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What will I learn?

Each Utah Master Naturalist course is based in Utah's watersheds, deserts, or mountains. You will spend approximately 16 hours online and 24 hours in the field learning about, exploring, and conserving Utah's beautiful, natural ecosystems. In addition to learning from the main instructors, courses include presentations and field trips led by various resource experts. Class size is small to maximize learning and fun! View our current schedule and join us to explore how these systems are managed, how they function, and the diverse plants and animals that live within them.

Watershed Investigations

People walking through grass

From high alpine lakes and streams to the Great Salt Lake and unique temporary wetlands of the arid desert, Utah has a vast diversity of aquatic systems that interact with each other throughout and across watersheds. In each Watershed Investigations field class, you will experience and learn about how these various waterways interact within a local watershed.

Utah's aquatic and wetland ecosystems are inhabited by plant and animal communities that are well-adapted to wet, ephemeral, or saline environments. You will discover how to evaluate watershed ecosystem health through water chemistry and aquatic insects!

Desert Explorations

Group of students around a watering hole

Upland systems in Utah, such as the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert vary in plant and animals communities. However, these areas share common features: low precipitation (resulting in arid or semi-arid deserts), relatively high elevation, and climatic extremes including hot summers and cold winters. As a result, the plants and animals of these areas possess extreme adaptations for survival.

During a Desert Explorations field course, you will spend time exploring sagebrush and pinyon-juniper communities of the foothills, identifying wildflowers of the Great Basin, and immersing yourself in the geology, history, and ecology of the Moab area.

Mountain Adventures

Class in the mountains

Some of Utah's greatest ecological diversity and scenic beauty exists in its forest and alpine environments. Throughout these systems, temperature, elevation, and precipitation play an important role in defining plant and animal communities and their interactions.

Mountain Adventures field courses take place in the months of July and August, so that we are likely to hit the peak of wildflowers and agreeable weather. Throughout the course, you will study climate, geology, and plant and wildlife communities as we climb higher in elevation. Also, you'll discover Utah's rich history of mining, grazing on National Forests, and use of mountain for recreation.