Grow your appreciation for Michigan’s inland lakes

Lakes hold a special place in our hearts – no matter if you’re a Michigander born and raised, or a visitor to the Great Lakes State – and can provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Visiting natural areas can improve mood, reduce stress and boost immune systems.

Whether you live on a lake, frequent a secret fishing spot or escape the daily grind on a camping trip to a serene lake in the woods, lakes provide irreplaceable benefits to our mental and physical health and deserve our appreciation and attention.

Michigan State University Extension is offering a unique opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of inland lakes with enrollment in the Introduction to Lakes Online course, a nationally recognized, award-winning, six-week class in a convenient, self-paced online format. The course is designed for anyone who has a passion or curiosity for inland lakes, including lakefront property owners, local government officials, lake managers and educators. Course instructors include MSU Extension educators and state agency personnel.

Registration and course information
The course kicks off Jan. 10, and runs through March 3. Registration is open now through Jan. 8, with an early-bird discount of $95 per person if registered by Dec. 19. Scholarships are available. Registration information is available on the Introduction to Lakes Online course webpage.

Since the course was first offered online in 2015, more than 1,500 people across the country have taken it. Participants consistently praise the content and interactions they have with instructors and other students.

Students have week-by-week, 24/7 access to six online units, complete with prerecorded video lectures, interactive activities, additional resources and quizzes. Students communicate with each other and instructors through lively discussion forums and biweekly webinars. Ask-an-expert webinars provide opportunities to learn from experts at the DNR, Michigan State University and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. Course topics include lake ecology, watersheds, shorelines, Michigan water law, aquatic plant management and community involvement. A certificate of completion is awarded to those who finish the course, and students receive a free, one-year membership to the Michigan Lakes and Streams Association.

Students also can receive continuing education credits, including 16 Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Pesticide Applicator Re-Certification credits and educational hours in the MSU Extension Master Citizen Planner, Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs.

Questions? Contact Paige Filice (MSU Extension) at 517-676-7291 or Joe Nohner (DNR) at 517-599-6825.