The OCVN 2020 State Conference "Taking Flight with Citizen Science."
Time Frame: Virtual events from May—Aug. 2020

In a virtual format we will explore how citizen science is impacting scientific understanding and conservation and how we can use it to build our naturalist skills and create and protect habitat in our communities.     

Virtual events are free, but you will need to register.  After completion, meetings will be recorded and available on demand on our Continuing Education webpage at https://ocvn.osu.edu/training-opportunities-experience-and-credit-hours

Virtual Kickoff for Taking Flight with Citizen Science

Meeting Recording:  https://osu.zoom.us/rec/share/ptREBO_N8iBOSbfJyR3tA54jHIq8T6a8gXRNq6ILz0qCSuBlrXJoKtGFwXws8-st

Matt Shumar, Program Coordinator of the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, provided our keynote and kick off. Matt helps us explore the role citizen science is playing in bird conservation and how we can use the tools of citizen science to improve our naturalist skills and conserve bird habitat at our local patch and park.

Jennifer Fee, Cornell University.  More information on this session on youth, birds, and citizen science coming soon!

Jennifer Thieme, Monarch Joint Venture Regional Monitoring Coordinator.  Jennifer will help us understand what we are learning about monarchs and regional conservation through citizen science projects, how you can build your naturalist skills through these projects, and where in Ohio is monarch monitoring really needed and how you can help. 


Welcome to the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Program

The OCVN program is a research-based education program of The Ohio State University offered in partnership with several host locations, such as, park districts and various environmental organizations.  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 OCVN program emphasizes hands-on natural resource and environmental education coupled with volunteer service. Participants in the OCVN program receive 40 hours of combined classroom and field instruction. Upon completing the OCVN course, participants provide 40 hours of volunteer service at any Ohio organization with a compatible program mission. 
After course completion, OCVNs typically volunteer in the following service categories:  Education/Interpretation & Outreach, Citizen Science, Land Stewardship, and Program Support.

How to Become an OCVN

1. Complete the 40 hour OCVN course at an approved location. 

To find an approved OCVN course location near you go to Find a Course.  

2. Volunteer.

Once you have completed your coursework, you must volunteer for a nonprofit organization that has a similar mission to the OCVN program (i.e., raising awareness of Ohio’s environment and natural resources through science based education and stewardship) for a minimum of 40 hours within the first full year after completing your coursework. After course completion, OCVNs typically volunteer in the following service categories: Education/Interpretation & Outreach, Citizen Science, Land Stewardship, and Program Support.  See 'About Us' for more details. 

 3. Maintain your certification.

To maintain your status as an OCVN you must continue to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours per year, and attend at least 8 hours of continuing education per year.


  1. How Bees See Flowers

    May 7, 2020

    As heard on NPR Morning Edition  

    Bees Sense Charge On Flowers


  2. Escape to the Forest provided by SENR Extension Wildlife and Forestry

    Apr 27, 2020

    As you know, we have been asking for your input on developing online content. Thanks to everyone who has filled out our survey so far! If you’d still like to participate, click this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LP3NRGL. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

  3. Leopard Frog - Andrew Hoffman

    Nature Now with Andrew Hoffman

    Mar 27, 2020

    Field Report from Andrew:  (Andrew Hoffman is a Graduate Research Assistant with the OSU Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Lab)