Conservation Education

Image of fossils, raccoons, and a hawk

Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) Program (Online)


Live online instruction on Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays nights, January 10-March 2, 2023, from 6:30-8:30 pm (32 hours) plus independent outdoor study (8 hours):

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. 

Participants of this OCVN course will meet via Zoom on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, plus complete readings and multiple-choice quizzes. You must have access to a computer and internet to take this course.

$270 for the full course, including all reading materials, certification fee with OSU, and live online 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 eight 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! 

This cohort is entirely online. If you prefer to attend an in-person version, click here to be notified when registration becomes available.

Available to adults and mature teens 16 and up. Application deadline is December 27, 2022, but spots fill fast, so don’t delay!

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 fields.

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

Attendance is mandatory; do not register if you will miss more than four hours total.

All cancellations or transfers are subject to a $50 administrative fee per request. Cancellations made with less than two weeks’ notice will not be refunded. No refunds will be issued after December 27.

For any questions, please email Director of Applied Learning, Connie O'Conner at