Learn about lakes in the upcoming Introduction to Lakes Online course

Register today for this opportunity to learn about inland lakes from MSU Extension and participants across the Midwest.

Photo by: Paige Filice
Photo by: Paige Filice

Michigan residents are fortunate to live in a lake-rich state and continuously get to enjoy the clean water, picturesque views, and the wide variety of fish and wildlife that go along with healthy inland lakes. Not to mention the plentiful amounts of recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, hunting and swimming. As the summer is beginning to wind down, now is a great time for those who enjoy Michigan’s inland lakes to learn more about them and how to keep them healthy.

One way to learn more about inland lakes is to enroll in the Michigan State University Extension Introduction to Lakes Online course. This extremely popular and award winning six-week course is offered in a convenient, self-paced online format and is designed for anyone interested in lakes, including lakefront property owners, lake users, local government officials, lake managers and educators. The course schedule allows for regular online communication with classmates and course instructors through discussion forums and live Ask-an-Expert webinars. Since 2014, over 1,500 lake enthusiasts across the country have participated in Introduction to Lakes Online.

In the course, participants have week-by-week, 24/7 access to six online units – complete with video lectures, activities, discussion forums, additional resources and quizzes.

Through this convenient format, participants increase their knowledge and understanding of the following topics: 

  • Lake ecology: An introduction to lake ecosystems and exploration of basic lake functions
  • Lakes and their watersheds: Primer on the water cycle, hydrologic features of watersheds, and how land use impacts water quality of inland lakes
  • Lakes and their shorelines: Review of shoreline features and functions in inland lake ecosystems and best practices to protect water quality and lake habitat
  • Introduction to aquatic plants: Introduction to plant identification, short and long-term management techniques, and regulations regarding aquatic vegetation in Michigan lakes
  • Michigan water law: Summary of federal, state, and local laws regarding riparian rights, navigability, and permitting on inland lakes in Michigan
  • Community involvement: Review of institutions involved in lake management, coordinating with other lake groups, and components of a lake management plan

Access to the course is provided on a week-by-week, unit-by-unit basis with each new unit opening on Tuesdays at 8:00 AM. Each week a new unit becomes available. Participants' access to units is based on the completion of the previous unit’s quiz. Once a unit is available to view, it remains open. A Certificate of Completion is awarded to those who complete the class.

The 2023 course kicks off on Tuesday, January 10, 2022. Three Ask-an-Expert webinars are scheduled from Noon to 1:00 p.m. on February 1, February 15, and March 1, 2023.

The course fee is $115. There is an early-bird rate of $95 if you register by 5:00 PM on December 19, 2022. Registration will close January 8, 2023. For complete registration details please visit the Introduction to Lakes Online webpage.

Current individual members of the Michigan Lakes and Streams Association (MLSA) are eligible to receive a $95 reimbursement upon successful completion of the course! Not an MLSA member? Join as an Individual Member prior to completing the course and you too can take advantage of this opportunity. Learn more about MLSA at mymlsa.org.

Participants who complete the course are also eligible for the following credits:

Course Schedule

Open Date

Unit Topic

Description

1/10/23 Getting Started Explore the Introduction to Lakes course website and introduce yourself to the class and instructors via discussion forums
1/17/23 Lake Ecology An introduction to lake ecosystems and the exploration of basic lake functions
1/24/23 Watersheds Primer on the water cycle, hydrologic features of a watershed, and land use impacts to lake water quality
1/31/23 Shorelines Review of shoreline features and functions in inland lake ecosystems and best practices to protect water quality and lake habitat
2/14/23 Aquatic Plants Introduction to plant identification, short and long-term management techniques, and regulations regarding aquatic vegetation in Michigan lakes
2/14/23 Water Law Summary of federal, state, and local laws regarding riparian rights, navigability, and permitting on inland lakes in Michigan
2/21/23 Community Involvement Review of institutions involved in lake management, coordinating with other lake groups, and components of a lake management plan

Ask-an-Expert webinar schedule (attendance is not required)

 Date

Time

Description

2/1/23 Noon to 1:00 p.m. EST Q & A regarding Unit 1: Lake Ecology and Unit 2: Watersheds
2/15/23 Noon to 1:00 p.m. EST Q & A regarding Unit 3: Shorelines and Unit 4: Aquatic Plants
3/1/23 Noon to 1:00 p.m. EST Q & A regarding Unit 5: Law and Unit 6: Community Involvement
 

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