Michigan is blessed with more than 11,000 inland lakes and each provides unique recreational, scenic and environmental benefits. These inland lakes are complex ecosystems and are often negatively impacted by both the people that live near them as well as the water that drains into them. Frequently, local communities struggle to protect and manage inland lakes in a way that incorporates the best available knowledge and resources. Concerned citizens, decision makers, local leaders, resource professionals and lakefront property owners can learn about inland lake management and protection by enrolling in the MSU Extension Introduction to Lakes online course.
Introduction to Lakes is a six-week online course specially designed for lake users, lakefront property owners, and lake managers interested in learning about inland lakes. From the comfort of home or office, participants have 24/7 access to six online units complete with closed captioned video lectures, interactive activities, additional resources, discussion forums, quizzes and live chat sessions with classmates and Michigan State University Extension experts. Through this convenient format, participants increase their knowledge and understanding of the following topics:
- Lake ecology
- Lakes and their watersheds
- Michigan water law
- Aquatic plant management
- Community involvement in lake stewardship
The course is taught on a week-by-week basis, allowing for online communication between classmates and instructors through topical discussion forums. The course also includes three pre-scheduled ask-an-expert webinar sessions with instructors and outside experts. MSU Extension course instructors include Bindu Bhakta, Erick Elgin, Dr. Jo Latimore, Dr. Lois Wolfson and Brad Neumann. Sign up for the electronic MSU Extension newsletter and select “lakes, streams, and watersheds” to stay informed about future offerings.
Introduction to Lakes Course Information
Registration: The the next offering of Introduction to Lakes will likely be in early 2020. Sign up to be notified when the next offering is announced.
Available Benefits and Continuing Education Credits: Those completing the 2019 course were eligible for the following.
- A free one-year membership to Michigan Lake Stewardship Associations, including 4 issues of The Michigan Riparian magazine
- Sixteen Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Pesticide Applicator Re-certification credits
- 6 Master Citizen Planner Education Credits
- 16 Master Gardener Credits
- 27 credits in The Wildlife Society Category I of the Certified Wildlife Biologist® Renewal/Professional Development Certificate Program
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This online course aims to help students achieve a deeper understanding of Michigan’s inland lake ecology and will make your next visit even more meaningful.