Areas of Speciality
- Texas Master Naturalist restoration and education projects
- Nonpoint source pollution reduction education
- Marine ecosystem youth education
- Hurricane recovery
- 2014 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Superior Service Award
- 2012 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Superior Service Award (team category)
- 2010 Assembly of Sea Grant Extension Program Leaders Superior Outreach Programming Award (team category)
- Galveston Bay Area Chapter – Texas Master Naturalist (Facebook)
- Fishing Line – Recycle Yours in Galveston County (Facebook)
One of Julie Massey’s primary responsibilities is working with the Galveston Bay Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists, an active group of more than 200 volunteers. Massey serves as the group’s advisor to help members achieve their goals in restoration, education and outreach.
Every year, she offers an 11-week training class for new Master Naturalists as well as the required eight hours of advanced training that individuals need to become and remain certified. Each member is also required to do 40 hours of service each year, and they fill those hours with education and outreach in the community, wetlands restoration, prairie restoration and a Junior Naturalist program to teach young people about local natural resources. Volunteers also conduct beach and bay walks at Galveston Island State Park from April through November and beach patrols for nesting sea turtles from March through July. A group of volunteer master naturalists conduct public tours every Thursday at the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Galveston Sea Turtle Facility.
In 2014, Galveston’s Master Naturalists provided 36,738 hours of volunteer time with a value of $778,237 to the state. That included 324 outreach and educational programs directly contacting 11,605 individuals, and restoring or enhancing 70 acres of threatened ecosystems at Armand Bayou Nature Center, Sheldon Lakes State Park, Texas City Prairie Preserve, Galveston Island State Park and other locations.
Outreach programs include school field trips to beach, bay and prairie locations. Massey runs some field trips herself and also educates volunteers so they can lead the trips as well. With degrees in marine biology and wildlife and fisheries, and seven years of experience as a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Massey often talks about fisheries ecology, fish adaptations and water conservation.
Outreach efforts also target adult groups and environmental organizations. In addition, Master Naturalist volunteers organize local participation in the Dolphin Challenge, the northern Texas regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. NOSB is a program to teach high school students about the oceans and to raise the visibility of our nation’s investment in ocean-related research.
In 2014, Massey received a Superior Service Award from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension for her leadership, support and guidance of volunteers involved in education, training and restoration activities. She also was a member of a team of Texas Sea Grant agents and specialists who won the 2012 Superior Service Award in the team category from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension for their work helping commercial shrimp fishermen qualify for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2010, she was a member of another team of Texas Sea Grant staff whose Hurricane Ike response outreach earned them the Assembly of Sea Grant Extension Program Leaders Superior Outreach Programming Award.