Thank you to everyone who attended the Texas Master Naturalist 2023 Annual Meeting!
We loved seeing you in McAllen this year! Mark your calendars for October 24-27, 2024 for the 2024 Annual Meeting in San Marcos, Texas!
Please take a moment and fill out our Annual Meeting Survey. We get feedback from our attendees each year to learn directly from you on how to make the next Annual Meeting even better. Note: you can only take the survey once, so take your time with it.
With so many amazing memories from the conference, please continue to share them with us! Email them, share them on social media with the #TMNAnnualMeeting hashtag or post them to the Slack Workspace so we can see them and share them!
Get excited for our Texas Master Naturalist 2023 Annual Meeting – to be held Thursday, October 12th through Sunday, October 15th this year at the southernmost point of the South Texas Plains ecoregion, surrounded by mesquite and prickly pear brush country in McAllen, Texas.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley is famous for its diversity of birds, butterflies, and endangered species like Ocelots, Texas Tortoises, Sabal Palms, and Piping Plovers that call the region home. McAllen offers some of the best birding and nature exploration opportunities in Texas, with its sunny subtropical climate and prime location along the Central Flyway. For our 24th Annual Meeting, we are excited to gather at the McAllen Convention Center, which sits between multiple nature centers and wildlife refuges along the Rio Grande Valley. McAllen also offers a unique opportunity this year as a close location to view an annular solar eclipse!
The Texas Master Naturalist Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for the Texas Master Naturalist volunteers from around the state to gather, participate in hands-on educational seminars, and receive all their Advanced Training requirements for the year in one weekend. It’s also an opportunity for program participants and supporters to network, share new ideas, and to learn from chapters in different regions of the state.
Countdown to the 2023 Annual Meeting
Join the App
Join the TMN 2023 Annual Meeting App to view your agenda, receive important notifications throughout the event, vote for the Photo, Art, and Media Contest, and so much more!
Follow this link to visit the event website.
Follow this link to download the mobile app or scan the QR code to the right.
McAllen Convention Center
The convention center was designed as a multi-purpose event center that caters everything from conventions to sporting events to board room meetings. The professional event services team at the McAllen Convention Center specializes in making every event memorable, by ensuring every detail is perfectly handled. Whether you’re planning a small board room meeting, a gala, or a large conference, with 174,000 square feet of state-of-the-art, multifunctional space, we have the perfect space for your event.
Retail Guide – One of the best features of the McAllen Convention Center is its proximity to a handful of the city’s best commercial giants. Within walking distance are big retailers such as Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Cavender’s, and so many more.
Restaurants – Several restaurants are within walking distance to the McAllen Convention Center and the hotels. Places such as Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Saltgrass Steak House, P.F. Chang’s, and more are only a few minutes’ walking distance away.
Our 2023 Annual Meeting Full Agenda is below!
A big thanks to the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas Border Chapters for helping to recruit some AMAZING speakers from the area and for setting up some INCREDIBLE field sessions. This years meeting is packed full of a huge diversity of sessions, topics, and speakers – “the makings of a truly great annual conference!” (Thanks Rick, BPC).
Classroom Sessions Matrix Agenda
- Agenda Brief – http://txmn.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Agenda-Brief.pdf
- Thursday October 12 – http://txmn.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Thursday-PM.pdf
- Friday October 13 – Morning – http://txmn.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Friday-AM.pdf
- Friday October 13 – Afternoon – http://txmn.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Friday-PM.pdf
If you are a speaker for this year’s meeting – please use the Speaker Resource Center for connecting with resources for the upcoming meeting.
Registration for this year’s Annual Meeting will open the first week of August.
Early Registration – Closes August 31st
- Early Full Event Registration – $400.00
- Early Two Day (Thurs & Fri or Fri & Sat) – $375.00
- Early One Day (Thurs or Fri or Sat) – $210.00
Standard Registration – Open September 1st – September 29th
- Full Event Registration – $450.00
- Two Day (Thurs & Fri or Fri & Sat) – $425.00
- One Day (Thurs or Fri or Sat) – $260.00
Guest Registration Add-Ons
- Guest Meals Only Pass – $300.00
Join our TMN Email Listserv to be the first to hear about the Annual Meeting registration and more – https://txmn.tamu.edu/about/contact/
Or follow us on social media to hear news about the upcoming event –
Eclipse Field Day at El Sauz Ranch
Registered attendees of the Annual Meeting will be transported to the East Foundation’s El Sauz Ranch to view the Annular Solar Eclipse, learn from various topic speakers, eat lunch and host hands-on field-based advanced training sessions. The El Sauz Ranch hosts a unique diversity of landscapes and land management practices with active sand dunes, thornscrub brush, ocelots, an active cattle herd, university research projects, burn management plans, and so much more. Learn with us with boots on the ground! *Registration required through event registration system.
Learn more about our Eclipse Field Day Event below!
Knowing this year’s meeting is at a far reach for many of our traveling Master Naturalists, we’ve put together some ideas for you to consider as you plan your travel to McAllen:
- Check with your local chapter members, or chapters in your surrounding area and carpool together! Share the driving responsibilities and learn more about your master naturalist friends.
- *Note Our TMN Program Office is also looking into a discussion board to allow attendees to connect for ride sharing. This would be a self-serve discussion board to allow for connections. Also, because we will not be able to provide field session transportation – we are also looking into field session transportation discussion boards for meeting up.
This year’s Annual Meeting will be hosted at the McAllen Convention Center, situated in the center of a multi-facility complex of hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers. Conference lodging arrangements have been made at five (5) hotels within walking distance to the Convention Center. Lodging reservations can be made through the links below, and room blocks are being held at first come, first serve. Some room types may be limited in quantity (i.e., king vs. queen), please select any available room!
*Note – if there are issues with the links for hotels, please call their front desks to book under our Texas Master Naturalist block.
All sponsorships receive special recognition through conference communication, fliers, announcements, and programs. Sponsors could make a general contribution to support and sponsor the TMN Annual Meeting at any of the following levels with recognition at each level as given:
To be a sponsor, please contact, Mary Pearl Meuth – firstname.lastname@example.org
We are once again hosting our event with the opportunity to invite a few key vendors and exhibitors with naturalist related goods, artwork, projects, plants, educational materials, and outreach from partnership organizations. The vendor booths will be located in the main conference reception area at the McAllen Convention Center. Vendors will receive one 6’ table and two chairs. Electricity and other display needs may have additional costs and can be discussed if needed.
Vendor setup will be on Thursday, October 12th from 8am-12pm with take down and move out by 10am on Sunday, October 15th. Vendors will be responsible for their own move in, set up, take down, and move out. There will be ample time throughout the conference for attendees to browse the vendor areas, with breaks and socials scheduled to be held in the vendor space. We kindly ask that all vendors donate an item for the Silent Auction. The money raised from the silent auction will be used towards scholarship funds for Master Naturalists expressing a need to be able to attend our conference the following year.
Vendor Booth – $300 for commercial ; $150 for non-profit
The vendor fee is a nominal fee but does not include lodging or meals. Lodging and meals will be available through our registration system once posted in August. Registration is needed to attend sessions as well.
Vendor Booth Space Information:
- Vendor setup will be on Thursday, October 12th from 8:00am – 12:00pm, with take down and move out by 10am on Sunday, October 15th. Vendors will be responsible for their own move in, set up, take down, and move out.
- Vendors will receive one 6’ table and two chairs. Additional tables may be available if needed, potentially at an additional cost.
- Electricity and other display items can be discussed if needed (potentially at an additional cost). Wi-Fi will be available in the conference space for all attendees, hardline and electric cord charges may be extra.
- We kindly ask that all vendors donate an item for the Silent Auction.
- Please have all vendor applications emailed to Mary Pearl by 5pm on September 15th, 2023.
Please email Mary Pearl Meuth, email@example.com if you’re interested in being a vendor at the 2023 Annual Meeting.
We are excited about the quickly approaching Texas Master Naturalist (TMN) Annual Meeting at the McAllen Convention Center. It is time to prepare for getting donated items for the Silent Auction. Display and bidding will be open on Friday and Saturday October 13 & 14. Money raised by the silent auction is used for TMN project grants, scholarships to the annual meeting for each chapter, and to bring in speakers and trainers for future annual meetings.
We are seeking item donations or in-kind matching. Please check out our Silent Auction request letter linked below for item ideas and more information.
Items should be brought to the Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 12, between 1 pm and 6pm. Please complete a Silent Auction Bid Sheet for each item. Silent Auction Bid Sheets will also be available at the Conference.
The Rio Grande Valley and South Texas Border Chapters are the host chapters for the silent auction. Tamie Bulow (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the chair for the RGV Chapter, and Anne Mayville (email@example.com) is chair for the STB Chapter.
Please consider contributing local experiences and items to this event for your chapter members. It’s a great way to support the TMN mission, promote local attractions, and share some of the treasures of your areas. We look forward to seeing you at the McAllen Convention Center!
Contests and Awards
We host four Annual Meeting contests each year. All award winners for last year can be seen here in the Annual Meeting 2022 Awards Wrap Up. Details for each are linked below. Pre-Annual Meeting Entries – all due by 5pm on Friday, September 15th, except Photo, Art, & Media.
- Chapter Advisor Awards
- Nominate your chapter’s advisor(s) to be recognized
- Chapter Project Fair
- Submit your chapter project for our virtual fair!
- Video Contest
- Videos of 1 minute to 3 minutes
- Photo, Art & Media Contest
- Hosted by the Rio Grande Valley Chapter and South Texas Border Chapters of Texas Master Naturalists
- Entries to be submitted online August 18th – September 18th 2023
- Note: Photos & Media must be taken somewhere in Texas.
Our 24th Texas Master Naturalist Annual Meeting by the Numbers: 475+ registrants 131 speakers 132…
Each year at the Annual Meeting, we host a Photo, Art, and Media Contest for…
Submissions are now OPEN for our 2023 Chapter Project Fair as part of our Annual…
We are now accepting Video Contest submissions for the 2023 Annual Meeting! https://txmn.tamu.edu/2023-annual-meeting/ Release the…
View the past 5 Annual Meetings:
- 2022 Annual Meeting – October 20-23, 2022, Houston, TX
- 2021 Annual Meeting – October 21-24, 2021, Hybrid, Irving, TX
- 2020 Annual Meeting – October 14-17, 2020, Virtual
- 2019 Annual Meeting– October 18-20, 2019, Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront Hotel, Rockwall, TX
- 2018 Annual Meeting – October 18-20, 2018, Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center, Georgetown, TX
About the Texas Master Naturalist Program
The Texas Master Naturalist Program is sponsored statewide by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The programs mission is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the State of Texas.
The program currently supports 15,000+ volunteers in 48 local chapters across the state. TMN volunteers provide over 400,000 hours of service annually. Many communities and organizations rely on these volunteers for implementing youth education programs; for operating parks, nature centers, and natural areas; and for providing leadership in local natural resource conservation efforts. Texas Master Naturalist volunteers are required to receive 40 hours of basic training, obtain a minimum of 8 hours of advanced training, and perform 40 hours of volunteer service prior to being certified as a Texas Master Naturalist volunteer. To keep their certification current each year, TMN’s are required to obtain an additional 8 hours of advanced training and provide 40 hours of volunteer service annually. For more information, visit our statewide website: http://www.txmn.org.
Any additional questions about the Texas Master Naturalist 2023 Annual Meeting or the Program in general can be directed to Michelle Haggerty (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary Pearl Meuth (email@example.com).
Call for Proposals
This year’s Annual Meeting will be hosted Thursday, October 12th to Sunday, October 15th, 2023 at the McAllen Convention Center in McAllen, Texas. The Lower Rio Grande Valley is famous for its diversity of birds, butterflies, and endangered species like Ocelots, Texas Tortoises, Sabal Palms, and Piping Plovers that call the region home. McAllen offers some of the best birding and nature exploration opportunities in Texas, with its sunny subtropical climate and prime location along the Central Flyway. For our 24th Annual Meeting, we are excited to gather at the McAllen Convention Center, which sits between multiple nature centers and wildlife refuges along the Rio Grande Valley. McAllen also offers a unique opportunity this year as a prime location to view an annular solar eclipse!
We are planning for an in-person Annual Meeting for 2023! We are asking that all presenters be prepared to host their sessions in person with us this fall; however, special considerations may be given where needed. Sessions are currently scheduled to begin each day of the conference at 8am and end at 5pm with final arrangements and schedule to be shared mid-summer. Sessions will be offered concurrently with one, two, three, and four hour blocks, built-in breaks, and potentially themed days (dependent on final submissions received).
As a workshop presenter, you would have the opportunity to inform and train TMN members from across the state on various natural resource topics providing more in-depth information than their initial core training and curriculum. You are also encouraged to make this an opportunity to enlist and train our program volunteers to assist you, your program, and your work as part of their annual volunteer service commitment.
Submission deadlines have passed for 2023!
If you are a speaker for this year’s meeting – please use the Speaker Resource Center for connecting with resources for the upcoming meeting.