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Lakehead University expands Ontario Master Naturalist Program

Submitted by Lakehead University,
Chronicle Journal,
May 27 2017

Lakehead University will be offering its innovative Ontario Master Naturalist Program at the Thunder Bay campus starting this summer.

Aimed at naturalists and those dedicated to environmental stewardship, the program, which launched in 2015 at the Orillia campus, is a partnership with Ontario Nature designed to broaden participants’ knowledge and expertise of the natural world through formal training and guidance.

A first-of-its-kind in Canada, the program is passionately spearheaded by award-winning Orillia based naturalist Bob Bowles.

“There is such a strong, active naturalist community out there that has a great appetite for the type of research and education that this program provides,” explained Bowles.

“Many naturalists have taught themselves through their own independent field-work, but we are hoping that this program will also help to provide the foundation from which naturalists, new and old, can expand their studies and research.”

Plants, insects, reptiles, birds, rocks and wetlands are just a few of the topics that participants will delve into during the program. In Thunder Bay, the session will run from July 10 to 16, and involves seven modules that combine fieldwork and in-class instruction. Participants will also complete 30 hours of volunteer service for a non-profit organization involved in environmental or naturalist work.

Although not an accredited university course, participants will receive a certificate for completing the Master Naturalist program. Details, including registration information, can be found online at lakeheadu.ca/masternaturalist, ontarionature.org/masternaturalist or by contacting masternaturalist@lakeheadu.ca. - Submitted by Lakehead University

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