Minnesota Master Naturalist

Course Registration

BWBR - International Owl Center

International Owl Center website

126 E. Cedar Street
Houston, MN 55943

The class will meet at the International Owl Center in Houston from 6 to 9 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays from 8/21 to 9/18, with no class on 9/4, Labor Day. The Saturday field experiences will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on 8/26 and 9/16.

Minnesota’s driftless (unglaciated) region gives us some of the most beautiful and interesting landscapes in our state. Join us for this exploration of Minnesota’s Big Woods and Big Rivers in the heart of the rolling hills leading to the Mississippi bluffland. The course will meet for 8 evenings (Mondays and Thursdays) and two all-day Saturday field experiences. We will take advantage of the season and the natural setting of Houston and the Root River, spending as much time as we can learning in the outdoors.

This course will include 40 hours of instruction in the field and in the classroom. Students must also complete a group capstone service project of at least 8 hours before the final day of class. We have some excellent guest speakers who will deepen your interest and knowledge.

Classroom meetings will be at the International Owl Center.

Field day meetings will start at the Houston Nature Center or at another location decided by the instructors and agreed on by the class.


Joseph Alexander is a lifelong nature enthusiast who has been hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoors since he could walk. A nurse educator with a background in biology and chemistry, Joseph is interested in the complex systems of the natural world, with a focus on birds, mammals, trees, tracking, and human connection to nature. As a Master Naturalist, he does volunteer work with the International Owl Center and as Steward for the Mound Prairie Scientific and Natural Area, as well as for other activities that arise.

Dawn Littleton is the invasive plants program coordinator for the University of Minnesota Rochester Regional Extension Office. For years, Dawn has been a dedicated volunteer in the Minnesota Master Naturalist program. She co-founded Friends of Indian Heights Park Neighborhood Association in Rochester.   As a volunteer, she has been awarded several grants from the National Park Service and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) for ecological restoration.   Dawn’s biggest adventure last year was finding out that dozens of really beautiful, vanilla-smelling flower spikes growing in the quarry  at Indian Heights Park were not invasive plants but a wetland orchid called Nodding Ladies’ Tresses.  Dawn recently followed her passion and recently shifted careers to invasive plants from her position at the Mayo Clinic, where she was a librarian and assistant professor of medical education.

The course cost is $275 and includes course manuals and supplies.

If the course cost is a hardship, please fill out the scholarship application and send it to us.

Course Dates:

Meeting from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. on:

Instructor Information

Dawn Littleton

Joseph Alexander

Sponsor Information

International Owl Center

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