Do You Really Want To Be a Master Watershed Steward?

Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards are first and foremost, volunteers. The goal of this training program is to expand upon your water and natural resources knowledge with Penn State's research-based information so that you will broaden our conservation outreach into the community.

Master Watershed Stewards will do this in a variety of programs, such as:

  • Answering landowner questions about streamside property stewardship
  • Assisting with stream restoration projects
  • Teaching stream ecology or wildlife habitat classes
  • Writing for municipal newsletters
  • Organizing stream clean ups
  • Speaking to neighborhood groups
  • Working with municipal officials on invasive plant removal projects
  • Creating and staffing educational display
  • Working with school children
  • Carrying out water quality testing

If learning more about water and natural resource conservation in order to serve our local communities through volunteering and outreach excites you, then you will make an excellent candidate for the Master Watershed Steward program! This program will provide many opportunities to do satisfying volunteer work in an exciting field, have access to the most current information on environmental conservation, and meet lots of wonderful people. We are excited to be offering this program and working to protect the region’s precious natural resources.

Who Should Not Be A Master Watershed Steward?

If you have an interest in learning more about water resources and conservation, but are not really interested in volunteer work, we would suggest you look into many of the evening educational programs offered by our partners, such as the Nurture Nature Center, the Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley and the Wildlands Conservancy.

If you work in an environmental profession, and want to go through the training to add the Master Watershed Steward title to your credentials, understand that Penn State does not allow our volunteers to use the distinction of Master Watershed Steward while engaging in for-profit activities. The Master Watershed Steward title also cannot be used for advocacy purposes. If you are interested in policy issues, we would suggest you volunteer for organizations like the Sierra Club.

Master Watershed Steward Program Requirements and Policies

  • You will be allowed to miss one session if you have a scheduling conflict that cannot be changed.
  • A $100 material and speaker fee is required to participate in the program, payable at the first session. Scholarships are available.
  • An assigned group project must be completed; the time that this project takes will count towards your required volunteer hours, described below.
  • Create and give a five-minute presentation to your classmates on the topic of your choice.
  • Pass the Master Watershed Steward exam (a “passing grade” will be 80%).
  • Give a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service during the year that begins with the day of the first class. All projects and presentations must be approved by the Coordinator.
  • To maintain your status as an active volunteer, you must give at least 20 hours of volunteer time and take 10 hours of Penn State approved continuing education each subsequent year.

Once the above requirements have been completed, you will be considered a Master Watershed Steward.

Application form to become a Master Watershed Steward