Conservation Education

Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) Program

Tuesdays (June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28, July 12, July 19) from 9 am-5 pm (click here to register) 

Hosted by Cincinnati Nature Center in collaboration with OSU Extension in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, the mission of the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program is to “promote awareness and citizen stewardship of Ohio's natural resources through science-based education and community service”. The program emphasizes hands-on natural resource and environmental education coupled with volunteer service. Coursework includes training in geology, plants, insects, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, ecology, stewardship, and interpretation. Classes are offered throughout the state, and Cincinnati Nature Center is the largest provider. 

$270 for the full course (entire six-day series), including all reading materials, certification fee with OSU, and live instruction.  

To receive certification, upon completing the OCVN course, participants must document 40 hours of volunteer service at any Ohio organization with a compatible program mission. After certification, 20 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of continuing education are required annually to remain certified. If you choose not to pursue certification, you are still welcome to take this course for your own knowledge and enjoyment.   

This is a great way to meet like-minded new friends and get to know nature center staff while taking your commitment to nature a step further! 

The summer session of OCVN will be held entirely in person. For more information on enrolling for future OCVN classes, please click here and fill out our contact form

Available to adults and mature teens 16 and up. Application deadline is Tuesday, May 31, 2022, but spots fill fast, so don’t delay! The summer cohort is the only one offered at Cincinnati Nature Center this year that is entirely in-person!

Program Benefits:

  • Learn about the biology, ecology, and natural history of Ohio and how to share the knowledge with others. 
  • Become part of a local and statewide network of dedicated volunteers. 
  • Apply your talents and passion to protecting, restoring, and understanding Ohio's natural treasures.
  • Meet nature center staff, professors, and experts from a variety of organizations.

For more information, click here to read the brochure or visit 

Attendance is mandatory; do not register if you will miss ANY of the six full days, as you cannot make these classes up at a later date and will not graduate. Weekly supplemental readings and mini-quizzes are also required.

  • Tuesday, June 7 from 9 am - 5 pm
  • Tuesday, June 14 from 9 am - 5 pm
  • Tuesday, June 21 from 9 am - 5 pm
  • Tuesday, June 28 from 9 am - 5 pm
  • Tuesday, July 12 from 9 am - 5 pm
  • Tuesday, July 19 from 9 am - 5 pm

Registrants will meet at our Rowe Woods location (4949 Tealtown Rd., Milford, OH 45150).