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Texas Master Naturalist 2021 Annual Meeting

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Date October 21, 2021   -   October 24, 2021
Location both online and in-person at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott in Irving, Texas
Registration Required Yes


Put it on your calendar now as we prepare for our 22nd Texas Master Naturalist Program Annual Meeting, an event to gather, learn and celebrate another year of the Texas Master Naturalist Program. We’re preparing this year’s meeting as a HYBRID Event – both online and in-person at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott in Irving, Texas. The event will be held the weekend of Thursday October 21st through Sunday the 24th, 2021 with plenty of activities throughout the event! Join us for a long weekend of greenspace adventures in the hideaways of our largest urban area in Texas.

This year’s Annual Meeting will be hosted from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott near the center of the Dallas–Fort Worth urban metroplex. Ecologically, the host site is part of the Blackland Prairie and Oakwoods and Prairies ecoregions. The airport is close to Grapevine Lake with its numerous shoreline trails and Bob Jones Nature Center, plus the lower Elm Fork corridor boasting extensive preserves and the nationally recognized Trinity River Paddling Trail. Three 2500+ acre preserves are within a short drive: Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, and Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area. Centered within the metroplex, providing easy access to these numerous naturalist sites, the Annual Meeting is looking forward to showcasing the hidden gems of these sister cities and their surrounding Texas Master Naturalist chapters.

Please have patience with us as we develop this year’s Annual Meeting in this NEW HYBRID format. We’re excited about the opportunities this meeting format presents for our program, accessibility to our Annual Meeting advanced training for our members across the state, and ways to continue to stay safe yet still get to take steps to gather for conservation and comradery.

What is a Hybrid Event?

We are planning to host this year’s Annual Meeting in a hybrid format. Participants will be able to register to attend the event as either an ‘in person’ attendee or a ‘virtual’ attendee. Certain aspects of the event will be made available for each audience type. For example, we are planning field sessions to be hosted for in-person attendees with limited capacities of the hotel and all relevant health and safety precautions taken to follow protocols for the time. Virtual attendees will be able to participate in the majority of advanced training sessions as available for streaming. All virtual aspects of the meeting will be available for ‘in person’ attendees. The look and feel of this new hybrid event format is evolving and as we develop this year’s meeting and agenda, more of what each type of registration will have access to will be shared on our website.

Agenda

This year’s agenda may look a little different, but we still have over 100+ concurrent technical sessions lined up with a huge variety of topics – from laws & ethics to paleontology, from dendrology to bird conservation issues and from youth programming to water quality community science. There are some really excellent speakers too! Note that our agenda has shifted up by half a day from our historic conference schedule. Join us early for some in-person pre-conference field sessions Thursday October 21st and a welcome social that evening. Officially, we’ll kick off the 2021 Annual Meeting Friday October 22nd in the morning, have technical sessions and keynotes through the whole day Friday and Saturday October 23rd, and run through Sunday October 24th morning closing with our contest awards and 2022 recertification pin announcement.

While we finish preparing the final agenda to share in the coming week(s), we’ve prepared the following skeleton agenda with our registration pricing for this year’s HYBRID event.

Registration

Our plan is to open registration the first week of August. With this year’s hybrid event we will have TWO registration options – In-Person Registration and Virtual Registration. Registration will be first-come, first-serve. More details about each of these can be found below:

In-Person Registration*

We can’t wait to see you again! Join us in-person this year for our re-engagement with our in-person conference experience. In-person registrants will be able to attend field sessions (no transportation provided, caravan or carpool-at-will this year) exploring some key nearby natural areas where TMNs work. All technical sessions are available for in-person registrants to attend. In-person full conference registration will also include all meals Thursday evening through Sunday breakfast with ample breaks and snacks throughout (Thursday dinner, Friday breakfast, lunch and dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner; & Sunday breakfast). Registrants will also receive a registration swag bag catered to onsite learning. All registrations also include full access to the Virtual Attendee Hub conference website & app, recordings of all technical sessions for up to 6 months post-event and Annual Meeting contests, app games and session chat. Lodging is not included in the registration prices. *will be limited to 400 total participants on site each day.

Early Registration – Closes August 31st

Early – Full Event Registration – $325.00           
Early – Two Day (Friday and Saturday only) – $300.00

Standard Registration – Open September 1st – October 1st

Standard – Full Event Registration – $350.00
Standard – Two Day (Friday and Saturday only) – $325.00

Virtual Registration

Making our event accessible & interactive to everyone is key with our virtual registrants! Virtual registrants will have access to all technical sessions. There may be minor exceptions for some technical sessions where the speaker has hands on or outdoor engagement activities, however all efforts will be made to provide at home engagement tools for virtual attendees where possible. Additionally, the first 200 virtual registrants will receive a mailed registration swag box filled with goodies to stay engaged during the conference. All registrations also include full access to the Virtual Attendee Hub conference website & app, recordings of all technical sessions for up to 6 months post-event and Annual Meeting contests, app games and session chat. Lodging is not included in the registration prices.

Virtual Registration – Closes October 1st

Full Virtual Event Registration – $100.00

Late Registration – Open October 1st – October 24th

Late Virtual Registration – $125.00

Lodging

Lodging for this year’s conference will be at our contract Marriott hotel in Irving, TX. Discount lodging prices in the TMN Program block will be offered through our direct lodging reservation link. In-person registrants will be given the option to reserve lodging upon the completion of registration with that direct link emailed in the registration confirmation message. Lodging reservation will open with Meeting Registration the first week of August. Please do NOT call the hotel directly.

COVID Contingency

As a result of the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Master Naturalist Program will continue monitoring federal and state health and safety guidelines. We are committed to creating a valuable and engaging educational and networking experience, while also keeping the safety of our membership and speakers at the center of our event planning. Any decision that may change the final format of the Annual Meeting will be shared immediately and travel/registration considerations will be made alongside these updates.
The Texas Master Naturalist Program maintains its responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of its members, conference attendees and the general population while still serving its mission to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas.

For more information, please contact: Mary Pearl Meuth, (979) 845-7294