Academy to offer Augusta area's first Georgia Master Naturalist program in March



The Augusta area’s first Georgia Master Naturalist program will be offered this spring by educators at Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy.

The 10-session series of classes and field trips is an adult environmental education program of the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the university’s Cooperative Extension Service.

Participants will embark on weekly field trips, each with specific environmental topics, said Ruth Mead, the academy’s senior education specialist. The programs include a combination of lectures, hands-on learning and exposure to many unusual natural and man-made habitats.

Topics will include wetlands and stream ecology at Phinizy Swamp, dam construction and mammalogy at Thurmond Lake, forestry and orienteering at Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary, geology and succession at Heggie’s Rock, urban water issues at the Messerly Wastewater plant, urban waterway studies along the Augusta Canal and a field ornithology course.

“We think we have put together an exciting program,” Mead said.

The series will begin March 15 with programs each Thursday through May 24. The cost is $260 for academy members and $300 for nonmembers. That includes all trip fees, supplies and a T-shirt.

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