Online Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Courses

Online Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist 40 hour education courses will be offered in the Spring of 2021 from a few of our course host locations.  For the latest information and registration, please consider joining our list serv https://ocvn.osu.edu/about-ocvn and/or contact the local course host of the location in which you are interested.  You will find that at this link https://ocvn.osu.edu/find-course

Course costs range from $100--$200 and typically run for about 3 months.  If you have questions about our program, please feel free to call or email the OCVN Program Director Anne Baird at baird.41@osu.edu or 614-292-8603. 


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.


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