EmpowerU: Engaging Decision Makers in Natural Resource Issues

Have you been working on a natural resource conservation issue but feel compelled to do more? Taking part in the EmpowerU Program will move your invasive species work to the next level!

In this seven week course, woodland and shoreline owners, master volunteers, and natural resources professionals can grow their skills to meaningfully engage decision makers about natural resource issues. Through a series of self-paced online learning activities and one in-person workshop, participants will:

  • Gain understanding of the roles and levels of government, and who to contact regarding natural resource management.

  • Learn to use skills such as influence, persuasion, framing, questioning and listening in interactions with decision makers.

  • Know where to find reputable information on the status of natural resources in your area.

  • Create an engagement plan and experience practicing it in a safe, peer-learning environment.

  • See yourself as a resource to decision makers on your chosen natural resource issue.

  • View engagement with decision makers as a norm and encourage others to do it.

  • Network with other people passionate to make a difference around natural resource conservation.  

The cost for the series is $40, which includes access to all six online sessions, handouts, and a one-day, in-person workshop.

Choose one of two dates and locations for the in-person workshop: 

  • Friday, March 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Greater Lansing area, OR
  • Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Grayling area.

Registration for EmpowerU: Engaging Decison Makers in Natural Resource Issues is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on February 7, 2020.

There are 29 openings available.


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 further information contact one of the instructors: Georgia Peterson, petersog@msu.edu; Julie Crick, crickjul@msu.edu; or Eric Walcott, walcott3@msu.edu.