Goodwin Master Naturalist Program

“This was a great program. I love being out in the field getting hands-on experience — using my senses to learn and experience nature really drives it home”

Master Naturalist Participant, 2022 Cohort

Are you a community member, teacher, educator, land trust employee, conservation planning board member or natural resource professional looking to increase your knowledge of the natural environment?

If so, join us for our Master Naturalist training. The mission of James L. Goodwin Conservation Center’s Master Naturalist program is to develop a diverse community of naturalists who promote stewardship of the environment.

Through this program, participants will learn about the ecosystems of Connecticut, the animals and plants that inhabit our area, and current conservation issues affecting our wildlife and natural resources. The program includes a mix of outdoor hands-on field sessions and virtual learning meetings where participants learn to identify, interpret, and understand key ecological Connecticut’s natural resources through education and service.

The Goodwin Master Naturalist program is sponsored by the Friends of Goodwin Forest.

I like how the program was horizontally integrated with field time, lecture time and lab time. It was great seeing the results of real science.”

Master Naturalist Participant, 2022 Cohort

Learn more about the requirements and schedule of this year-long program HERE.

The 2023 Master Naturalist Program application period is now closed.  If you are interested in applying for the 2024 program, applications can be found HERE. Scholarships are available. Please contact for a scholarship application for the 2024 program.

Juan Sanchez

Juan Sanchez

The Goodwin Conservation Center’s Master Naturalist Program is the work and passion of a team led by Juan Sanchez. Juan Sanchez received a Masters in Science and Natural History with his Teaching certification from UCONN. His education experience spans 4 decades. His field work and research are equally impressive, spanning the hemisphere from the Amazon basin to inventorying lichen in Newfoundland and Ontario. He is a board member of the Connecticut Bird Conservation Research and Connecticut Botanical Society, and a member of the CT Entomological Society and CT Science Teachers Association. Juan left his position as Naturalist at the Goodwin Center but is still actively involved with the program.

For more information about the James L. Goodwin Master Naturalist Programs, email, or call 860-398-4527.