Skip to main content

Northern Naturalist & LIFE Academy

100% Clean Energy - What Does That Even Mean? (Livestream) — 2021-08-12 through  2021-08-12$49— LivestreamView Details

Thurs., Aug. 12, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Cities and nations are moving to clean energy, but everyone defines it differently. Join the staff of SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers to explore some of the work being done in Michigan and the City of Traverse City to make the transition away from fossil fuels. What activities use the most energy? Which elements waste it? Should we electrify everything? Don't come for easy answers, come to learn about the complexity of systems change. We'll explore some of the opportunities and pain-points presented by utility companies changing their energy generation portfolios, governments upgrading building codes, consumers shifting to electric vehicles, and more. Taught online via Zoom. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 20. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235849
DIY Microgreens Kit & Class (Livestream)— 2021-06-02 through  2021-06-09$75— LivestreamView Details

2 Wed., June 2 and 9, 6:30-8 p.m. If you buy a bag of microgreens you eat healthy for a day. If you learn how to grow them, you can eat healthy for a lifetime! Discover how to grow microgreens, how nutritious they are compared to other vegetables, and how to use them in recipes and with every meal! On the first day we will sow our seeds and learn about other methods of growing as well as nutrition. Throughout the week, you will follow instructions to maintain the microgreens, and in the second class we will be harvesting and discussing recipes as well as other types of microgreens you can grow. You will receive a kit with almost everything you need to grow a tray of broccoli microgreens! This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 22. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229853
Eating to Reverse Global Warming (Face to Face)— 2021-08-19 through  2021-08-19$49— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., Aug. 19, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Historic Barns Park Workshop 223 (1490 Red Dr., Traverse City). From synthetic fertilizers to livestock emissions to deforestation to food waste, our food systems have become the number one cause of global warming. Join the staff of SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers to learn how we can transform food production and consumption practices to instead Drawdown Carbon. Not only can we reverse global warming, regenerative growing practices help soils retain moisture and nutrients, prevent runoff, and support beneficial organisms and pollinator species. The fun doesn't stop with food production either! Learn how impactful separating food wastes from our trash and unlocking its embodied treasures can be. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Class meets at Historic Barns Park Workshop 223, the first building on the left from Silver Drive entrance. Look for the SEEDS tent!

  • Seats available: Approximately 10. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235827
Entomology for the Naturalist (Livestream)— 2021-06-21 through  2021-06-28$89— LivestreamView Details

Mon/Wed/Mon, June 21, 23 and 28, 9 a.m.-Noon. The largest segment of the animal kingdom provides excellent fodder for the naturalist in you. Explore the world of Arthropods and gain expanded knowledge to share with others. Learn to differentiate between arthropods and other kinds of animals, and practice collection techniques. Leave with a better understanding of insect ecology and the important role each plays in the natural world. This class is taught online via Zoom. This course is required for the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 13. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413230165
Ghost Towns of Sleeping Bear Dunes (Face to Face)— 2021-05-26 through  2021-05-26$79— Face to FaceView Details

Wed., May 26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., meet at SBDNL Visitor Center (9922 W. Front St., Empire). Ghost towns captivate our imaginations. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SBDNL) is home to several ghost towns. Glen Haven is an example of what these logging villages were like in their heyday. Discover what happened to the towns and the people who lived there. We will travel to several ghost towns exploring areas of the park very few people know how to find. The park adventure begins at the National Lakeshore Visitor Center. A Park Pass is required, and can be purchased at the visitor center and annual passes can be purchased online at https://www.nps.gov/slbe. For more information about park passes please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5010. Bring your lunch for a picnic at one of the park locations.

  • Seats available: Approximately 10. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229819
Into The Wilderness (Face to Face)— 2021-06-02 through  2021-06-03$99— Face to FaceView Details

Wed/Thurs, June 2, 10 a.m.-Noon, University Center Rm. 209 AND June 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at SBDNL Visitor Center (9922 W. Front St., Empire). Join park expert, Kerry Kelly, to explore first-hand what the 'wilderness' designation means for the 71,000 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that have been set aside as wilderness by the US Congress. Day one is a 2-hour discussion in the classroom; day two is a guided tour, including morning and afternoon hikes with different habitats and natural features. Hikes can be challenging but are selected based on the capabilities and interest of the students. Expect each hike to be 2.5 hours of hiking/exploring. Wear hiking shoes, dress for the weather, bring water, a snack and your lunch for a picnic at a park location. Park Pass required; purchase at the visitor center or purchase an annual pass online at https://www.nps.gov/slbe. For more info about park passes call 231-326-4700, ext. 5010. Qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 6. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: University Center  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229857
Course ClosedKayak River Tour (Face to Face)— 2021-07-27 through  2021-07-27$89— Face to FaceView Details

Tues., July 27, 9 a.m.-Noon, Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). There is no better way to experience a northern Michigan river than by paddling its calm waters and enjoying its unique wildlife! On this guided tour, students will explore Grass River by kayak and find out about Grass River Natural Area's conservation efforts, wetland ecology, and Michigan wildlife. The group will meet at the Grass River Education Center at 9 am before walking out to the dock to load kayaks. Cost includes kayak rental. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: 0. Call to be placed on waiting list.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413236346
Lake Michigan Shoreline Habitats-A One Day On-the-Road Adventure (Face to Face)— 2021-05-20 through  2021-05-20$79— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., May 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., meet at SBDNL Visitor Center (9922 W. Front St., Empire). Experience up-close some of the habitats along the Lake Michigan shoreline. With Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SBDNL) as your classroom, learn how the habitats were formed, who lives there, their unique geology, and environmental threats that affect all of the Lake Michigan shoreline -- invasive species, development, and climate change. Travel to several places to explore habitats, unique spots, and issues. The park adventure begins at the National Lakeshore Visitor Center. A Park Pass is required, and can be purchased at the visitor center and annual passes can be purchased online at https://www.nps.gov/slbe. For more information about park passes please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5010. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Bring your own lunch for a picnic at one of the park locations and wear hiking shoes for short walks along the beach or through the woods.

  • Seats available: Approximately 10. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229619
Meet the Beetles (Livestream)— 2021-08-18 through  2021-08-18$49— LivestreamView Details

Wed., Aug. 18, 9 a.m.-Noon. Beetles are the most abundant insect on the planet. Northern Naturalist students and others will enjoy examining these specimens up-close as you learn fascinating characteristics of these creatures. Learn to use a taxonomy key and build understanding of anatomy, life history, relationships to other insects, habitats and roles in the ecosystem. Taught online via Zoom. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 11. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235831
Multi-Layered Benefits of Perennial Food Forests (Face to Face)— 2021-08-03 through  2021-08-03$49— Face to FaceView Details

Tues., Aug. 3, 9-11 a.m., Historic Barns Park (1490 Red Dr., Traverse City). Explore the revivified concept of food production within a forest system and the multiple functions these systems serve in carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat creation, and food and medicine production. Join the staff of SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers to learn some of the basics of perennial food forest planning, enjoy tastes of perennial foods and take home some simple ideas to implement perennial foods in your home garden. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Meet at Historic Barns Park Workshop 223, the first building on the left from Silver Drive entrance. Look for the SEEDS tent!

  • Seats available: Approximately 4. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413236186
Course ClosedMushrooms of Late Summer (Face to Face)— 2021-08-25 through  2021-08-25$39— Face to FaceView Details

Wed. Aug. 25, 10 a.m.-Noon, Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). Late summer is an excellent time to search the fungi of the forest. Join us for a naturalist-led fungus foray in search of the interesting fungi of August. We will learn tips and tricks to identify the mushrooms of Michigan and make a collection for group identification. This class begins outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire, and we may travel to some other nearby locations. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: 0. Call to be placed on waiting list.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235808
Course ClosedMushrooms of Spring (Face to Face)— 2021-05-12 through  2021-05-12$39— Face to FaceView Details

Wed., May 12, 10 a.m.-Noon, Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). Join us for a naturalist-led fungus foray in search of morels and other interesting fungi. Learn about the famous and delicious morels that are a joy to find during this yearly spring ritual, and tips and tricks to identify the other mushrooms of Michigan. This class begins outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire, and we may travel to some other nearby locations. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: 0. Call to be placed on waiting list.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413227557
Native American Trail Markers (Face to Face)— 2021-05-20 through  2021-05-20$39— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., May 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., meet at Hull Park in downtown Traverse City (660 Hannah Ave.). Remnants of many Native American trail markers sprinkle areas of Traverse City. Presenter Jerry Sura recounts the history behind these living artifacts on a guided walking tour that takes you to a pointer tree and a cement marker in under 3 miles. Sidelights include anecdotes about the Solar System, glacial Lake Algonquin and a Native American powwow from the summer of 1876. Meet at Hull Park in downtown Traverse City (660 Hannah Ave.). This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 6. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229627
Sedges of Northern Michigan (Face to Face)— 2021-06-18 through  2021-06-18$39— Face to FaceView Details

Fri., June 18, 10 a.m.-Noon, Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). Sedges are wonderful plants that are often overlooked because they can be difficult to identify. But in some wetland environments they are some of the most numerous and common plants! When you take the time to slow down and look at them closely, you find they are quite attractive and simple to identify. This field class will walk you through a variety of wetland communities as we learn some of the most common sedges you are likely to encounter in Northern Michigan. By the end of the class you will walk away with an identification guide and a new-found appreciation for these unique plants. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate and takes place outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire.

  • Seats available: Approximately 3. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413230113
The Hidden Partnership of Plants and Soils (Face to Face)— 2021-06-12 through  2021-06-12$49— Face to FaceView Details

Sat., June 12, 9 a.m.-Noon, meet at Pelizzari Natural Area (6852 Center Rd., TC). Did you know, in some forests, the fungi in the soil weigh more than the trees? Come investigate the relationships between the plants of the forest and soils that support them. Gain experience sampling soils and identifying plants. We will walk, crawl, dig and learn our way across a variety of plant communities, ending in one of the oldest patches of forest in Grand Traverse County. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Meets at Pelizzari Natural Area (6852 Center Rd. on Old Mission Peninsula, just north of the Unitarian Church).

  • Seats available: Approximately 2. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229967
Water and Our Ecosystems: Green Infrastructure for Resilience (Face to Face)— 2021-08-05 through  2021-08-05$49— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., Aug. 5, 9-11 a.m., Historic Barns Park (1490 Red Dr., Traverse City). We live in a watery community. With predictions for more severe weather events in coming years, there's a need for leaders to understand and implement resilient solutions. Join the staff of SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers to learn about homescale storm water gardens, water catchment systems, mitigation and remediation techniques, and large scale green infrastructure projects protecting our wetlands, creeks, streams and lakes. Wear walking shoes. Held rain or shine! This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Meet at Historic Barns Park Workshop 223, the first building on the left from Silver Drive entrance. Look for the SEEDS tent!

  • Seats available: Approximately 10. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235890
Wetland Communities of Northern Michigan (Face to Face)— 2021-07-13 through  2021-07-13$39— Face to FaceView Details

Tues., July 13, 1-3 p.m., Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). Did you know that Michigan has over 70 distinct natural communities? Many of these are wetland communities. Our natural communities are classified by the plants, animals, other organisms, and environmental conditions that make a landscape look the way they do. Have you ever wondered what makes a fen different from a bog, or a swamp different than a thicket? We'll help you understand the big picture of natural communities and give you a deeper understanding of the northern Michigan landscape. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate and takes place outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire.

  • Seats available: Approximately 4. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413232314
Course ClosedWetland Wildflowers (Face to Face)— 2021-06-10 through  2021-06-10$39— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., June 10, 1-3 p.m., Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). The wildflowers of Michigan's wetlands are unique and striking. Take a walk through Grass River's boardwalk trails that give you access to some of the most exquisite wetlands in northern Michigan as we learn the natural history and conservation of these gorgeous flowering plants. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate and takes place outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire.

  • Seats available: 0. Call to be placed on waiting list.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229963
Course ClosedWild Michigan Orchids and Other Rare Plants (Face to Face)— 2021-06-15 through  2021-06-15$39— Face to FaceView Details

Tues., June 15, 10 a.m.-Noon, Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). Orchids are fascinating, beautiful, and rare plants - and Northern Michigan has some of the best. Join James Dake of Grass River Natural Area as we learn about these important environmental indicators in an exclusive off-trail expedition to see rare orchids and other amazing plants that grow with them, like carnivorous pitcher plants and sundews, in some of the lesser known areas of Grass River. Limited space. Must be able to walk on some uneven and very wet terrain for the hike. Wearing muck boots is recommended. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate and takes place outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire.

  • Seats available: 0. Call to be placed on waiting list.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413230048
Zero Waste - Is That Even Possible? (Face to Face)— 2021-07-22 through  2021-07-22$49— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., July 22, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Historic Barns Park (1490 Red Dr., Traverse City). Spoiler alert: Homo sapiens have been creating layered hills of trash we throw out for tens of thousands of years. What could be more enlightening than examining our waste bins? Join the staff of SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers to talk about the HUGE role better waste management can play in our economy and air/water quality. We'll explore our state-wide waste system and also answer: Why is it so hard to know what is and is not recyclable? Join instructors who are focused on getting to Zero Waste, share resources, and ask all your questions. Let's minimize the stink and hunt for buried triple-bottom-line treasure in our trash! Bring your own lunch; we'll provide rubbish bins. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Class will meet at the Historic Barns Park Workshop 223, the first building on the left from Silver Drive entrance. Look for the SEEDS tent!

  • Seats available: Approximately 10. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235752
Course ClosedMushrooms of Spring (Face to Face)— 2021-05-12 through  2021-05-12$39— Face to FaceView Details

Wed., May 12, 10 a.m.-Noon, Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). Join us for a naturalist-led fungus foray in search of morels and other interesting fungi. Learn about the famous and delicious morels that are a joy to find during this yearly spring ritual, and tips and tricks to identify the other mushrooms of Michigan. This class begins outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire, and we may travel to some other nearby locations. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: 0. Call to be placed on waiting list.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413227557
Lake Michigan Shoreline Habitats-A One Day On-the-Road Adventure (Face to Face)— 2021-05-20 through  2021-05-20$79— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., May 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., meet at SBDNL Visitor Center (9922 W. Front St., Empire). Experience up-close some of the habitats along the Lake Michigan shoreline. With Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SBDNL) as your classroom, learn how the habitats were formed, who lives there, their unique geology, and environmental threats that affect all of the Lake Michigan shoreline -- invasive species, development, and climate change. Travel to several places to explore habitats, unique spots, and issues. The park adventure begins at the National Lakeshore Visitor Center. A Park Pass is required, and can be purchased at the visitor center and annual passes can be purchased online at https://www.nps.gov/slbe. For more information about park passes please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5010. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Bring your own lunch for a picnic at one of the park locations and wear hiking shoes for short walks along the beach or through the woods.

  • Seats available: Approximately 10. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229619
Native American Trail Markers (Face to Face)— 2021-05-20 through  2021-05-20$39— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., May 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., meet at Hull Park in downtown Traverse City (660 Hannah Ave.). Remnants of many Native American trail markers sprinkle areas of Traverse City. Presenter Jerry Sura recounts the history behind these living artifacts on a guided walking tour that takes you to a pointer tree and a cement marker in under 3 miles. Sidelights include anecdotes about the Solar System, glacial Lake Algonquin and a Native American powwow from the summer of 1876. Meet at Hull Park in downtown Traverse City (660 Hannah Ave.). This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 6. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229627
Ghost Towns of Sleeping Bear Dunes (Face to Face)— 2021-05-26 through  2021-05-26$79— Face to FaceView Details

Wed., May 26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., meet at SBDNL Visitor Center (9922 W. Front St., Empire). Ghost towns captivate our imaginations. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SBDNL) is home to several ghost towns. Glen Haven is an example of what these logging villages were like in their heyday. Discover what happened to the towns and the people who lived there. We will travel to several ghost towns exploring areas of the park very few people know how to find. The park adventure begins at the National Lakeshore Visitor Center. A Park Pass is required, and can be purchased at the visitor center and annual passes can be purchased online at https://www.nps.gov/slbe. For more information about park passes please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5010. Bring your lunch for a picnic at one of the park locations.

  • Seats available: Approximately 10. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229819
Into The Wilderness (Face to Face)— 2021-06-02 through  2021-06-03$99— Face to FaceView Details

Wed/Thurs, June 2, 10 a.m.-Noon, University Center Rm. 209 AND June 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at SBDNL Visitor Center (9922 W. Front St., Empire). Join park expert, Kerry Kelly, to explore first-hand what the 'wilderness' designation means for the 71,000 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that have been set aside as wilderness by the US Congress. Day one is a 2-hour discussion in the classroom; day two is a guided tour, including morning and afternoon hikes with different habitats and natural features. Hikes can be challenging but are selected based on the capabilities and interest of the students. Expect each hike to be 2.5 hours of hiking/exploring. Wear hiking shoes, dress for the weather, bring water, a snack and your lunch for a picnic at a park location. Park Pass required; purchase at the visitor center or purchase an annual pass online at https://www.nps.gov/slbe. For more info about park passes call 231-326-4700, ext. 5010. Qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 6. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: University Center  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229857
DIY Microgreens Kit & Class (Livestream)— 2021-06-02 through  2021-06-09$75— LivestreamView Details

2 Wed., June 2 and 9, 6:30-8 p.m. If you buy a bag of microgreens you eat healthy for a day. If you learn how to grow them, you can eat healthy for a lifetime! Discover how to grow microgreens, how nutritious they are compared to other vegetables, and how to use them in recipes and with every meal! On the first day we will sow our seeds and learn about other methods of growing as well as nutrition. Throughout the week, you will follow instructions to maintain the microgreens, and in the second class we will be harvesting and discussing recipes as well as other types of microgreens you can grow. You will receive a kit with almost everything you need to grow a tray of broccoli microgreens! This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 22. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229853
Course ClosedWetland Wildflowers (Face to Face)— 2021-06-10 through  2021-06-10$39— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., June 10, 1-3 p.m., Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). The wildflowers of Michigan's wetlands are unique and striking. Take a walk through Grass River's boardwalk trails that give you access to some of the most exquisite wetlands in northern Michigan as we learn the natural history and conservation of these gorgeous flowering plants. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate and takes place outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire.

  • Seats available: 0. Call to be placed on waiting list.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229963
The Hidden Partnership of Plants and Soils (Face to Face)— 2021-06-12 through  2021-06-12$49— Face to FaceView Details

Sat., June 12, 9 a.m.-Noon, meet at Pelizzari Natural Area (6852 Center Rd., TC). Did you know, in some forests, the fungi in the soil weigh more than the trees? Come investigate the relationships between the plants of the forest and soils that support them. Gain experience sampling soils and identifying plants. We will walk, crawl, dig and learn our way across a variety of plant communities, ending in one of the oldest patches of forest in Grand Traverse County. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Meets at Pelizzari Natural Area (6852 Center Rd. on Old Mission Peninsula, just north of the Unitarian Church).

  • Seats available: Approximately 2. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413229967
Course ClosedWild Michigan Orchids and Other Rare Plants (Face to Face)— 2021-06-15 through  2021-06-15$39— Face to FaceView Details

Tues., June 15, 10 a.m.-Noon, Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). Orchids are fascinating, beautiful, and rare plants - and Northern Michigan has some of the best. Join James Dake of Grass River Natural Area as we learn about these important environmental indicators in an exclusive off-trail expedition to see rare orchids and other amazing plants that grow with them, like carnivorous pitcher plants and sundews, in some of the lesser known areas of Grass River. Limited space. Must be able to walk on some uneven and very wet terrain for the hike. Wearing muck boots is recommended. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate and takes place outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire.

  • Seats available: 0. Call to be placed on waiting list.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413230048
Sedges of Northern Michigan (Face to Face)— 2021-06-18 through  2021-06-18$39— Face to FaceView Details

Fri., June 18, 10 a.m.-Noon, Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). Sedges are wonderful plants that are often overlooked because they can be difficult to identify. But in some wetland environments they are some of the most numerous and common plants! When you take the time to slow down and look at them closely, you find they are quite attractive and simple to identify. This field class will walk you through a variety of wetland communities as we learn some of the most common sedges you are likely to encounter in Northern Michigan. By the end of the class you will walk away with an identification guide and a new-found appreciation for these unique plants. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate and takes place outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire.

  • Seats available: Approximately 3. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413230113
Entomology for the Naturalist (Livestream)— 2021-06-21 through  2021-06-28$89— LivestreamView Details

Mon/Wed/Mon, June 21, 23 and 28, 9 a.m.-Noon. The largest segment of the animal kingdom provides excellent fodder for the naturalist in you. Explore the world of Arthropods and gain expanded knowledge to share with others. Learn to differentiate between arthropods and other kinds of animals, and practice collection techniques. Leave with a better understanding of insect ecology and the important role each plays in the natural world. This class is taught online via Zoom. This course is required for the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 13. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413230165
Wetland Communities of Northern Michigan (Face to Face)— 2021-07-13 through  2021-07-13$39— Face to FaceView Details

Tues., July 13, 1-3 p.m., Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). Did you know that Michigan has over 70 distinct natural communities? Many of these are wetland communities. Our natural communities are classified by the plants, animals, other organisms, and environmental conditions that make a landscape look the way they do. Have you ever wondered what makes a fen different from a bog, or a swamp different than a thicket? We'll help you understand the big picture of natural communities and give you a deeper understanding of the northern Michigan landscape. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate and takes place outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire.

  • Seats available: Approximately 4. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413232314
Zero Waste - Is That Even Possible? (Face to Face)— 2021-07-22 through  2021-07-22$49— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., July 22, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Historic Barns Park (1490 Red Dr., Traverse City). Spoiler alert: Homo sapiens have been creating layered hills of trash we throw out for tens of thousands of years. What could be more enlightening than examining our waste bins? Join the staff of SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers to talk about the HUGE role better waste management can play in our economy and air/water quality. We'll explore our state-wide waste system and also answer: Why is it so hard to know what is and is not recyclable? Join instructors who are focused on getting to Zero Waste, share resources, and ask all your questions. Let's minimize the stink and hunt for buried triple-bottom-line treasure in our trash! Bring your own lunch; we'll provide rubbish bins. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Class will meet at the Historic Barns Park Workshop 223, the first building on the left from Silver Drive entrance. Look for the SEEDS tent!

  • Seats available: Approximately 10. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235752
Course ClosedKayak River Tour (Face to Face)— 2021-07-27 through  2021-07-27$89— Face to FaceView Details

Tues., July 27, 9 a.m.-Noon, Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). There is no better way to experience a northern Michigan river than by paddling its calm waters and enjoying its unique wildlife! On this guided tour, students will explore Grass River by kayak and find out about Grass River Natural Area's conservation efforts, wetland ecology, and Michigan wildlife. The group will meet at the Grass River Education Center at 9 am before walking out to the dock to load kayaks. Cost includes kayak rental. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: 0. Call to be placed on waiting list.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413236346
Multi-Layered Benefits of Perennial Food Forests (Face to Face)— 2021-08-03 through  2021-08-03$49— Face to FaceView Details

Tues., Aug. 3, 9-11 a.m., Historic Barns Park (1490 Red Dr., Traverse City). Explore the revivified concept of food production within a forest system and the multiple functions these systems serve in carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat creation, and food and medicine production. Join the staff of SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers to learn some of the basics of perennial food forest planning, enjoy tastes of perennial foods and take home some simple ideas to implement perennial foods in your home garden. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Meet at Historic Barns Park Workshop 223, the first building on the left from Silver Drive entrance. Look for the SEEDS tent!

  • Seats available: Approximately 4. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413236186
Water and Our Ecosystems: Green Infrastructure for Resilience (Face to Face)— 2021-08-05 through  2021-08-05$49— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., Aug. 5, 9-11 a.m., Historic Barns Park (1490 Red Dr., Traverse City). We live in a watery community. With predictions for more severe weather events in coming years, there's a need for leaders to understand and implement resilient solutions. Join the staff of SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers to learn about homescale storm water gardens, water catchment systems, mitigation and remediation techniques, and large scale green infrastructure projects protecting our wetlands, creeks, streams and lakes. Wear walking shoes. Held rain or shine! This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Meet at Historic Barns Park Workshop 223, the first building on the left from Silver Drive entrance. Look for the SEEDS tent!

  • Seats available: Approximately 10. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235890
100% Clean Energy - What Does That Even Mean? (Livestream) — 2021-08-12 through  2021-08-12$49— LivestreamView Details

Thurs., Aug. 12, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Cities and nations are moving to clean energy, but everyone defines it differently. Join the staff of SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers to explore some of the work being done in Michigan and the City of Traverse City to make the transition away from fossil fuels. What activities use the most energy? Which elements waste it? Should we electrify everything? Don't come for easy answers, come to learn about the complexity of systems change. We'll explore some of the opportunities and pain-points presented by utility companies changing their energy generation portfolios, governments upgrading building codes, consumers shifting to electric vehicles, and more. Taught online via Zoom. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 20. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235849
Meet the Beetles (Livestream)— 2021-08-18 through  2021-08-18$49— LivestreamView Details

Wed., Aug. 18, 9 a.m.-Noon. Beetles are the most abundant insect on the planet. Northern Naturalist students and others will enjoy examining these specimens up-close as you learn fascinating characteristics of these creatures. Learn to use a taxonomy key and build understanding of anatomy, life history, relationships to other insects, habitats and roles in the ecosystem. Taught online via Zoom. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: Approximately 11. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235831
Eating to Reverse Global Warming (Face to Face)— 2021-08-19 through  2021-08-19$49— Face to FaceView Details

Thurs., Aug. 19, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Historic Barns Park Workshop 223 (1490 Red Dr., Traverse City). From synthetic fertilizers to livestock emissions to deforestation to food waste, our food systems have become the number one cause of global warming. Join the staff of SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers to learn how we can transform food production and consumption practices to instead Drawdown Carbon. Not only can we reverse global warming, regenerative growing practices help soils retain moisture and nutrients, prevent runoff, and support beneficial organisms and pollinator species. The fun doesn't stop with food production either! Learn how impactful separating food wastes from our trash and unlocking its embodied treasures can be. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate. Class meets at Historic Barns Park Workshop 223, the first building on the left from Silver Drive entrance. Look for the SEEDS tent!

  • Seats available: Approximately 10. This will be confirmed at checkout.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235827
Course ClosedMushrooms of Late Summer (Face to Face)— 2021-08-25 through  2021-08-25$39— Face to FaceView Details

Wed. Aug. 25, 10 a.m.-Noon, Grass River Education Center (6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire). Late summer is an excellent time to search the fungi of the forest. Join us for a naturalist-led fungus foray in search of the interesting fungi of August. We will learn tips and tricks to identify the mushrooms of Michigan and make a collection for group identification. This class begins outdoors at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire, and we may travel to some other nearby locations. This course qualifies toward the Naturalist Certificate.

  • Seats available: 0. Call to be placed on waiting list.
  • Location: Other  —  Maps
  • Course ID = 413235808

Most LIFE Academy classes can now be found with other classes by topic such as Art & Photography, Computer, Culinary, Fitness, Home TimeGlobal & Language, Music, Personal Finance, Wellness, Writing & Yoga.

 

LIFE Academy is evolving

LIFE (Learning Is ForEver) Academy at Northwestern Michigan College began as a small collection of courses inspired by those age 50 and better. In the last two decades, the popularity of these courses has grown tremendously. That success is due to thousands of eager learners who have inspired us to offer new classes on a wide variety of topics. In an effort to be more inclusive to students of all ages, we have integrated these courses into the categories they relate to so that they will be easier for everyone to access.