An evaluation of Missouri Master Naturalist Program: changes in volunteer knowledge and the relationship between motivations and changes in volunteer knowledge
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The Missouri Master Naturalist (MN) program educates adults who then volunteer to help manage their community's natural resources. My research evaluated Missouri's MN training program. My first objective determined any improvement in volunteers' knowledge of ecological processes and conservation issues in Missouri after the training. My second objective identified volunteer's motivations, and determined if a relationship existed between volunteer's motivations and any improvement in knowledge. Results demonstrated a significant improvement in volunteers' knowledge after (F(2,76) = 50.678, p [less than] 0.000), due to improvement from the pre-training to the post-training survey (t(77) = -10.356, p [less than].000). No significant improvement occurred from post-training to the six-month follow-up survey (t(38) = -.057, p [greater than] .955), though volunteers maintained their level of knowledge. Volunteers' primary motivations were values/altruism and a desire to learn. There was no significant relationship between any particular motivation and improvement in knowledge at the end of the MN training program.