FMNP Staff

Dr. Martin Main, Program Leader
Dr. Main began developing the Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) in 1999 following a 1998 south Florida eco-heritage workshop. He realized the great need for a professional development education program on Florida's natural history. "I believe that most people are genuinely interested and concerned about nature, and that as they learn more, their level of interest and concern increases. I was surprised, however, at the tremendous response to the FMNP, which I think is a very good indication that Floridians will work hard to ensure healthy environments, clean water, and diverse wildlife are available for future generations to enjoy." Dr. Main has since contributed to the development of Master Naturalist programs in many other states and has won many awards. He is a Professor of Wildlife Ecology and now the Associate Dean of Natural Resources Extension and Associate Director of Florida Sea Grant Extension at the University of Florida.

Shelly Johnson, Program Coordinator
Dr. Johnson coordinates and manages all aspects of the Florida Master Naturalist Program. She received her PhD from the University of Florida and became the Statewide Program Coordinator in May 2017. Dr. Johnson manages day-to-day operations, programmatic expansion, evaluation, and new course development. She represents the FMNP at conferences, meetings, and in the media. It is her responsibility to establish and maintain partnerships, including oversight for services provided and collaborations with the registration coordinator, website manager, social media director, program assistants, partner organizations, contractual employees, and vendors. As a UF/IFAS State Specialized Extension Agent, she provides training and mentoring for the FMNP instructors, as well as reports/publishes on the FMNP as a comprehensive education and training program and leads revenue enhancement that supports the extension program.

Shelby Sowder, FMNP Registrar
Shelby and the UF/IFAS Office of Conferences and Institutes have worked with the FMNP since the first class launched in 2001. Shelby ensures that all registrations, finances, class logistics, and course materials are in order. She coordinates with FMNP instructors to post current course offerings and assist participants with the course registration process. Shelby’s professionalism and enthusiasm make her an instrumental partner in the success of the FMNP.

Haley Hanson, FMNP Program Assistant
Haley is responsible for coordinating social media and marketing for FMNP. She manages the official FMNP Facebook and Instagram, and monitors affiliate pages for accuracy and integrity. Haley compiles the FMNP newsletter on a quarterly basis and answers general inquiries about the program. If you have interesting photos, links, or stories to share with the FMNP, you can send them to Haley. Her passion for sharing all the wild things happening in the FMNP is invaluable.