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
Introduction to Lakes is offered once a year, typically in January. 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 Ask-an-Expert webinar sessions with instructors and outside experts. Course instructors include Bindu Bhakta, Erick Elgin, Paige Filice, Dr. Jo Latimore, Brad Neumann, Mary Reilly, and Dr. Lois Wolfson.
2022 Introduction to Lakes Information
The 2022 course offering runs January 25 - March 16, 2022. The deadline to register is January 21, 2022 at 5:00pm EST. Additional information and our online registration form can be found here.
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.
Continuing Education Credits
Everyone who completes the course will receive a free, one-year membership to Michigan Lakes and Streams Association, including four issues of The Michigan Riparian magazine. Continuing Education Credits are also available including:
- 6 Master Citizen Planner Education credits
- 16 Michigan Conservation Stewards Program advanced training hours
- 16 Michigan Master Naturalist credits
- 16 Master Gardner education hours
Question about Introduction to Lakes? Reach out!
Natural Resources Educator
Michigan State University Extension
Published on July 28, 2020
Celebrate lakes appreciation month by expanding your lake knowledge.
Published on April 24, 2020
Whether you want to dip your toes or take a deep dive, we have an educational experience for you.
Published on April 15, 2020
The Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program is on hiatus until 2021, but there are lake monitoring options for 2020.