A six-week online course offered yearly designed for those interested in learning about inland lakes. Participants learn and explore lake ecology, watersheds, natural shorelines, water law, aquatic plants, and citizen involvement.

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 Online is a six-week 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:

  1. Lake ecology
  2. Watersheds
  3. Shorelines
  4. Aquatic plant management
  5. Michigan water law
  6. Community involvement

Introduction to Lakes Online 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, Julia Kirkwood, Dr. Jo Latimore, Brad Neumann, Mary Reilly, and Dr. Lois Wolfson.

Want to learn more about the course? Check out our 2022 course syllabus.

2023 Course Information

Enrollment for our January 2023 offering of Introduction to Lakes Online will begin in the fall of 2022. Sign-up below to be added to our email list and you will receive a notification when enrollment opens. Thank you for your interest!

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Questions about Introduction to Lakes? Contact:

Paige Filice
Natural Resources Educator
Michigan State University Extension


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