Michigan Conservation Stewards Program - Washtenaw

Date: September 7, 2016 - October 19, 2016
Time: 6 - 9 p.m.
Location: Matthaei Botanical Gardens 1800 N. Dixboro Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Contact: Bindu Bhakta, bhaktabi@anr.msu.edu, 248-858-5198

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 Planners for the Washtenaw Conservation Stewards Program include Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, Huron River Watershed Council, Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office, Michigan Nature Association, Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, The Stewardship Network, Council, City of Ann Arbor Natural Areas Preservation, Ann Arbor Wild Ones, and Legacy Land Conservancy.

Instruction is provided by Michigan Natural Features Inventory, University of Michigan, Michigan State University Extension, and a variety of local experts.

The first class will be held at:

Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Room 125
1800 N. Dixboro Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-647-7600
More directions available at: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/mbg/plan/hours.asp

You will be visiting many ecologically diverse locations throughout the greater Washtenaw County area. Field sites that highlight the natural communities of the County will be held at a variety of locations, each being hosted by CSP Washtenaw program partners. 

2016 CSP Washtenaw consists of approximately 40 hours of instruction:

  • Seven in-person sessions (21 hours of instruction) will be held on WEDNESDAY EVENINGS from 6 - 9 PM. The 2016 dates and locations are:
    • September 7: Orientation/Program Nuts and Bolts- Matthaei Botanical Gardens
    • September 14: Michigan Conservation Heritage- Matthaei Botanical Gardens
    • September 21: Ecological Foundations and Ecoregions
    • September 28: Terrestrial Ecosystems
    • October 5: Aquatic Ecosystems
    • October 12: Invasive Species/Climate Change
    • October 19: Capstone Projects & Commencement- Matthaei Botanical Gardens
  • Two FULL-DAY SATURDAY FIELD SESSIONS (14 hours of instruction). The 2016 dates/locations are:
    • Saturday, October 1, 2016, 9 am- 4 pm: Terrestrial Field Experience- Reichert Preserve; Independence Lake Prairie
    • Saturday, October 15, 2016, 9 am- 4 pm: Aquatic Field Experience- Independence Lake; Hudson Mills

  • 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. 30, 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.

Scholarships:
Some partial scholarships for 2016 CSP Washtenaw 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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