West Michigan Area

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. 

The West Michigan Area (Barry, Calhoun, Kalamazoo) cohort will host their weekly evening sessions from 6-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, from Sept. 14 to Nov. 16, 2023. Weekly evening sessions will meet throughout the West Michigan Area region. Exact locations and speakers will be announced once available. Please note, there will not be weekly evening sessions on Nov. 2 and Nov. 9, 2023.

The West Michigan Area cohort's field trips will be held on September 23 and October 28, 2023. 

West Michigan Area Schedule 





Sept. 14

Program Orientation; Foundations of Conservation: Ecological Foundations; What is a Natural Community?

Kellogg Biological Station (KBS)

Misty Klotz, Kellogg Biological Station (KBS); Ellen Holste, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI); Beth Clawson, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension; Nick Haddad, KBS/MSU

Sept. 21

Foundations of Conservation: Society & Conservation

Kellogg Biological Station (KBS)

Ayley Shortridge, KBS; Beth Clawson, MSU; Partner Organizations

Sat., Sept. 23,

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Wetlands Field Trip

Palmer Memorial Nature Sanctuary and Wilkie Memorial Plant Preserve on Paw Paw Lake

Rachel Maranto, Conservation Manager, Michigan Nature Association (MNA); Dan Burton, MNA Steward and CSP alumni

Sept. 28

Aquatic Ecosystems: Lakes

Kellogg Biological Station (KBS)

Erick Elgin, MSU Extension; Julia Kirkwood, Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)

Oct. 5

Aquatic Ecosystems: Streams 

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI) 

Eric Snyder, PhD, Grand Valley State University; Sara Syswerda, PhD, PCCI

Oct. 12

Aquatic Ecosystems: Wetland Ecosystems

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI)

Danielle Zoellner, PhD; Ellen Holste, PhD, PCCI

Oct. 19

Terrestrial Ecosystems: Forests   

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI) 

Jarred Saralecos, MSU; Drew Vandegrift, PCCI; Ben Savoie, District Forester for Barry, Allegan, and Ottawa Conservation Districts

Oct. 26

Terrestrial Ecosystems: Grasslands 

Kellogg Bird Sanctuary

Tyler Bassett, PhD, Michigan Natural Features Inventory; Cynthia Fiser, MSU

Sat., Oct. 28,

9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Forest, Prairie, Macroinvertebrates Field Trip

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI)

Georgia Peterson, MSU Extension; Matt Dykstra, PCCI; Denny Stelzer

Nov. 2

No Class



Nov. 9

No Class



Nov. 16

Putting it All Together: Capstone Project Celebration

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI)

CSP Students

For cohort and content related questions, please reach out to Misty Klotz at klotzmis@msu.edu.

For general questions and registration assistance, please contact Shelby Warner at warner80@msu.edu or 517-884-7076.