Picture of a river at sunrise with the text 'Fall 2024 Enrollment' and the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program and MSU Extension logos.

Michigan Conservation Stewards Program

September to November 2024


The Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP) is an 8-week, hybrid educational program for adults who are enthusiastic about learning science-based ecosystem management principles and sharing this knowledge with others to help improve their local communities. Through this program, learners will learn essential strategies to understand and help restore and conserve ecosystems in Michigan communities. This program includes field experiences to explore area natural communities, online learning, and indoor classes held in unique places. Participants also put their learning into action by working directly with local conservation groups. This fall, CSP will be offered in Berrien, Macomb, Marquette, and Newyago counties. Each cohort will be instructed and organized by MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, and/or a variety of local conservation organizations and experts. 

For complete program details and cohort information, please visit the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program website.

Program Components
     - Weekly, Virtual Lessons
          + Online course content to review and complete on-your-own via the course website prior to each week's session.
     - Weekly, In-person Sessions
          + Up to three hours of lecture and field instruction at various locations within your cohort's region, date, time and location information can be found on the CSP website. 
          + 8 total sessions
     - 1-2 Saturday, In-person Field Days
          + Half-day field experiences at locations within your cohort's region, date, time and location information can be found on the CSP website.
     - Capstone (Applied) Project related to restoring and conserving Michigan’s ecosystem, with guidance provided by local instructors

Program Topics
     - Foundations of Conservation
          + Ecological Foundations & Michigan Natural Communities
          + Michigan Conservation Heritage
          + Society & Conservation
     - Terrestrial, Wetland and Aquatic Ecosystems

Certification Requirements
     - Full attendance in weekly sessions and field days
          + 2 excused absences are allowed. 
     - Completion of weekly online content and 80% or above on all online quizzes
     - Completion of Capstone Project

Program Requirements 
     - This program is for adults (18+) only.
     - The weekly sessions and field trips will be at various locations within the county you select. Please review the locations listed on the cohort pages of the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program website to ensure the travel distance is pratical for you for all weekly sessions and field days. Attendance is critical to the learning experience, and required for a program certificate.

Program Fee: $250
     - Registration includes a copy of a "Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan" which will be provided to each participant at the first session of the course. 

Cancellation Policy
All cancellation requests on or before Aug. 21, 2024, will be refunded in full less a $25 administrative fee. Cancellations received on or after Aug. 22, 2024 will not be refunded.

Scholarships
Scholarships are available for all and help offset the program registration fee. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, first complete the scholarship application below (“Application for a CSP Scholarship” button). Do not complete the participant registration for your location until you receive an email with details regarding your scholarship application. This email will provide instructions on how to complete your registration for CSP.

Enrollment for this program is limited, register today!
Michigan Conservation Stewards Program Scholarships

The application for Michigan Conservation Stewards Program Scholarships is open.

The application closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on August 18, 2024.

Berrien County Participant Registration

Registration for the Berrien County cohort is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on August 18, 2024.

There are 9 openings available.

Macomb County Participant Registration

Registration for the Macomb County cohort is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on August 18, 2024.

There are 16 openings available.

Marquette County Participant Registration

Registration for the Marquette County cohort is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on August 18, 2024.

There are 30 openings available.

Newaygo County Participant Registration

Registration for the Newaygo County cohort is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on August 18, 2024.

There are 20 openings available.

Accommodations

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.

Contact Information

For general questions and registration assistance, please contact Shelby Warner at warner80@msu.edu or 517-884-7076. For cohort and content related questions, please reach out to the cohort lead planner(s) listed below.

          - Berrien: Amy Gillan at agillan@saintmarys.edu, or Michelle McCoskey at mmccoskey@fernwoodbotanical.org
          - Macomb: Kristine Hahn at , or Cathy Morris at morri735@msu.edu
          - Marquette: Anna Ellis at ellisan9@msu.edu 
          - Newaygo: Sarah Pregitzer at spregitzer@sbcglobal.net, or Sally Wagoner at sally.w@nc-ec.org