Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) Program

The Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) Program is run through The Ohio State University Extension. Participants wishing to receive the OCVN certification complete 45 hours of instructor-led training and 40 hours of community service. Coursework includes training in geology, plants, insects, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, ecology, stewardship, and interpretation. Classes are offered throughout the state, and now include a host site at Cincinnati Nature Center’s Center for Conservation.  NEW: Teens aged 16 and 17 can join adults in this course.

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the summer OCVN classes are being moved to an online format only. If you registered for the spring or in-person summer classes, you can transfer your registration to the online classes. If you do not want to transfer, you can receive a refund. Please contact Sharon at to either transfer your registration or obtain your refund.

Cincinnati Nature Center and Ohio State University Extension are glad to continue their partnership supporting the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Program!  OSU Extension has postponed, canceled, or is offering virtually all face to face events planned through July 6, and likely for the entire summer. For this reason and because of the current Ohio Stay Safe at Home Order, our summer OCVN course will use a virtual format. 

We will meet entirely online for 8 weeks, with classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 – 8 pm starting June 2.  There will be readings and required outdoor homework assignments too. At the end, there will be an online quiz to assess your knowledge.  To participate under these unusual conditions, you will need a computer and internet service and should be familiar with Zoom meetings.  We will have a practice session for those who want help with their technology before the course begins.  After you complete this course, the next step will be for you to volunteer 40 hours at a local environmental organization. Please note: virtual service opportunities such as citizen science and related continuing education will count to that 40 hours.  Then you will become an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist! Spaces are limited so hurry!

Each cohort course at Cincinnati Nature Center is 45 hours; Price is $260 (discount price of $160 for current Cincinnati Nature Center volunteers with 20 hours of service over the past 12 months). 

Click here for more information and to register.

For more information, contact Connie O’Connor at

Cincinnati Nature Center OCVN Summer Online Cohort

All classes take place from 6-8 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in June and July

  • June 2
  • June 6
  • June 9
  • June 11
  • June 16
  • June 18
  • June 23
  • June 25
  • July 7
  • July 9
  • July 14
  • July 16
  • July 21
  • July 23
  • July 28
  • July 30