Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) Program

The popular OSU Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist course will be offered again this Fall using our popular online format. Join us for 15 virtual, live presentations (Tuesdays and Thursdays) September through November. Cost is $260 and includes training manual and certification fees to Ohio State University. The mission of the OCVN 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 one of the largest providers. Teens aged 16 and 17 can join adults in this course.

Participants in this cohort of the OCVN program will participate in 30 hours of online presentations and 10 hours of required outdoor homework, plus readings to prepare for a multiple choice test. You must have access to a computer and internet to take this course. 

Upon completing the OCVN course, participants are eligible to volunteer 40 hours of volunteer service at any Ohio organization with a compatible program mission. Following the required volunteer service, certification is granted by OSU. After certification, 20 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training 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 skip the volunteerism.

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!  

Cost is $260 and includes training manual and certification fees to Ohio State University.  (Diiscount 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 Fall Online Cohort

All classes take place from 6-8 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in September-November

  • Tuesday, Sept. 29, 6–8 pm (Online) 
  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 6–8 pm (Online) 
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6, 6–8 pm (Online)               
  • Thursday, Oct. 8, 6–8 pm (Online)  
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13, 6–8 pm (Online)  
  • Thursday, Oct. 15, 6–8 pm (Online)  
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20, 6–8 pm (Online)  
  • Thursday, Oct. 22, 6–8 pm (Online)  
  • Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 am–3 pm (Optional Field Day at Rowe Woods)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 6–8 pm (Online)  
  • Thursday, Oct. 29, 6–8 pm (Online)   
  • Thursday, Nov. 5, 6–8 pm (Online)  
  • Thursday, Nov 12, 6–8 pm (Online)  
  • Tuesday, Nov 17, 6–8 pm (Online)  
  • Thursday, Nov 19, 6–8 pm (Online)  
  • Tuesday, Nov 24, 6–8 pm (Online) 

There will be one optional free field day at Cincinnati Nature Center's Rowe Woods location (4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, OH 45150) on Saturday, Oct 24 from 9 am–3 pm, which can substitute for 6 hours of self-led homework assignments.

Attendance is mandatory for all Zoom presentations. Do not register if you will miss more than one class.

All cancellations are subject to a $50 administrative fee per request. Cancellations made with less than two weeks’ notice will not be refunded.

This very popular series has been offered online since Summer 2020 due to COVID-19.