Michigan Conservation Stewards Program - Oakland

Date: April 27, 2016
Time: Wednesday Evenings from 6 - 9 p.m.
Location: MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center 28115 Meadowbrook Rd. Novi, MI 48377
Contact: Bindu Bhakta (bhaktabi@anr.msu.edu or 248-858-5198) or Cathy Morris (morrisc@oakgov.com or 248-858-1639)

Thank you for your interest in the Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP), a volunteer leader training program for those who are enthusiastic about learning science-based ecosystem management principles and sharing this knowledge with others to help improve Michigan communities. CSP is ideal for individuals interested in Michigan’s natural communities, current conservation issues, outdoor recreation, nature study, natural area management, and a variety of other topics such as lake/stream monitoring and habitat restoration. Through participation in this program, you will learn essential strategies to help restore and conserve ecosystems in Washtenaw County and throughout Michigan.

Becoming a Conservation Steward involves the completion of the following: 1. Classroom and field-based training led by experts in various fields of conservation and natural resources, including lectures, interactive learning and field experiences; 2. Self-paced online learning modules provided via Michigan State University’s Desire2Learn (D2L) course management interface which participants will complete on their own; and 3. Volunteer service including the completion of an in-class Capstone Project related to an area of interest as well as additional community volunteer service related to restoring and conserving Michigan’s ecosystems.

Program partners for the Oakland Conservation Stewards Program include Oakland County Parks and Recreation, Friends of Highland Recreation Area, Clinton River Watershed Council, Cranbrook Institute of Science, E.L. Johnson Nature Center, Huron-Clinton Metropark Authority, Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), MSU Extension, MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center, MSU Institute of Water Research, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The first class will be held at:

MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center
28115 Meadowbrook Rd.
Novi, MI 48377
More directions available at: http://tollgate.msu.edu/

2016 CSP Oakland consists of approximately 40 hours of instruction:

  • Seven in-person sessions (21 hours of instruction) will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 - 9 p.m. The 2016 dates and locations are:
  • September 6: Program Orientation and Nuts and Bolts- MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center, Novi
  • September 13: Michigan Conservation Heritage- E.L. Johnson Nature Center, Bloomfield Hills
  • September 20: Ecological Foundations
  • September 27: Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • October 4: Aquatic Ecosystems- Rochester Hills Library, Rochester
  • October 11: Invasive Species- Highland Recreation Area, Highland
  • October 18: Capstone Projects & Commencement- MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center
  • Two full-day Saturday field sessions (14 hours of instruction): 
    • Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Terrestrial Field Experience- Indian Springs Metropark, White Lake
    • Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Aquatic Field Experience- Independence Oaks County Park, Clarkston

  • Five self-paced online learning modules will cover the following content: (1) Michigan’s Unique Conservation Heritage & Making Choices for Natural Resources Management; (2) Ecology 101; (3) Forests and Forest Ecosystems and Management 101; (4) Introduction to Lakes and Wetland Ecosystems & Management; and (5) Climate Change. (approximately 10 hours)

To become a certified Michigan Conservation Steward, participants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Attend all classes (indoor and outdoor field experiences) and complete online learning modules
  • Complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer conservation service within one year (including hours spent on in-class Capstone Project)
  • Comply with the MSUE Volunteer Agreement and Code of Conduct.

To maintain your certification, Michigan Conservation Stewards must complete the following annually:

  • 20 hours of volunteer conservation service on approved projects
  • 8 hours of advanced training
  • Comply with the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program Manual of Policies and Procedures and the Conservation Stewards Program Volunteer Agreement and Code of Conduct

Program Registration Fee: $250. Last date to register is Aug. 26, 2016. A full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee will be assessed to those requesting a refund on or after August 25 and up to seven business days prior to the start of class.

For complete registration details please visit the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program page.           

Enrollment: To enroll in CSP, please complete the online registration and agreement forms. Full payment is required at the time of enrollment. Partial scholarships are available—please complete a scholarship application and the Conservation Stewards Program registration below. You must register for the program to be considered for a scholarship. Scholarship requests must be submitted no later than Aug. 5, 2016.

Some partial scholarships for 2016 CSP Oakland participants are available. The 2016 scholarship application process is incorporated into the course registration. To apply for financial assistance, please complete the entire registration process, including payment of the registration fee in full. It is important that you complete the registration process for the program so you don’t lose your seat while you await notification for your scholarship, as seats in the program are limited. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed in the order of which they are received, and until scholarship funds are fully allocated. Awardees will be notified within seven days of when scholarship information is received, and no later than Aug. 30. All scholarship requests must be submitted no later than Aug. 12, 2016. Those receiving scholarships will be receive a refund from MSU for any amount due back to them.

If you have difficulty making the payment or need information about delayed payment options, please contact Bindu Bhakta at 248-858-5198 or bhaktabi@anr.msu.edu.


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