Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute is seeking applications for their Class of 2015

The Institute aims to help develop individuals who can care for Michigan’s lakes and streams through education, leadership and citizen action.

Institute participants collect plants to assess lake health. Photo credit: Jane Herbert l MSU Extension
Institute participants collect plants to assess lake health. Photo credit: Jane Herbert l MSU Extension

Michigan is blessed with an amazing set of water resources. The state has more than 11,000 inland lakes, thousands of miles of rivers and streams and more than 80 major watersheds. These water resources are under constant pressure from a variety of complex human uses. Faced with such a monumental task, local communities may struggle to protect and manage these resources because management is often the responsibility of concerned citizens, decision makers, resource managers, and waterfront property owners, many of whom may not have the necessary science-based training and leadership skills needed to do so. 

The Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute (LSLI) provides training which incorporates the best available knowledge and resources needed to help communities manage Michigan’s lakes and streams and better understand local water resource management planning and program implementation. LSLI is a cooperative program of Michigan State University Extension, Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Michigan Lake and Stream Associations. 

Expert presenters from academia, natural resource agencies and local communities cover topics such as watershed management, Michigan water law and regulations, lake and stream ecology, environmental education, leadership, conflict resolution, communication, working with local and state government, and discovering new resources and partnership opportunities. This comprehensive leadership training program develops technical and people skills in an atmosphere of openness, trust, friendship and camaraderie. 

The Institute consists of three in-depth sessions held across Michigan, involving a combination of classroom learning and field-based training sessions. The 2015 Institute schedule is as follows:

In addition to the scheduled classroom and field sessions, Institute participants are required to complete an independent project based on what they learn during the Institute sessions. Graduates of the Institute include property owners, drain commissioners, professors, non-profit representatives, students, and state and local government personnel. 

If accepted, a registration fee of $375 is required. Scholarships are available to those who register. Complete details about LSLI are available at the MSU Extension web site, including an informational flyer, sample agendas, application form, and scholarship application form. 

Class size is limited to 25 participants. Don’t delay in submitting your application materials as applications will be accepted as they are received. Applications will be accepted until the class limit is reached. Application deadline is March 30, 2015. The Institute is offered on an every-other-year basis, and will not be offered again until 2017. 

For more information about LSLI, contact Dr. Jo Latimore, Aquatic Ecologist and Outreach Specialist at latimor1@msu.edu or 517-432-1491.

For learn more about Michigan’s lakes, streams, and watersheds, visit the MSU Extension website.

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