin and oil, and by evolving visual and olfactory cues such as nectar guides, color and fragrance. Come get practical advice on getting started for selecting the optimal natives to attract various groups of pollinators. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:713 | $29 | Age 60+: $21.50
F01 | Tu 6-9 p.m. | David Tylka | Oct. 2 | MC - SO, 107

Making More Plants: Propagation Made Simple

Make more of your favorite plants in this hands-on class and learn some simple propagation methods. Watch local nursery owner and plant expert, Nancee Kruscheck, as she demonstrates how to take cuttings, root division, air layering and seeds, then try it yourself. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:719 | $25 | Age 60+: $19.50
F01 | Sa 9-11:30 a.m. | Nancee Kruescheck | Sept. 29 | MC - SO, 108

Succulents

Succulents are hot and trending in both gardening and decorating. Perfect for both the "seasoned" and "forgetful" gardener, this group of plants offers easy-to-care for choices for your home indoors and out. What to grow, how to grow, where to grow? We'll cover all this, with plenty of inspiring images to get you ready to grow these low-maintenance plants, both indoors and out. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:722 | $25 | Age 60+: $20
F01 | W 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Michelle Ochonicky | Sept. 19 | MC - SO, 108

Pruning Basics

Proper techniques for pruning trees and shrubs are essential for the health of your plants and future growth. It's not difficult if you know the right techniques and timing. You'll also learn how to avoid spreading disease from tree to tree. Class will include an outdoor demonstration, so bring your pruners. Come learn hands-on from our nursery expert Nancee Kruscheck, who will also show you how to sharpen and clean your pruners and answer your questions. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:723 | $25 | Age 60+: $19.50
F01 | Sa 9-11:30 a.m. | Nancee Kruescheck | Oct. 20 | MC - SO, 107

Nature

Register and pay online for Nature courses

Call 314-984-7777 to register for fall classes by phone, or click the button above to register and pay online.

Wildflowers of Late Summer

Learn to appreciate and identify the wildflowers of late summer with an emphasis on the yellow-flowered members of the Aster Family (those Darn! Yellow Composites "DYCs") that grow natively in the St. Louis area. Classroom discussion will be enriched with a weekend field trip where you will have an opportunity to apply your new knowledge and skills. Field trip details to be discussed in class. Provide own transportation. Offered in partnership with the Missouri Native Plant Society. Taught by Rick Gray and other local native plant experts. Course meets the curriculum requirements of the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:723 | $39 | Age 60+: $39
F01 | Th 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Aug. 23 | MC - SW, 108

Insects of Missouri

Join a research entomologist, conservationist and photographer as he shares information on the broad variety of insects with specific habitat associations within Missouri's ecoregions. Through photos, you'll learn about the fantastic diversity, introductory level morphology and taxonomy along with some of the fascinating natural history aspects of Missouri's insects. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:715 | $25 | Age 60+: $25
F01 | W 6-8:30 p.m. | Chris Brown | Oct. 3 | MC - SO, 205

Introduction to Beekeeping

Bees play an important role in agriculture as pollinators of flowering plants that provide food, fiber, spices, medicines and animal forage. Beekeeping can be a hobby, a secondary business, or a full-time vocation. It is a relatively inexpensive hobby that provides a sweet bonus each year. Is beekeeping right for you? Come and learn how to attract native pollinators and honeybees by planting a pollinator-friendly garden and constructing a nesting habitat for native pollinators. Introductory information on getting started with beekeeping and honeybee products of the hive. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:733 | $29 | Age 60+: $29
F02 | Sa 9 a.m.-noon | Jane Sueme | Dec. 1 | MC - SO, 107

NEW! Beekeeping 2.0-Maintaining Healthy Colonies

One of the main goals in keeping honey bees is overwintering with a healthy colony. This class will cover honeybee beekeeping beyond the first year with instruction specific to our area regarding nutrition, pest and disease identification and management and swarm control of healthy, established colonies next spring. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:733 | $29 | Age 60+: $29
F01 | Sa 9 a.m.-noon | Jane Sueme | Sept. 22 | MC - SO, 232

Bats of Missouri

Missouri is home to at least 14 different species of bats. Learn about these different species, where they live, how common they are, methods used to research and monitor them along with neat facts about bats. Led by the Missouri Department of Conservation, you will explore and discuss the importance of bats to the environment and humans as well as current threats to these fascinating creatures. Course meets the curriculum requirements of the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:709 | $29 | Age 60+: $29
F06 | Sa 9 a.m.-noon | Kathryn Womack | Oct. 6 | MC - SO, 232

Introduction to Bird Watching

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than 45 million Americans identify birding as one of their favorite pastimes. Whether you are an amateur bird enthusiast or are interested in learning more about bird identification, migratory patterns, and wildlife in your own backyard, this class is for you! Join educators from the St. Louis Audubon Society to discover how to identify bird species by sight, song, physical attributes, and behaviors. You'll also learn how to research your findings in guidebooks and how to attract more birds to your backyard through feeding and landscaping. Field trip on Saturday, 9/8 will allow you to practice your new skills and learn about the best places to view a variety of birds in the St. Louis area. Field trip details to be discussed in class. Provide own transportation. Class is offered in partnership with the St. Louis Audubon Society. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:709 | $35 | Age 60+: $35
F02 | W 7-9 p.m. | Sept. 5 | MC - SO, 108

Sparrows

There are 30 species of native sparrow in North America, a dozen of which can be found nesting in Missouri. Come learn about the habitat, behavior, and markings of this little bird. Towhees and Juncos will be included in the discussion. Offered in partnership with the St. Louis Audubon Society. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:709 | $25 | Age 60+: $25
F07 | W 7-9 p.m. | Nov. 7 | MC - SO, 109

Forest Park Owls: Hiding in Plain Sight

Join an award-winning naturalist and speaker to discover details into the lives of a local mated pair of Great Horned Owls in Forest Park. Mark has been closely observing and documenting the owls since 2005. You'll learn how he found the owls, basic facts about the species, and the different behaviors he observes and documents with photos and videos to illustrate these behaviors. Don't be surprised if you find yourself looking for owls after this course in a follow-up, instructor-led, Owl Prowl! Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:709 | $25 | Age 60+: $25
F01 | Th 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Mark H.X. Glenshaw | Aug. 30 | FP - C, 221

NEW! How to Find an Owl in Your Neighborhood

Do you ever see or hear an owl in your neighborhood and want to experience more of these beautiful birds? Well, the award-winning naturalist "The Owl Man" is here to help. Mark has studied Great Horned Owls in Forest Park since 2005. He gives dozens of lectures on the owls all over Missouri and Illinois and leads scores of owl prowls in Forest Park each year. In addition to this, he helps people all over the St. Louis metro area find owls in their neighborhoods whether in subdivisions, city neighborhoods, pocket parks or large public parks. Mark's talk will show which owls you are most likely to see or hear, where to look for them, how to look for them, what to listen for, and the importance of research and collaboration. These techniques are the same that he used when he began studying owls and uses to this day. For additional insights, we will also show, via photos and videos, owl behaviors he has observed and documented.
NATR:709 | $25 | Age 60+: $25
F04 | Th 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Mark H.X. Glenshaw | Sept. 20 | FP - G, 113

Great Horned Owls: Hunting and Feeding

Join an award-winning naturalist, has been observing, documenting and doing outreach with Great Horned Owls in Forest Park since December 2005. Mark has learned many of the owls' hunting perches and observed and documented many predatory attempts as well as seen the owls feed themselves and their many owlets. Join us for a fascinating insight into one of the most successful predators in the Americas. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:709 | $25 | Age 60+: $25
F03 | Th 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Mark H.X. Glenshaw | Sept. 6 | MC - SO, 232

Raptors: A Look at Hawks and Eagles

Come soar with the eagles and hawks, masters of the sky and the ultimate raptors. Learn about anatomy, behaviors and adaptations. Concentration will be on the bald eagle, master fisherman and red tail hawk. Offered in cooperation with St. Louis Audubon Society. Course meets the curriculum requirements of the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:709 | $25 | Age 60+: $25
F05 | W 7-9 p.m. | Oct. 3 | MC - SO, 108

Recovering Two Endangered Wolf Species: On the Brink Again?

Recovering a species from less than 14 individual animals is a challenging process. Both the red wolf (who was native to Missouri) and the Mexican gray wolf have come back from the brink of extinction by the passion and efforts of several facilities. Class will focus on the Endangered Wolf Center's key role in their recovery and the current status of each species in the wild now. A tour of the animals will be included. Call EWC at 636-938-5900 for directions and location details. Offered in partnership with the Endangered Wolf Center. Registration deadline 9/13. No refunds after this date. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist Certificate.
NATR:727 | $29 | Age 60+: $29
F01 | Sa 9 a.m.-noon | Sept. 22 | Endangered Wolf Ctr

Unique Animals and Plants of Australia

Australia has been geographically isolated for over 45 million years resulting in an abundance of plants and animals that are found only on this continent. An amazing 80% of the mammal, reptile, frog and flowering plant species are endemic to Australia. Australia's diverse oceans support around 4,000 of the world's 22,000 types of fish. With its temperate and tropical rainforests, deserts, grasslands and coral reefs, this unique continent accounts for almost 10% of the total biodiversity of Earth. Taught by a Biology professor who will show photos and discuss the remarkable natural histories of the larger, more unique animals and plants. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:765 | $25 | Age 60+: $20
F01 | M 6:30-8:30 p.m. | David Tylka | Oct. 8 | MC - SO, 107

Geology of Missouri

Spend a few hours learning about the geology and geography of Missouri in an informal atmosphere. We will discuss how our state has been shaped by glaciations, earthquakes, uplift, and warm, shallow seas. Learn about the processes that gave us the nickname "The Cave State." We will also take a look at the economic impact rocks and minerals have had on our state's economy. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:730 | $29 | Age 60+: $21.50
F01 | Sa 9 a.m.-noon | Jeffrey Smith | Oct. 6 | MC - SW, 105

Exploring Fall and Winter Night Skies

Class meets on Mondays 10/15, 10/22, and Wednesdays 10/17, 10/24. Learn how to use the unaided eye, binoculars or small to medium sized telescopes to find, identify and observe the astronomical objects and events of late fall and winter including the moon, planets, artificial satellites, meteors, comets, stars, constellations and nebula. Bring to class: a planisphere 35-45 degree latitude, such as Phillip's planisphere 6" or larger, and current issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. One field trip 11/3-11/5, details to be announced in class. Provide own transportation. Course meets the curriculum requirements of the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:732 | $59 | Age 60+: $41
F03 | MW 7-9 p.m. | Michael Malolepszy | Oct. 15-24 | MC - SO, 105

Meteors and Comets

There is much more to the skies than just star gazing. Some of nature's most spectacular astronomical phenomena were at times terrifying in the past. They include meteor showers and bright comets-all of which can be enjoyed with nothing more than the unaided eye. Learn how to enhance those experiences with inexpensive tools such as binoculars and how to do safe solar eclipse observing with appropriate but inexpensive items. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:732 | $25 | Age 60+: $18
F02 | Sa 10 a.m.-noon | Michael Malolepszy | Sept. 29 | MC - SO, 107

NEW! Observing Eclipses

Lunar and solar eclipses can be enjoyed with modest and in some cases no equipment. Learn how to plan, observe and enhance those experiences with inexpensive tools such as websites, binoculars, telescopes, and how to do safe solar eclipse observing with safe but inexpensive items such as "eclipse glasses" and other tools. The total lunar eclipse of January 21, 2019 and the total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024 will be discussed. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:732 | $25 | Age 60+: $18
F01 | Th 7-9 p.m. | Michael Malolepszy | Sept. 27 | MC - SO, 108

Climate Change 101

What is climate change? How are rising temperatures impacting the ecosystems, forests, oceans and even the St. Louis area? What is the biggest concern from scientists? What are the best solutions? Why do Americans disagree so strongly about this issue? Join park ranger Brian Ettling as he shares the basic science, shows the unusual suspects that accept the science, and debunks many of the myths. Learn how to effectively educate others on the topic using humor and optimism to inspire them to take action. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:734 | $19 | Age 60+: $17
F01 | Sa 9 a.m.-noon | Brian Ettling | Oct. 13 | MC - SO, 107

NEW! Local Water Quality Issues and Storm Water Management

This class will explore the value of clean water in our community. We will discuss important water quality issues our community faces and the many ways the region is working to protect our watersheds. Discover the relationship between human development, storm water, and water quality issues and the best management practices we can implement to prevent pollution. Walk away with practical solutions you can do in your own life and at home to help protect our watershed. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:765 | $15 | Age 60+: $15
F02 | Th 7-8:30 p.m. | Kat Golden | Oct. 18 | MC - BA, 120

 

Courses may be taken individually or as part of the Master Naturalist Program

St. Louis Community College Continuing Education's Master Naturalist Program consists of three components:

1. Completion of five (5) biology, geology, physical science or horticulture related college credit courses. Beginning Summer 2017, students must attain a grade of C or higher to count toward the Master Naturalist program. Classes taken by audit will not apply toward program requirements.

2. Attend six (6) Continuing Education Master Naturalist designated programs offered through St. Louis Community College in the area of Ecology, Nature or Landscape and Gardening.

3. Volunteer 25 hours with a local nature-related organization.
The courses listed in Nature, Landscape and Gardening, and Ecology meet the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist Program. Classes may be taken individually for your own personal enrichment or as part of the Master Naturalist program.

For additional information, contact the Office of Continuing Education at 314-984-7777.

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