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Nature lover? Consider becoming a Master Naturalist
Ashley Ho0pers ext agent
Ashley Hoopers is UGA Extension agent for Liberty County - photo by File photo

Are you a nature enthusiast? If so, then you should consider becoming a certified Georgia Master Naturalist! 

The Georgia Master Naturalist program is an Adult Environmental Education course developed by the UGA Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources and UGA Cooperative Extension for people who wish to be more informed about habitats, natural resources and the natural environments of our state.

This program is a combination of lectures and outside hands-on learning through field studies and relevant resources. The Liberty County Master Naturalist program will begin on February 15, 2019. 

Classes will meet on Fridays for nine consecutive weeks, totaling 54 contact hours taught by UGA Faculty and local field experts. Classes are held at various locations to provide attendees with the opportunity to observe, interact, and engage in the subject matter through hands-on learning. Each session is customized to address issues with local habitats, such as coastal areas, wetlands, rivers, forests, farms and urban landscapes. 

The mission of the Georgia Master Naturalist program is to provide unbiased, scientifically accurate information about environmental issues for adults. The program subject matter follows a standard format but is adjusted to meet local conditions and draw upon local expertise in the instructors. 

Examples of some of the class topics and activities that may be included in the program include:

• Birding at Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge

• Trawl on Marine Extension/Georgia Sea Grant Research Vessel 

• Native and Invasive Plants

• Pollinator Decline and Conservation

• Water Quality Issues

• Green Infrastructure and Stormwater 

• Environmental Awareness and Human Impact 

• Longleaf Pine Ecosystems 

• Georgia Oysters

• Beach and Wetland Ecology 

An informed person can help make changes in their lives as well as their community and safeguard the environment. After completing this fun and interactive program, Georgia Master Naturalists are encouraged to share their knowledge with their communities by volunteering in local schools or nature centers.

Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the office as soon as possible to enroll. Space is limited and registration is required to attend the class. Enrollment into the program is processed in the order that registration forms and payment are received. 

This program is offered through the Liberty County Extension offices. To sign up for the class, come by our office. We’re located on the first floor of the Historic Courthouse at 100 Main Street in Hinesville. Give us a call at 912-876-2133 or email us at to learn more! Follow us on Facebook for updates at

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