Things to Do

Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Program

Back to Things to Do

Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) Program

LIVE VIRTUAL COURSE: Tuesdays and Thursdays, January 4—February 24, 2022, 6–8 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. For more information see:

$270 for the full course, 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!  For more information, please click here and fill out our contact form

Available to adults and mature teens 16 and up. Application deadline is December 28, 2021, 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.
  • Enjoy guest speakers in the evenings from the comfort of your own home. (I suggest pajamas and your favorite beverage!)
  • Enjoy a full day of hands-on discovery one Saturday a month in September, October, and November.
  • Meet nature center staff, professors, and experts from a variety of organizations.

For more information see:

The Winter session of OCVN will be held online on Zoom only.

  • Tuesday, January 4, 2022 
  • Thursday, January 6, 2022 
  • Tuesday, January 11, 2022 
  • Thursday, January 13, 2022 
  • Tuesday, January 18, 2022 
  • Thursday, January 20, 2022 
  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022 
  • Thursday, January 27, 2022 
  • Tuesday, February 1, 2022 
  • Thursday, February 3, 2022
  • Tuesday, February 8, 2022 
  • Thursday, February 10, 2022
  • Tuesday, February 15, 2022 
  • Thursday, February 17, 2022 
  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022
  • Thursday, February 24, 2022 

We will offer a practice session on Monday, December 20 from 6-7 pm to make sure you are comfortable with Zoom. The link will be sent to you after you register.