What is Indiana Master Naturalist?

Indiana Master Naturalist is a course offered by the Elkhart County SWCD open to adult learners 18+ years old.


This course covers 11 different classes in accordance with the Indiana Master Naturalist curriculum guidelines. Courses meet at locations throughout the county once a week while the course is in session. Classes include:

  • Indiana Geology and Soils
  • Water and Wetlands
  • Herbaceous Plants
  • Woodlands
  • Birds
  • Fish and Herps
  • Mammals
  • Entomology
  • Backyard Conservation
  • Land Management


After completing classes, students are required to complete 24 hours of volunteer service in order to graduate.

We have trained over 250 volunteers who have reported over 30,000 service hours in our community since 2007!


The class fee is $175. This class fee includes qualified local natural resource professional speakers, class materials in organized binders, and quality reference material in the form of handouts and books by well known nature writers.

How do I sign up?

Registration is closed for the 2022 IMN course, but you can sign up to be notified via email when the next Elkhart County course is being offered by filling out the form below.

Enter your email address to be notified when the next Indiana Master Naturalist course is being offered in Elkhart County.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

What happens after the class?

Once you have taken the class, passed the test, and completed the 24 hours of volunteer service, you will receive a pin and certificate in the mail. After receiving the pin and certificate, you will always be an Indiana Master Naturalist. You can continue to be involved by joining the Elkhart County IMN Alumni group or completing the annual Advanced Indiana Master Naturalist certificate. Find out more information below!

Elkhart County IMN Alumni Group

If you have graduated from the Indiana Master Naturalist program and would like to stay in touch with IMN classmates, you can join the Elkhart County IMN Alumni! The Alumni gather together for continuing education and volunteer opportunities once every quarter.

Next Alumni Meeting

When: January 12, 2023

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Schrock Pavilion at Shanklin Park

Address: 411 W Plymouth Ave, Goshen

Speaker: Emma Conrad will speak about winter tree ID

Alumni Meeting Minutes

The Elkhart County IMN alumni meeting minutes can be found below. If you would like older meeting minutes please contact jwait@elkhartcounty.com

The Trailblazer

Once a quarter, the Elkhart County IMN alumni publish a newsletter featuring local alumni news

Important Information

Volunteer Opportunities

Alumni, if you are looking for volunteer hours there are many things you can do! Check out the “Volunteer Guidelines” for more information on what counts for volunteer hours.

Certified Advanced IMN

Do you enjoy volunteering and learning more about Indiana’s natural resources? You can continue doing so by achieving the annual status of Advanced Indiana Master Naturalist.

  • IAIMN is a per calendar year program.
  • Pay an annual $15 administrative fee per calendar year.
  • Volunteer 30 hours of volunteer time annually and complete 8 hours of education time annually (training/workshops presented by IMN Hosts, city/county/state parks, or other natural resources agency).
  • Submit proof of the 38 hours to Jody Heaston (jheaston@dnr.IN.gov) by Dec. 20 of the current year along with fee if not paid yet. Include your hours, name, address, email address, host name, class year and a brief description of where you did your volunteer time and education time.
  • Certified Advanced IMNs that have completed these hours and paid annual fee will receive an advanced pin and certificate for that year.

Do you have more questions? Check out the FAQ about Advanced IMN or visit the DNR website.

Email Updates

If you have participated in the Elkhart County IMN class, you should have been automatically signed up for email updates that include volunteer opportunities, education opportunities, meeting updates, and much more. If you are not receiving emails, please contact jwait@elkhartcounty.com or call 574-523-2030.

Items for purchase

There are several IMN items that you can purchase from the DNR:

  • Patches
  • Nametags
  • Hats

You can find out more details on the DNR website.

IMN Annual Gathering

As a certified IMN, you are invited to the annual gathering of Indiana Master Naturalists. During this gathering, network with other IMN’s, attend some natural history programs and have fun! You can find updates on the next gathering on the DNR website.