An intensive, multi-session statewide leadership development program, held biennially. Participants develop their technical and people skills in an atmosphere of openness, trust, friendship and camaraderie.

Lake and Stream Leaders Institute logo


Caring for Michigan’s lakes and streams through education, leadership, and civic engagement.

A regular Lake and Stream Leaders Institute will not be offered in 2021 due to Covid-19. Instead, all are welcome to join us for a free, 3-hour interactive workshop.


About the Institute

Many of Michigan’s 36,000 miles of streams and 11,000 lakes are facing pressure from competing human uses, and local communities often struggle to protect and manage these valuable aquatic resources in a way that incorporates the best available knowledge and resources. Community members, decision makers, water resource professionals, and waterfront property owners can become more effective stewards of Michigan’s waterways in the Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute.

As a participant, you will learn in the classroom and outdoors as we explore Michigan lakes, streams, and watersheds. Experts from universities, natural resource agencies, and local communities will share their experience in watershed management, lake and stream ecology, environmental education, leadership, conflict management, and working with organizations and government agencies.

The Institute meets during three sessions (5 days total) held across Michigan. Participants complete an independent applied project, based on what they learn during the Institute sessions. Projects can be designed to match each participant’s area of interest.  Past examples include organizing public forums or educational programs related to lakes and streams, initiating projects that protect or promote water quality, assisting in local water resource management activities and conducting water quality monitoring studies.

Upon graduation, participants become part of the Institute’s Alumni Program which offers networking, educational, and service opportunities. Institute alumni include property owners, drain commissioners, professors, non-profit organization representatives, students, and state and local government personnel.

The Lake and Stream Leaders Institute is a cooperative program of Michigan State University Extension, the Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and the Michigan Lakes and Streams Association. The Institute is endorsed by the Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership.

In the past, the Institute has been approved for continuing education credits, including Michigan State University Extension Master Citizen Planner.

Apply to Participate

Due to COVID-19, the Institute will not be offered in 2021. If you wish to be notified by email when the next Institute is announced, please provide your contact information


Program Contact

Dr. Jo A. Latimore
Aquatic Ecologist and Outreach Specialist
MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Natural Resources Building
480 Wilson Road, Room 13
East Lansing, MI  48824
(517) 432-1491


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