Louisiana Master Naturalists
Image courtesy and copyright Daniel Patterson 2023.
Join us in developing a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities in Louisiana, USA!
What does the Louisiana Master Naturalist Association do?
The LMNA's primary purpose is to offer a statewide program that educates Louisiana citizens about their precious flora and fauna, as well as other aspects of their environment and ecosystems. Once certified, the Louisiana Master Naturalists are required to use their talents to educate others or assist programs that promote and protect Louisiana's natural heritage.
How do I become a Louisiana Master Naturalist?
LMNA is an inclusive organization, welcoming all adults in Louisiana regardless of gender, color or creed. In order to be certified, you must complete all requirements set forth by your chosen chapter of the LMNA. You can join more than one chapter if you wish.
Each chapter has different but comparable requirements to receive and maintain certification. To receive certification, you must complete a course (40-60 hours of workshop time), volunteer some of your time to benefit the environment and community, as well as pay modest dues.
To maintain your certification, you must annually complete continuing education and volunteer hour requirements and pay dues.
Enjoy Studying Nature and Help Protect Your Environment!
While chapters may have their own logos, they are unified under the LMNA logo featuring the Anhinga. The Anhinga is an aquatic bird that may be seen throughout the state of Louisiana and particularly loves swamp environments that are iconic of the state.
Anhingas are sometimes called Snake Birds, as they forage in water, swimming with just the head and neck appearing above the water with a snake-like movement as they move along. Since they don't have well-oiled feathers, they normally climb out of the water and spread their wings to allow them to dry.
Our logo shows a juvenile Anhinga (note the tan neck and head) in its characteristic drying pose.
Where does education take place?
LMNA conducts indoor classes and field work. We are a confederation of chapters focused on regions and habitats throughout the state.
Chapters may differ in their content and approach, but the coordination will ensure consistency in quality and focus. All present a broad overview of the state's natural history, but chapters will vary based on geography. You may choose whichever you wish. Chapters share presenters and enjoy co-hosting field trips with other chapters. We host an annual state gathering - Rendezvous - to meet one another and share knowledge and ideas.
Would you like to support our work?
If you would like to help our group's work via a donation via Paypal, please use this button. Thank you.
Find Your Local Group
Please visit our chapter page for a current list of chapters.
Parishes Currently Targeted/Served by LMNA Chapters
The Caroline Dormon Award
Flora and Fauna
Maps of Louisiana
A big thank you to everyone who made our LMNA Rendezvous such a great success!
Visit our Rendezvous 2023 page to learn more about our signature event!
Dr. Vidrine exemplifies what it means to be an outstanding Louisiana Naturalist! He is a leading light in Cajun Prairie and coastal conservation, has taught over 10,000 students, uncovered new species of rotifers, has expanded scientific frontiers of knowledge in the study of: freshwater mollusks, leprosy in armadillos, parasitology, forensic paleo-archeology and the natural history of the Cajun Prairie.
The Southern Naturalist
Dr. Bob Thomas Ph.D., Professor & Director Center for Environmental Communication School of Communication & Design and his daughter Dr. Aimee Thomas have launched a fun and informational podcast series to spread knowledge and enjoyment of Louisiana's rich natural heritage. They are interested in regional coverage.
Emma Reid, the award-winning documentary videographer is on the look-out for interesting material for the series, so watch your in-boxes for information on how to contribute ideas!
Who are the Louisiana Master Naturalists?
The Louisiana Master Naturalist Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group offering opportunities for citizens to expand their knowledge and sharpen their skills in natural history, with special focus on the diverse habitats of the Sportsman's Paradise - Louisiana. "We're part of the solution #ForNature."
With Natchitoches being the state's oldest city (1714) and New Orleans one of the earliest major ports in the U.S. (1718), Louisiana has played a pivotal role in our knowledge of the flora and fauna of North America. Naturalists arrived on many of the earliest ships and sent specimens of species then new to science back to the museums of the Old World. Many of the early natural historians traveled Louisiana's byways, as demonstrated by John James Audubon's many contributions to our knowledge of early 1800's biota.
We encourage you to enter the LMNA certification program and contribute to the well-being and expanding knowledge-base in natural history in Louisiana. The Master Naturalist training, through its various local chapters, will enable you to learn about the nature of the state's varied physiographic regions, and help you understand the connections among our valued environment, culture, and economy.
We are a member of the Alliance for Natural Resource Outreach Providers (ANROSP)
The 2023 recipient of its Caroline Dormon Outstanding Louisiana Naturalist award is Dr. Malcolm F. Vidrine, professor emeritus of biology at Louisiana State University Eunice. Scientist, author, environmental educator, and passionate advocate for prairie and coastal conservation, Vidrine received the award April 22 at LMNA’s annual Rendezvous held in Hackberry, Louisiana, and hosted by the Southwest Louisiana Master Naturalists. Read more on the LMNA Blog.
Can you give any second-hand books?
An LMNA fundraising nature book sale is a regular feature at Rendezvous. Most of the books are pre-owned and donated by chapter members. They can vary from field guides to natural history subject related novels. The books are sold at discounted prices and available for purchase at posted times at a Rendezvous table.