Image of mass of water edged by greenery; overlaid with MSU Extension logo, Michigan Conservation Stewards Program logo and text box saying 'Fall 2023 Enrollment'.

Michigan Conservation Stewards Program 2023

The Oakland County, Washtenaw County, Wayne County and West Michigan Area cohorts are full. Please sign up for the wait list at this time.

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

Thank you for your interest in the Michigan State University Extension Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP), an educational program for those 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, participants will learn essential strategies to understand and help restore and conserve ecosystems in Michigan communities. 

Learn the foundations of Michigan conservation and how you can apply your knowledge at the local community level. 

Program planners and instructors for CSP include Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, and a variety of local conservation experts.

Topics covered by the program include:
  • Foundations of Conservation
    • Ecological Foundations & Michigan Natural Communities
    • Michigan Conservation Heritage
    • Society & Conservation
  • Terrestrial, Wetland and Aquatic Ecosystems
CSP is now enrolling participants for its 10-week, hybrid fall 2023 program. The program will consist of:
  • Virtual lessons (self-paced)
    • Weekly online learning content completed prior to each week's evening session. 
  • Weekly evening sessions at various locations within your cohort's region (in-person)
    • There will be 8 sessions in total. There will not be weekly evening sessions the weeks of Oct. 30-Nov. 3, and Nov. 6-10, 2023. 
  • 1-2 Saturday field trips at a location within your cohort's region (in-person)
  • Capstone (Applied) Project related to restoring and conserving Michigan’s ecosystem, with guidance provided by local mentor
The program will begin the week of Sept. 11 and run through the week of Nov. 13, 2023. Each cohorts schedule of their weekly evening sessions and field trips can be found on the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program page

SEVEN local cohorts will be running concurrently: Capital Area (Ingham, Eaton, Clinton), Grand Traverse, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, Wayne and West Michigan (Kalamazoo, Barry, Calhoun).  Enrollment for this program is limited. Each cohort is limited to 30 participants/location.

For the best learning experience, participants are required to register for the corresponding program location closest to where they live. For each location, conservation partners will be giving locally-relevant program lectures and participants will be expected to attend all weekly evening sessions and field trips in these areas of Michigan. If you do not live near one of these areas and/or will not be able to travel to one of these locations to complete the field activities, please sign up here to be notified for future programsWe anticipate offering CSP in the future.

To receive a Certificate of Completion for the course, participants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete all virtual course content
  • Attend cohort weekly evening sessions and field trips
  • Complete Capstone Project 

The registration fee includes a copy of a "Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan" and will be provided to each participant at the first weekly evening session of the course. 

Regular Program Registration Fee: $250

Last date to register is Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023.
A full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee will be assessed to those requesting a refund on or before Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. No refunds will be issued on and after Saturday, September 2.

Scholarships. Partial financial aid to offset the program registration fee is available. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, you must first complete the scholarship application below (button “Apply here for a Michigan Conservation Stewards Program scholarship”). Do not complete the participant registration for your location until you receive an email message with details regarding your request. This email will provide additional details regarding steps for completing your registration process for CSP.


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 or 517-884-7076. For cohort and content related questions, please reach out to the designated contact below.