Master Naturalist

Personal Enrichment

Offered through Continuing Education

@ 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 spring classes by phone, or click the button above to register and pay online.

Backyard Chickens for the Beginner

Have you thought about keeping chickens in your city or suburban backyard? There's a lot to find out about before you get started. Learn about local ordinances and where to find more information for the area where you live. You'll also hear about the benefits of keeping chickens, appropriate housing and feeding and different ways of keeping your chickens healthy and happy. Instructor has years of personal and professional experience and is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable, healthy chicken-farmer! Bring a sack lunch to class. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
ECOL:705 | 1 session | $23 Age 60+ | $35 Regular
P02 | Sa 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | Guy Niere | March 16 | MC-SW, 105

Backyard Chickens: Advanced

Bring your questions to class! This session is for individuals who have been keeping chickens for a while and are looking for answers to their specific questions and an overview for more in-depth information on the following topics: diseases, parasites and treatments; chicken anatomy and egg development; incubation and broody hatching; culling and processing; breed characteristics, showing, and judging for standards of perfection, supporting heritage breeds; and changing ordinances. This is an intermediate level class and will not include introductory information covered in previous class: Backyard Chickens for the Beginner. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
ECOL:705 | 1 session | $19 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P01 | Sa 10 a.m.-noon | Guy Niere | March 30 | MC-SW, 108

Indoor Composting: Make and Take Home a Bokashi Bucket

Don't throw away those scraps-up to 20 percent 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 are 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 4/17. No refunds after this date. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
ECOL:704 | 1 session | $49 Age 60+ | $49 Regular
P02 | Th 7-8:30 p.m. | MOBOT Earthways Center | April 25 | MC-SS, 105

Nature

Register and pay online for Landscape & Gardening courses

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

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, Feb. 16 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 | 2 sessions | $35 Age 60+ | $35 Regular
P05 | W 7-9 p.m. | St. Louis Audubon Society | Feb. 13 | MC-SO, 112 | Sa (time TBA in class) | Feb. 16 Off-site, TBA

Waterfowl

There are 63 species of ducks, geese and swans in North America, eight of which breed in Missouri. Come learn about the habitat, behavior and markings of those found in the greater St. Louis area. Coot, cormorant and grebe 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 | 1 session | $25 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P04 | W 7-9 p.m. | St. Louis Audubon Society | March 6 | MC-SO, 204

Monarchs and Milkweed

Join biologist Dave Tylka to learn the plight of these beautiful animal ambassadors of the air, how you can help monarchs by planting different milkweed species around your home and where milkweed seeds and seedlings may be obtained. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:720 | 1 session | $20 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P02 | Tu 7-9 p.m. | David Tylka | March 26 | MC-SO, 109

Forest Park Owls: Hiding in Plain Sight

Join award-winning naturalist and speaker Mark H.X. Glenshaw and 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 | 1 session | $25 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P02 | Th 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Mark H.X. Glenshaw | March 28 | MC-SO, 107
• NOTE: Classroom has changed. 

Owls of Missouri

Join in this exploration of owls. We will look at the eight species of owls native to Missouri with special focus on four local species: barn, barred, eastern screech and great horned owls. Participants will also dissect owl pellets to investigate owl eating habits. Offered in partnership with the St. Louis Audubon Society. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:709 | 1 session | $25 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P01 | W 7-9 p.m. | St. Louis Audubon Society | April 3 | MC-BA, 124
• NOTE: Classroom has changed.

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 | 1 session | $21.50 Age 60+ | $29 Regular
P01 | Sa 9 a.m.-noon | Jeffrey Smith | April 6 | MC-SW, 106

Spring Nature Walk

With the warm weather upon us, it's time to get outside and see what's blooming! Join our small group tour to explore, discover and study the spring landscape observing the splendor of the environment of Shaw Nature Reserve. Naturalist Nancy will guide you along a two-to-three mile walk on well-maintained, mostly level paths through gardens and trails. Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. In case of rain, class will be rescheduled to April 20. Meet at the picnic tables across from the visitor's center. Shaw Nature Reserve is located in Gray Summit, MO. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:704 | 1 session | $13.50 Age 60+ | $19 Regular
P01 | Sa 10 a.m.-noon | Nancy Gelb | April 13 | Shaw Nature Reserve, Visitor Ctr

Forest Park Owls: Mating, Nesting and Owlets

Join Mark H.X. Glenshaw, an award-winning amateur naturalist and speaker for a class focusing on the mating and nesting behavior and the owlets raised by great horned owls he has been observing, documenting, and doing outreach in Forest Park since December 2005. Learn what Mark has been able to observe and document including mating, nest selection, feeding of the owlets, fledging and gradual maturation of owlets, and the dispersal of the owlets with photos and videos to illustrate these behaviors. You will be amazed at the delights and challenges these owls have when they raise their families. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:709 | 1 session | $25 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P03 | Th 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Mark H.X. Glenshaw | April 18 | MC-SO, 111

Spring Butterflies of the St. Louis Area

Enjoy the beauty of butterflies both indoors and outdoors. In the classroom session, you will learn basic identification skills through a PowerPoint and video presentation. On the field trip, you will experience the magic of butterflies in their natural habitat while spring wildflowers are in full bloom. Provide own transportation. Although not required, binoculars and the field guide Butterflies through Binoculars: The East by Jeffrey Glassberg would be useful tools for the field trip walk. Offered in partnership with the North American Butterfly Association. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:720 | 2 sessions | $29 Age 60+ | $29 Regular
P01 | Tu 6-8 p.m. | Yvonne Homeyer, Pat Garner | April 23 | MC-SO, 107
Field Trip: Sa 10 a.m.-noon | April 27 | Off-site, TBA

Insects of Missouri

Join research entomologist, conservationist and photographer Chris Brown 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 | 1 session | $29 Age 60+ | $29 Regular
P02 | W 6-8:30 p.m. | Chris Brown | May 15 | MC-SO, 111

Landscape and Gardening

Register and pay online for Nature courses

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

Vegetable Gardening

Do you want to "grow your own" this season? For the best selection of seeds and plantings, you need to start planning early. Learn tips for planting, maintaining and harvesting your own fresh veggies. Topics for discussion include raised beds, container gardening and more. Bring your questions for our gardening expert and local nursery owner. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:701 | 1 session | $19.50 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P02 | Sa 9-11:30 a.m. | Nancee Kruescheck | March 2 | MC-SO, 107
P01 | Sa 9-11:30 a.m. | Nancee Kruescheck | March 9 | MC-SO, 204

Create a Beautiful Landscape with Native Plants

Enrich the diversity in your yard by discovering and planting species native to Missouri. You can create a beautiful and interesting landscape with a progression of plants that are perfectly adapted to our unique soil and climate. The native plants you'll learn about will reduce mowing and improve biodiversity while fitting nicely into your home landscape. Some native specimens are ideal for your perennial gardens and problem areas. You'll be delighted at how beautiful the native plants are and enjoy learning some plant folklore. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:713 | 1 session | $19.50 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P12 | Sa 9-11:30 a.m. | Nancee Kruescheck | March 30 | MC-SO, 109

All About Herbs

Now is the time to plan for your summer garden! Learn how to get the most for your effort in this one-night class. From starting to expanding an herb garden, you'll learn about soil conditions, fertilizing and the optimal placement for growth. Come hear the best advice from Master Gardener "Mike" on how to plant, maintain and harvest an herb garden. You'll also get tips on using herbs in and around your home as well as the best way to freeze and preserve herbs for future use. Bring a notebook and pen to class. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:701 | 1 session | $16 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P03 | W 6-9 p.m. | Michelle Ochonicky | April 3 | MC-SW, 108

Sun and Shade Perennials: What's Best for the Midwest?

Save time and money by creating or enhancing your yard and garden with easy-to-grow perennial plants that come back year after year. Start your perennial garden with a good understanding of plant selection, care and maintenance based on the shade and sunlight locations in your yard. Join local nursery owner Nancee Kruescheck and discover the most popular varieties of plants and characteristics of each including size and height, when they bloom, soil requirements and conditions in which they grow best. You'll be able to take what you learn in this class and create a perennial garden that is not only beautiful but easier to maintain throughout the season. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:704 | 1 session | $19.50 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P01 | Sa 9-11:30 a.m. | Nancee Kruescheck | April 6 | MC-SO, 111

Really Green Thumbs

Improve your "eco-green" garden materials and your "green thumb" gardening practices and learn how an organic sustainable approach can benefit your home or community garden. Join Master Gardener "Mike" as she teaches you simple ways to incorporate natural techniques to improve your garden soil, plant nutrition and pest control. Make your garden environmentally friendly and improve your gardening skills, your health and the world in which we all live. Bring a notebook and pen to class. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:713 | 1 session | $19 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P11 | W 7-9 p.m. | Michelle Ochonicky | April 10 | MC-SW, 108

Soil and Composting: Get the "Dirt" on Successful Gardening

The first step in successful gardening is working from the ground up. Learn the "dirt" on successful gardening as we'll discuss easy to understand information on soil types, practical tips on preparation and the "how to" and benefits of composting for your home garden. A beneficial class for both beginning and experienced homeowners. Bring a notebook and pen to class. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:709 | 1 session | $19 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P01 | Th 7-9 p.m. | Michelle Ochonicky | April 11 | MC-SW, 108

Gardening Under Trees and Other Tough Spaces

Do you have problems successfully growing plants under the trees in your yard? Are you concerned about possibly damaging the tree roots but would really like to add some attractive plantings that would thrive there? Come learn about the art and science of gardening under trees and other tough-to-grow spots to add to the beauty of your yard. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:708 | 1 session | $19.50 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P03 | Sa 9-11:30 a.m. | Nancee Kruescheck | April 13 | MC-SO, 112

The Other Part of Gardening: Care and Maintenance of Flowers and Shrubs

Powdery mildew taking over your plants? Are your roses in need of deadheading? What's "bugging" your greenery and shrubs? Why are your plants not flowering? Learn how to maintain vigorous plants that continue to thrive throughout the season. With regular maintenance, you can keep your plants looking their best. Nursery owner Nancee Kruescheck will teach you tips and tricks on feeding, pruning and dealing with common pests and diseases. Bring your questions to class for this informative session. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:723 | 1 session | $19.50 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P01 | Sa 9 a.m.-11:30 am | Nancee Kruescheck | April 27 | MC-SO, 107

Go Native!

Go Native! An Introduction to Native Landscaping

Bring a bit of nature to your urban or suburban home. Come discover the many benefits of native landscaping, also known as "naturescaping", and enrich your life by bringing low maintenance plants to your yard or workplace and developing a natural ecosystem to attract animals and beneficial insects. Learn why native coneflowers, milkweeds, viburnums and oaks are more beneficial than non-native hostas, daylilies, crape myrtles and Bradford pears. Explore why biodiversity is healthy and why cultivars should be scrutinized. You'll also receive information on assistance and resources available through the St. Louis Audubon "Bring Conservation Home" program to help get you started. We face many environmental challenges, and this is your opportunity to extend your commitment to make a difference. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:713 | 1 session | $25 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P10 | Th 9 a.m.-noon | Mitch Leachman | April 4 | MC-CE

Go Native! Identification and Ecology of Common Missouri Wildflowers

Have you ever wanted to explore the scientific approach to identifying wildflowers? This is your chance to get an introduction into flora classification. Missouri is a crossroads of several different natural communities across the Midwest and supports a wide array of native and non-native wildflowers. You'll explore basic flower parts and leaf arrangements and then determine the distinguishing and unique characteristics of over 60+ common species organized by color and chronology. You are encouraged to bring a copy of Denison's Missouri Wildflowers (6th Ed.) published by the MO Conservation Department for use in the class. Book is available at most area bookstores, nature centers and libraries. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:713 | 1 session | $17.50 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P01 | F 9 a.m.-noon | David Tylka | April 5 | MC-CE

Go Native! Ways to Attract Songbirds and Hummingbirds Through Native Landscaping

Are you looking to attract more songbirds and hummingbirds to enhance your backyard viewing? Learn the secrets to selecting the best native plants that furnish seeds, flowers and fruits for these birds. To attract the greatest diversity of birds to your property at various seasons, you need to select fruiting shrubs and trees from different categories based upon the season the fruits and seeds are produced, their nutritional make-up and the length of time they remain on the plants. Bring a kaleidoscope of colors and songs to your landscape with your knowledge from this class. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:713 | 1 session | $25 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P09 | W 9 a.m.-noon | Mitch Leachman | April 10 | MC-CE

Go Native! Native Landscaping with Shrubs

Stop spending your time and money trying to maintain shrubs that are not indigenous to the Midwest and have difficulty adapting to local soil and weather conditions. Go native and begin to add more environmentally beneficial shrub species. Native shrubs that have evolved in the Midwest are adapted to local rainfall and temperature patterns and generally do not require any special maintenance needs after they are established. Because of this evolution, these native woody species have produced unique interrelationships with many native species of wildlife. Lots of suggestions will be presented to help you get started. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:713 | 1 session | $25 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P04 | F 9 a.m.-noon | Mitch Leachman | April 12 | MC-CE

Go Native! Identification and Natural History of Common Missouri Insects

Ever wonder why insects are the most successful and ecologically important class of animals in the world? They form a vital link between plants and vertebrate animals such as birds and mammals. Although their biodiversity can be overwhelming, after learning some basic anatomy, you'll be able to identify ten major groups or orders of insects and recognize the most commonly encountered species found in the greater St. Louis area. See close-up images of insects, discuss their natural history and receive identification resources to take home. Students are encouraged to obtain the Golden Guide paperback titled Insects for use in class. Book is available from most area bookstores and libraries. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
NATR:715 | 1 session | $17.50 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P01 | W 9 a.m.-noon | David Tylka | April 17 | MC-CE

Go Native! Native Landscaping for Bees, Butterflies and Other Pollinators

Butterflies go wherever they please and please wherever they go. Along with bees and other insect pollinators, they 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 | 1 session | $17.50 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P02 | F 9 a.m.-noon | David Tylka | April 19 | MC-CE

Go Native! Native Landscaping with Shade-Adapted Plants

Successfully growing plants under large trees can be challenging, but if you mimic nature by planting ecologically adapted natives, you can enjoy an attractive, biodiverse landscape throughout the seasons. Many spring native wildflowers bloom before most large trees leaf out, shade-adapted shrubs can thrive under low-light conditions, grasses and foliage plants provide summer texture, late summer and fall bloomers welcome wildlife, and berries and bark can provide winter interest. Join us and learn how to establish and maintain shade-adapted native landscapes. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:713 | 1 session | $25 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P05 | W 9 a.m.-noon | Betty Struckhoff | April 24 | MC-CE

Go Native! Native Landscaping with Sun-Adapted Perennials

Did you know that prairies and glades are the two most diverse and colorful natural communities in Missouri that thrive in the sun? Learn basic characteristics of the soil and moisture conditions of these communities and how they can be emulated in your home landscape. Presentation will focus on native prairie and glade species that can be successfully grown in the St. Louis area, the height and spread of each species and where each species will grow best in your yard. Some of the class may be outdoors. Dress appropriately for the weather. Course meets the curriculum requirements for the Master Naturalist program.
HORT:713 | 1 session | $25 Age 60+ | $25 Regular
P06 | F 9 a.m.-noon | Susie Van de Riet | April 26 | MC-CE

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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