Caring for Michigan’s lakes and streams through education, leadership and citizen action.

Dr. Jo Latimore, Michigan State University

Each of us has a role to play in protecting Michigan’s magnificent lakes and streams. Are you ready to play your part?  If so, the Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute is looking for you!  The Institute is an outstanding experience for people who are willing to step up in their communities and within their organizations as volunteers, leaders,  or professionals. We invite you to apply for the Class of 2015!

Since 2002, the Institute has developed local water resource leaders who are familiar with current lake and stream science and management practices, and have the leadership skills to work through challenging issues with their communities.  Participants gain an understanding of the regulatory landscape, organizations, and agencies that guide water resource protection and management in Michigan, and learn how to develop productive partnerships. The Institute is a partnership program of Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc., and the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

 “I feel far more confident taking proactive steps in my lake community and providing information to persuade or motivate others,” wrote a 2013 Institute graduate who is a Lake Association Board Member. “I am more prone to speak up, even to a less than receptive audience.  I feel more connected and vested in my own lake.”

The Institute combines PlantRaking_LSLI2013_jhclassroom and small group learning, field experiences, and independent work.  Instructors are leaders and experts in their fields including university faculty, extension educators, state and local agency professionals, leaders from non-profit organizations, and Institute Alumni. Participants attend Institute sessions, complete homework assignments, and conduct an independent project which is shared with their peers and Institute alumni during a Poster Symposium on graduation day. After graduation, participants can engage in an Institute Alumni Program that promotes continued opportunities for learning and service.

 “You will meet enjoyable, good spirited people who are kindred to your own care and concern for our lakes and streams,” says a 2013 Institute graduate. “Spending time with such kindred spirits is energizing, motivating, and promotes hope and courage and stamina to keep trying to be a positive force for our beautiful Michigan Water-Wonderland. And an added bonus is spending time at the delightful locations of the meetings. It is balm to a nature lover’s soul and a true educational retreat.”

Past participants have included natural resource agency staff, lake association and non-profit orBindu and Studentganization leaders, natural resources students, drain commissioners, educators, and interested citizens.  Today, nearly 100 Institute alumni are hard at work for Michigan’s lakes and streams in a variety of ways, such as leading lake associations, working within state and local natural resource agencies, serving on planning commissions, and monitoring water quality.

Make plans to be a part of the Class of 2015!  The first session will take place May 15-16 at the DNR’s Ralph A. MacMullan (RAM) Conference Center on Higgins Lake.  The second session will be held July 31 – August 1 at Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) near Kalamazoo. The final one-day session, including the Poster Symposium and Graduation, will take place in October in the Lansing area. The application deadline is March 30, 2015. Tuition for the 2015 Institute is $375, and includes all instruction, materials, meals, field trips, boats, and overnight lodging at the RAM Center and KBS. Limited scholarships are available.

For application forms and more information about the 2015 Institute, visit the website: http://goo.gl/zec62q, or visit MSU Extension (http://msue.anr.msu.edu) and search for “LSLI”. You can also contact  the Institute Director, Dr. Jo Latimore, at MSU (latimor1@msu.edu or 517-432-1491).

To download a 2015 Lake and Stream Leaders Institute event flyer, click here

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