Introduction to Lakes

Introduction to Lakes is a six-week online introductory course specially designed for anyone that wants to learn more about inland lakes including lake users, lakefront property owners, and lake managers. From the comfort of home or office, participants have access to six online units complete with closed-captioned video lectures, interactive activities, additional resources, discussion forums, and quizzes. We also host three Ask-an-Expert webinars featuring Michigan State University experts and outside organizations. The course is offered once a year, typically in January.

2022 Course Dates

Course access will begin on January 25, 2022 for a "getting acquainted" week. Subsequently every Tuesday for six weeks a new unit will become available to view and complete. Our first unit, Lake Ecology, will open February 1st. Our last unit will open March 8. Optional Ask-an-Expert webinars will be held on the following Wednesdays: February 16, March 2, and March 16 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. (EST).

The deadline to register is January 21, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. (EST).

Course Format

This is a six-week cohort based online course meaning all participants will be advancing through the educational program together in a collaborative manner. Each week a new course topic will become available for completion.


The cost of the course is $115 per person. Register by January 3, 2022 for an early bird price of $95 per person.

Registration Instructions (follow steps 1-3 below)

To register for this course, you will need to create an account, sign in with your email/password, and complete the registration process. The following is a video tutorial, demonstrating an overview of the registration process: Online Course Registration Video Tutorial. Step-by-step instructions are below.

  1. STEP #1: Create your Michigan State University Guest Account by following the instructions on this website: MSU Guest Account Creation Page. (For detailed instructions go to: Instructions: Creating Your Guest Account.)
  2. STEP #2: Login to the registration system with your Guest Account (your email) and password: Introduction to Lakes Online Course.
  3. STEP #3: Follow the instructions to register for the course. Upon registration, you will receive a receipt and instructions for accessing the course.

* If you need to reset your password, go to and select the option for "Need help Signing in."

More Information

For more information, please contact Paige Filice at

Too busy this winter but want to take the course in the future? Sign-up here to be added to our email list and you will receive a notification when registration is available next year.

Technical Assistance

If you have any technical problems, please contact the Michigan State University IT Service Desk from 7am-12am Monday through Friday and 10am-12am on Saturday/Sunday, any day that the University is open.

  • Phone: (517) 432-6200
  • Phone (toll free): 1 (844) 678-6200
  • Email Web Form

    Frequently Asked Questions

What is my username/NETID? Your username (or NET ID) is the email address you used to create your account during registration (you use the same email address/password for registering and for taking the course).

What URL do I go to for logging into the course? Go to: You will see the Michigan State University at the top of the page. Login with the email address and password you set during the registration process. Note: Course access will begin on January 25, 2022.

I received a “not authenticated” response when trying to login – what do I do? A “not authenticated” message is typically an issue with a password not being entered correctly.

I forgot my password – where can I reset it? If you need to reset your password, go to and select the option for "Need help Signing in."