Michigan Conservation Stewards Program - Oakland

Date: September 15, 2018 - October 24, 2018
Location: MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center, 28115 Meadowbrook Rd. Novi, MI 48377
Contact: Cathy Morris, 248-858-1639, morrisc@oakgov.com; Bindu Bhakta, 248-858-5198, bhaktabi@anr.msu.edu

Thank you for your interest in the Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) 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, Clinton River Watershed Council, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Huron-Clinton Metropark Authority, Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), MSU Extension, MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center, Michigan Nature Association, Department of Natural Resources, University of Michigan, and MSU Institute of Water Research. 

The first class will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

Directions available at: http://tollgate.msu.edu/

2018 CSP Oakland consists of approximately 40 hours of instruction:

Six in-person sessions (21 hours of instruction) will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 - 9 p.m.:

September 19: Michigan Ecosystems/Oakland County Priority Natural Areas
September 26: Michigan’s Glacial and Post-Glacial History- Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills
October 3: Grassland Ecosystems and Management- Addison Township, Leoonard
October 10: Ecosystem Threats
October 17: Conservation Case Studies
October 24: Capstone Project Presentations & Commencement

Three full-day Saturday field sessions (21 hours of instruction): 

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Program Nuts & Bolts/Capstone Projects- MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center, Novi
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Aquatic Field Experience- Independence Oaks County Park, Clarkston
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, 9 a.m. - p.m.: Terrestrial Field Experience- Indian Springs Metropark, White Lake

Self-paced online learning modules (approximately 10 hours) on the following topics:
  • Michigan’s Conservation Heritage & Making Choices for Natural Resources Management
  • Ecology 101
  • Forest Ecosystems and Management
  • Lake Ecosystems and Management
  • Wetland Ecosystems & Management
  • Ecosystem Threats: Invasive Species

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 Sept. 7, 2018. A full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee will be assessed to those requesting a refund on or after September 1st 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. Once registered for the program complete details will be emailed one week prior to the start of the course with complete instructions on registering for access to the online course in the MSU D2L course system.

Scholarships: Some partial scholarships for 2018 CSP Oakland participants are available. The 2018 scholarship application process is incorporated into the course registration. To apply for financial assistance, please complete the entire registration process, including payment of the course registration fee in full. Note: Enrollment in this program is limited. It is important that you complete the registration process including paying in full so that you don’t lose your seat while you await notification of your scholarship. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis, reviewed based on the order in which they are received, and until scholarship funds are fully allocated. Awardees will be notified prior to the training registration deadline. All scholarship requests must be submitted no later than Sept. 7, 2018. Those receiving scholarships will receive a refund from MSU upon completion of the program.


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