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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
  • Understanding the aspects of nature in our region 
  • Giving public presentations relating to nature
  • Hosting events for the public
  • Get to know the local nature centers, parks, and other sites where you can volunteer

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 the current schedule for 2023 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 7th, 2023
Tuesday, February 14th, 2023
Saturday, February 25th, 2023
Tuesday, February 28th, 2023
Saturday, March 11th, 2023
Tuesday, March 14th, 2023
Saturday, March 25th, 2023
Tuesday, March 28th, 2023
Tuesday, April 4th, 2023
Saturday, April 15th, 2023
Tuesday, April 18th, 2023
Tuesday, April 25th, 2023