Leave No Trace Master Educator

This course provides participants with a comprehensive overview of Leave No Trace skills and ethics through practical application in a field-based setting.

This course provides participants with a comprehensive overview of Leave No Trace skills and ethics through practical application in a field-based setting. Students will practice LNT teaching strategies by delivering a planned lesson. The Master Educator course prepares students to deliver 2 day Leave No Trace Trainer courses and 1 day or shorter Awareness Workshops.

Landmark Master Educator courses are run as a Basecamp format: Students and instructors start each day at Landmark’s Downstream Campus and travel to different field locations for day trips, culminating in a 1 day community outreach opportunity.

Course Outline

This course will run rain or shine, so be prepared for whatever weather we could encounter.

Sample course itinerary. You will provide all your own meals:

  • Day 1: 8:30AM Course start at Base classroom. We’ll cover the foundations of the course in a variety of formats (lecture, discussions, group breakouts, practical workshops, etc). After lunch, trip to Judaculla Rock and the Jackson County Greenway.
  • Day 2: 8AM Panthertown Valley, day hike, waterfalls, views
  • Day 3: 8AM Deep Creek, day hike
  • Day 4: 8AM Black Balsam, day hike
  • Day 5: 8AM Oconaluftee Visitors’ Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Interface with visitors; provide demonstrations, literature, and activities for groups. Graduation and departure by 3PM.

This institution is operated under special use permit with the Nantahala National Forest.

General Information

Course Length

40 hours / 5 days


Comfort in the outdoors and hiking on backcountry trails.

Leave No Trace courses do not teach basic travel, camping, or other outdoor skills.

Certifications Received

Certificate of course completion

Course Length

Teachers in NC can receive continuing education hours.

Course Expectations

Teaching Topics: The Teaching Topic is the cornerstone of the Master Educator experience. It provides the opportunity to prepare a lesson plan, deliver it, and receive immediate feedback from peers and instructors. Each Master Educator candidate is expected to teach one of the seven principles of Leave No Trace to the class, incorporating into their topic the content and style necessary to teach a group they may encounter as a Master after this course. For example, if the candidate will be working with school groups, s/he should address our class as school-aged students and prepare activities or discussion to fit that particular audience. Or, if the candidate will be working in general education at trailheads or on the trail, s/he should address our class as recreationists s/he might encounter. In preparing your topic, imagine that we (your classmates) know nothing about Leave No Trace. Each candidate will be evaluated through peer review and by course instructors for depth of content, appropriateness for the chosen audience, and instructional style. Sign up for your topic with your registration material, and get online to research: lnt.org

Additional Details

Please Note: The Master Educator course is not designed to provide instruction on backcountry living skills. The backcountry aspect of the experience is meant to provide relevance to the curriculum, through practicing Leave No Trace techniques and methods, observing examples of impact, and creating an awareness of use and its purposes. The course itinerary is very full, and does not allow time for teaching how to light stoves, cook, purify water, and set up tents, for example. It is assumed that participants come with a level of comfort for living in a backcountry setting, and with all their own gear. If you feel that you would require instruction in any of these backcountry living skills, please contact our office to discuss your goals and alternatives available to you.