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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Interested!- Click HERE for a PDF Application to print and complete

All applications are due by Friday, January 6, 2023.

Please send completed applications via email to Kristen at or Eric at

If printing your application, please bring or mail it to the Mahoning County Extension Office, 490 S Broad Street Canfield, OH 44406 by Friday, January 6, 2023

Mission -

The mission of the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) program is to promote awareness and citizen stewardship of Ohio's natural resources through science-based education and community service.

The OCVNs role is to support partners in meeting the needs of our citizens in the area of natural resources by assisting with educational programs.

Activities Include:

  • Identifying and educating the public about invasive species
  • Diagnosing plant problems
  • Giving public presentations relating to nature
  • Hosting events for the public
  • Staffing educational booths and other various opportunities

To become an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist, you must:

  • Complete 40 hours of combined classroom and field instruction
  • Perform 40 hours of approved volunteer service within the first year
  • After certification, 20 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training are required annually               

Training Topics include:

  •  Soil, Geology, & Watersheds
  •  Ecology & Stewardship
  •  Working with the public & communication skills
  •  Botany & Forests
  •  Entomology & Herpetology
  •  Ornithology & Mammals

Interested in joining our 2023 OCVN Training?  

The OCVN program is $225 per person. This includes the manual, refreshments, some meals, speakers, and more! Once applications are received, they will be reviewed for acceptance into the program.  Applicants will be notified of their status and payment is due prior to or at the beginning of the first class.

Below is a SAMPLE schedule from 2022 classes. Classes are held on Tuesdays from 6-9 pm and Saturdays from 9 am - 4 pm. Saturday classes are typically field trips to other off-site locations and to visit our community partnerships.  

Tuesday, February 1st, 2022
Tuesday, February 8th, 2022
Saturday, February 19th, 2022
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022
Saturday, March 5th, 2022
Tuesday, March 8th, 2022
Saturday, March 19th, 2022
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022
Tuesday, March 29th, 2022
Saturday, April 9th, 2022
Tuesday, April 12th, 2022
Tuesday, April 19th, 2022