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Lakehead to launch Canada’s first Master Naturalist program

Dragonfly and damselfly workshop © John Hassell

Lakehead University has partnered with Ontario Nature to develop a new program to recognize the knowledge and commitment of naturalists in Ontario through the designation of Master Naturalist.

The first of its kind in Canada, the Ontario Master Naturalist Program (OMNP) will provide a unique training opportunity to enhance the skills, knowledge and effectiveness of naturalists and those interested in environmental stewardship. The program will be launched in May and involves a 6-module course of in-class instruction, fieldwork and volunteer commitment.

A steering committee chaired by Bob Bowles, award-winning naturalist and Lakehead University’s 2014 Civitas Award recipient, has designed the program, which will be taught by Lakehead professors and other experts in ecology.

Members of the media are invited to meet members of the committee, learn more about this first-of-its-kind program, and witness the signing of an official Memorandum of Understanding for the initiative between Lakehead University and Ontario Nature.

EVENT Ontario Master Naturalist Program (OMNP) LAUNCH
When Monday, February 9, 2015 11 a.m.
Where Lakehead University Orillia, 500 University Avenue
Room OA2017, Simcoe Hall
Who Dr. Kim Fedderson, Lakehead Orillia Dean & Vice Provost; Caroline Schultz, Executive Director,Ontario Nature; and members of the OMNP Steering Committee


MEDIA: For more information, please contact Communications Officer, Kathy Hunt, at 705-330-4008 ext. 2014 or kjhunt3@lakeheadu.ca

In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by its Strategic Plan (2013-2018), Lakehead is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.

Maclean’s 2015 University Rankings places Lakehead University 2nd in Ontario and among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities, and 1st among Ontario’s undergraduate universities for Total Research Dollars, Social Sciences & Humanities Grants, and Library Expenses. In 2014, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead 2nd in Ontario and 3rd among Canada’s undergraduate universities.

Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters and 150 member groups across Ontario (charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001). For more information, visit ontarionature.org.