Dr. Martin Main,
Dr. Main is a Professor and ecologist in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and
Conservation at the University of Florida. Dr. Main began developing the Florida
Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) in 1999 following a 1998 south Florida eco-heritage
workshop. He realized the great need for a professional development education program
on Florida's natural history. "I believe that most people are genuinely interested
and concerned about nature, and that as they learn more, their level of interest
and concern increases. I was surprised, however, at the tremendous response to the
FMNP, which I think is a very good indication that Floridians will work hard to
ensure healthy environments, clean water, and diverse wildlife are available for
future generations to enjoy." Dr. Main has since contributed to the development
of Master Naturalist programs in many other states and has won dozens of awards,
including the 2005 National Wetlands education and outreach award for his exemplary
work on the FMNP.
Kate Hellgren, Program Coordinator
Kate facilitates the approval of FMNP Instructors and coordinates and conducts their orientation.
She represents the FMNP at conferences, meetings, outings, and in the media. She creates the FMNP
bi-monthly newsletter. All program inquiries and correspondence sent through the listserv are her
responsibility. She also facilitates the updating of course manuals, other course materials, and
the FMNP website. It is her responsibility to establish and maintain partnerships that enhance the
mission of the FMNP.
Shelby Sowder, FMNP Conference
Coordinator with the IFAS Office of Conferences and Institutes
Shelby and the OCI
office have worked with the FMNP since the first class launched in 2001. Shelby
ensures that all finances, class logistics, registrations, and course materials
are all in order. Her professionalism and enthusiasm for the FMNP make her invaluable.
Sylvia Meyer, FMNP Program Assistant
Sylvia is responsible for managing the FMNP Listserv lists. She is responsible for creating and sending
out awards for the Master Naturalist, Land Steward, and Advanced Master Naturalist FMNP designations.
She is an invaluable asset to the smooth operation of the FMNP.