BALDWIN -- The Michigan State University Extension Introduction to Lakes online course is being offered January 2020 and registration is now open.

This nationally recognized, six-week course is in a self-paced online format and is designed for lake users, lakefront property owners and professionals who want to improve their understanding of lakes and their protection and management.

More than 500 people have participated in the class since it was first offered online in 2015.

The online format allows users, from the comfort of their home or office, to have week-by-week, 24/7 access to six online units that are complete with video lectures, activities, resources, discussion forums, quizzes and Ask-an-Expert webinar sessions with professionals from Michigan State University and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

The course covers lake ecology, lakes and their watersheds, shorelines, Michigan water law, aquatic plant management, and community involvement. The course schedule allows for regular online communication with classmates and course instructors.

The 2020 course runs Jan. 14, 2020, to March 13. The cost of the course is $115 per person.

Participants who register by Dec. 20 can receive an early bird discounted price of $95 per person.

Registration is open through Jan. 8, 2020.

Everyone who completes the course will receive a free, one-year membership to Michigan Lake Stewardship Associations, including four issues of The Michigan Riparian magazine.

Continuing Education Credits are also available including 16 Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Pesticide Applicator Re-Certification credits and credits in the Master Citizen Planner program, Master Gardener program, Conservation Stewards Program and the Wildlife Society's Certified Wildlife Biologist program.

For more details about the course and to register visit the MSU Extension Introduction to Lakes webpage at canr.msu.edu/lakesonline.