Fall 2019 Basic Training: Applications Now Open

Come learn from local experts who cover topics in biogeography, citizen science, ecology, geology, interpretation, native flora and fauna, weather and climate, and much more.

The Basic Training Course, the first step towards initial certification, offers fun and interactive instruction on our local environment. Becoming certified typically takes 6 to 12 months. The first step is attending all classes and field trips (or making them up), completing the final exam and presenting a service project.

Initial certification, as well as annual recertification, requires 8 hours of continuing education and 40 hours of volunteer service. Basic and continuing education is both educational and useful for preparing participants to volunteer as master naturalists in their communities.

Apply Today – must be postmarked by July 19!


  • Classes run September 5, 2019 – November 21, 2019 on Thursdays, 7:00–10:00 pm.
  • Classes meet at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA.
  • Field trips to Fairfax County natural areas will be held Saturdays September 21, October 5, October 19 and November 16 , 9:00 am–3:00 pm.
  • Attendance at the 12 classes and 4 field trips is mandatory for certification. Up to three classes (or two classes and one field trip) may be made up within 12 months of completion of basic training (e.g., during the next training cycle, with another master naturalist chapter, or by making special arrangements with approval from the Training Committee Chair).
  • Students need internet access because course materials and announcements will be provided online.
  • The program is targeted toward adults, 18 or older. Youth, age 16-17, may apply under specific conditions.
  • Class size is limited to 20 trainees with a maximum of two youth.
  • The course fee of $200 covers basic training and course materials. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. To request a scholarship, attach a letter to your application stating your need
    and the portion of the course fee that you can pay.

Completed applications, along with a check for $200 made payable to Fairfax Master Naturalists, must be postmarked no later than 19 July 2019.


Basic Training Class Schedule

The 2019 Fall FMN Basic Training classes will be held Thursday evenings from 7 – 10 pm during the dates listed below:

5 September – 21 November

Note that the Saturday Field Trips are:

21 September 2019

5 October 2019

19 October 2019

16 November 2019

These events are reserved for those applicants who are accepted into the FMN program.