Thank you for your interest in the Michigan State University 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 D2L course management interface which participants will complete on their own time; and 3. Volunteer service in the form of an in-class Capstone (applied) Project 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, City of Ann Arbor Natural Areas Preservation, 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, Auditorium
1800 N. Dixboro Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Directions available at: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/mbg/plan/hours.asp
Parking information available at: https://mbgna.umich.edu/visit/parking-and-conservatory-admission-at-matthaei/
Throughout the course, you will be visiting many ecologically diverse locations that highlight the natural ecosystems of the greater Washtenaw County area.
The 2018 CSP Washtenaw Winter/Spring Session 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 2018 dates are:
- March 7: Program Orientation/Nuts and Bolts; Conservation Heritage- University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor
- March 14: Ecological Foundations
- March 28: Aquatic Ecosystems (focus on Streams)
- April 11: Aquatic Ecosystems (focus on Wetlands)
- April 25: Terrestrial Ecosystems (focus on Oaks)
- May 9: Terrestrial Ecosystems (focus on Maples)
- May 23: Capstone Projects & Commencement- MSU Extension Washtenaw Office, Ann Arbor
- Two FULL-DAY FIELD SESSIONS (14 hours of instruction) will be held on SATURDAYS from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.). The 2018 dates are:
- April 28: Aquatic Field Experience
- May 12: Terrestrial Field Experience
- Five SELF-PACED ONLINE LEARNING MODULES (approximately 10 hours of self-paced material) will cover the following content:
- Michigan's Unique Conservation Heritage & Making Choices for Natural Resources Management
- Ecology 101
- Forests and Forest Ecosystems and Management
- Introduction to Lake and Wetland Ecosystems & Management
- Ecosystem Threats: Climate Change & 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 MSU Extension Volunteer Agreement and Code of Conduct.
To maintain 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 Feb. 20, 2018. A full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee will be assessed to those requesting a refund on or after Feb. 20, 2018 and up to seven business days prior to the start of class. No refunds will be issued six or less days prior to the start of class. Partial financial aid may be available. Please see "Scholarships" section below.For complete program 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 two weeks prior to the start of the course with complete instructions on registering for access to the online course in the MSU D2L course system.
Some partial scholarships for 2018 CSP Washtenaw 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 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 within seven days of when scholarship information is received, and no later than Feb. 20, 2018. All scholarship requests must be submitted no later than Feb. 20, 2018. Those receiving scholarships will be receive a refund from MSU upon completion of the program.
Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.
For questions about the program, contact Washtenaw Coordinator, Shawn Severance (email@example.com or 734-971-6337 ext. 335) or the MSU Extension CSP Coordinator, Bindu Bhakta (firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-858-5198).
For questions or difficulties regarding registering for the program, please contact MSU Extension Oakland County Support Staffperson, Cathy Morris (248-858-1639 or email@example.com).