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Utah Master Naturalist: Watershed Investigations of the Virgin River

Teachers at the Great Salt Lake
In collaboration with the Utah Master Naturalist program, and with funding provided from National Geographic, NHMU educators are providing an opportunity for rural educators in southern and central Utah to learn more about Utah's unique and beautiful ecosystems. In the first of two workshops being offered this year in southern Utah, teachers from Washington and Iron County will be spending 3 full days on field trips where we will explore the vast system of watersheds that feed into and bring life to the deserts of southern Utah. Prior to this workshop weekend, teachers will be required to complete an online training portion of this course which will be emailed in advance. 

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 ecosystems that interact with each other throughout, and across, watersheds. Come join us while we explore these ecosystems and learn about how they function, the plants and animals that live there, and how they are managed. Class size is small in order to maximize your opportunities for learning and having fun!

Teacher observing water quality

Teachers will earn 1.5 USBE credits for attending the field trips, receive a toolkit full of supplies and resources for the classroom, and have the opportunity to be certified as a Watershed Master Naturalist. (Opportunity for Continuing Education Credit through USU also available.) We will be offering the next section of the Master Naturalist program in the summer (Mountains). Preference for the mountain workshop in the summer will be given to those who attended the first workshop that was held in the fall.

More information about Utah's Master Naturalist program can be found at:

When: Tuesday, June 16th through Thursday, June 18th 2020 (8:00am-5:00pm each day)

Where: We will be meeting at different locations throughout Washington County each day

Who: K-12 public school teachers in southern and central Utah

(Space is limited. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status no later than May 8th, 2020.)

Cost: FREE- all supplies, transportation, and accomodations will be provided




Applications are due Friday, May 1st, 2020 by 5:00 pm.

Accepted applicants will be notified no later than May 8th, 2020


Due to the nature of the Watershed Exploration course, we will be walking and hiking over uneven, often rocky/sandy, and wet terrain in unpredictable weather. Participants should be comfortable hiking at least 1-2 miles in a single day. While we do our best to accommodate people of all abilities, attendees will need to be comfortable with these accomodations.

If you have questions or concerns about the activities required please contact Bonnie Jean Knighton