Ohio State University Extension in the School of Environment and Natural Resources
Ohio State University Extension in the School of Environment and Natural Resources facilitates the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program. We develop and maintain the course curriculum; facilitate opportunities for Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists to learn and serve with other organizations; host the online certification website and recognize impacts of Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists. OSU Extension in the School of Environment and Natural Resources provides an orientation to host organizations and instructors and offers professional development on environment and natural history topics to hosts and instructors. Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists perform their volunteer service with organizations across the state with a compatible program mission.
Organizations across the state partner with the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program by hosting the course at their location. Host locations participate in an orientation to the program, set up the individual topic sessions and field days, collect the registration, and manage the course. The organizations sometimes provide or inform participants about volunteer opportunities in environmental education and interpretation, community science, land stewardship, and program support. Host organization include OSU Extension county offices, parks, “Friends of” groups, arboretum, and nature centers.
Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist provide volunteer service to hundreds of nonprofit organizations and agencies across the state. These organizations range from state parks and nature preserves to local parks and commissions that offer environmental education and interpretation, community science, and land stewardship, and program support opportunities.
The Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist course is a 40-hour series of classroom and field sessions that presents a statewide and regional perspective on Ohio’s environment and natural resources. Courses are offered across the state through host organizations. Although each course includes regional topics and volunteer service opportunities, the following key topics remain consistent across the courses:
Plants and Forests
Watersheds and aquatic ecology
Interpretation and Environmental Education