Proposed Kansas Master Naturalists Curriculum

At the February 19, 2010 planning meeting, the curriculum sub-committee drafted the following proposed training curriculum categories.  Once the curriculum is finalized we will be looking for volunteers to help find existing, modify existing, or write (last resort) curriculum to fulfill these needs.  This is a draft and will be in a state of revision for several weeks.

Basic Training (40 hours)

Introduction - history of naturalists, interpretation, intent of the program, outline of the program, etc. 

General Ecological Concepts, Kansas Ecoregions - basic ecological concepts including hydrologic, carbon and nitrogen cycles, in simple form, populations, biodiversity and the various ecoregions/physiographic regions of Kansas. 

Formative Forces: Geology & Soils Weather & Climate - What are all these factors and how to they affect the plants and animals that we have in Kansas.   

Taxonomy, Flora & Fauna - This is where we teach plants, birds, animals, insects, etc.  How are they separated or grouped and inter-relationships.   

Ecosystems Management Woodlands, Aquatic, Wetland, Grassland, Urban - How are these five basic ecosystems impacted by humans, how are they best managed by humans, what is their "natural equilibrium", how do we measure their health and what are the threats that they are exposed to. 

Education and Interpretation - How do we help others learn, understand and better appreciate the vast natural world around us.  How do you give a presentation of 2 minutes to 2 hours in length?  What are some of the possible activities that can be used to engage audiences of all ages. 

Possible Advanced Training Topics (8 hours annually)
(This is just a beginning list based on what has been done in other states.  As the program grows and develops this list can grow indefinitely.)

Plant and/or animal identification

Native plant and restoration and ecology projects

Wildlife habitat appraisal

Water quality monitoring

Habitat management projects including invasive species

Prepared by Chuck Otte, February 19, 2010