Extra time to volunteer: Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are adding a full year onto the time to complete and report volunteer hours. For example, if you completed your coursework in 2019, you will have until the end of 2021 to complete your volunteer hours. NOTE: If coronavirus circumstances prevent a return to volunteer service in 2021, we are prepared to extend this deadline beyond 2021.
COVID-19 Volunteer Guidelines for Master Naturalists
OSU Extension requires that all of its volunteer programs have guidelines in place defining how it plans to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, including guidance for conducting volunteer service. Read the highlights of these guidelines below, and click the button to access the full guidelines document.
Right now, we are encouraging MN volunteers to volunteer under the Restricted Return or Modified Operations phase as detailed in the full guidelines document (see above) (e.g. outdoor land stewardship and community science activities).
MN volunteers will use good judgement and follow the OHA guidelines when deciding if or when to volunteer for an external partner as part of service activities that they wish to count toward MN certification requirements. MN volunteers should consider if they can safely volunteer based upon the readiness of facilities in outdoor settings.
MN volunteers must agree to the following conditions before they can count volunteer service toward their MN certification and/or re-certification:
Stay home if you are sick (symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and body aches, or loss of taste or smell)
maintaining physical distance (at least 6 feet)
wear a face covering (when volunteering with others and/or you cannot avoid members of the community that are also using your volunteer site)
Before entering any hours through the online reporting form, you must complete an acknowledgement stating that you understand these new guidelines for volunteer service (located within the online reporting form).
If volunteer project locations are managed or co-managed by an external partner (non-OSU entity), MN volunteers and MN Program faculty will work with the external partner to communicate the MN volunteer guidelines and work toward as much overlap as possible between each of our respective volunteer guidelines. Refer these partners to the full guidelines accessible via the link above.
Reason for this change: As most, if not all, of your usual volunteer activities have been postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability for you to meet your Master Naturalist certification requirements has been curtailed. The Master Naturalist Program would like to reassure you that we’re discussing how to facilitate your access to meaningful and safe volunteer service. We will continue to evaluate and adjust our timelines for completing Master Naturalist certification requirements as circumstances change.