Winyah Master Naturalist

| Stewardship Program

The Winyah Naturalist Program provides training opportunities for community members to develop the skills necessary to become active volunteer stewards of coastal South Carolina habitats. The 12 week course is offered in the spring. Participants meet once a week to explore coastal habitats with local experts, practice identification skills, learn ecological concepts, discuss the natural history and examine human impacts on the environment. 

  • Develop naturalist observation and recording skills.
  • Understand basic biological and ecological concepts.
  • Learn to read the natural history of a landscape.
  • Analyze environmental issues.
  • Cultivate good environmental stewardship practices.
  • Explore unique habitats of the South Carolina Coast.
  • Meet others who share your fascination with the natural world

Winyah Naturalists are certified through the SC Master Naturalist program, a SC Cooperative Extension program administered through the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources of Clemson University in cooperation with various partners around the state. Participants completing the course and 30 hours of approved volunteer work will receive a Master Naturalist certification and will be eligible to join a local chapter and participate in advanced volunteer training courses.

No special equipment is required to participate in the course other than a good pair of shoes that can get wet and muddy.  A backpack, binoculars, and camera are recommended. This is a field-based class that involves some off-trail hiking where there may be a lack of bathroom facilities, and exposure to heat, cold, rain, insects, water, mud and fun.

Spring 2024 Course Information

Classes will be on Fridays, from 8:30 AM to 3 PM, March 1st to May 31st. We will be exploring North Inlet, Hobcaw Barony, Huntington Beach, the Black River Cypress Preserve, Francis Marion National Forest, and other fascinating local habitats as we develop skills to be stewards of our local habitats. Students will be participating in volunteer and community science projects throughout the class.

Advanced Training

Wonder of Wetlands

What exactly is a wetland and why are they important? Learn to recognize wetlands in the coastal zone of South Carolina using key hydrologic, vegetation and soil characteristics, with a focus on wetland plant identification, while exploring the wetlands of Hobcaw.

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Stewardship Program Contact

Jennifer Plunket

Stewardship Coordinator