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Land Steward Online Course

This expert-led course is well-suited for busy adults who enjoy online learning but also want to see stewardship in action and includes self-paced online lessons, and live Zoom sessions where you can interact directly with local experts.

Land Steward Course Overview

The Oregon State University Extension Land Steward course is designed for owners of woodlands, small farms, pasture or other rural land who want to manage their property's natural resources more effectively.

This research-based, professionally developed course will cover topics on:

  • wildfire risk reduction
  • forest & woodland management
  • encouraging and controlling wildlife
  • stream ecology
  • pasture management
  • growing healthy soils
  • rural water system infrastructure
  • rural economics and enterprise
  • stewardship planning & more!

The course includes a series of nine self-paced online lessons, plus three virtual classes where you will meet at the same time, utilizing video conferencing.

Throughout the course, you can expect to spend up to two hours per week on each self-paced online lesson and related activities. You will also complete a series of resource assessments to get to know your property better and develop a management plan for your property using our landowner-friendly template.

Land Steward Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you will be able to:
  • Describe basic stewardship practices for woodlands, wildlife, soils, pastures, water resources, streams and riparian areas.

  • Conduct an assessment for each of these resources to identify potential resource concerns, desirable healthy conditions and potential follow-up actions.

  • Create a management plan for your property to help you meet your goals and improve resource stewardship
Jan. 25 - Apr. 5, 2022
price (2)
Additional Information:
View Course Syllabus


Rachel Werling

Rachel Werling is the faculty coordinator for the OSU Land Steward Progam and has been with OSU Extension since 2011. She oversees the Land Steward field training, volunteers and mentors, community education classes, and Living on Your Land conference.  Rachel developed this course with the assistance of a Land Steward advisory committee of volunteers and partners.  The Land Steward Program works with a diverse set of community partners working to support land stewards to achieve their management goals.

Rachel grew up in Minnesota on a family dairy farm. After studying environmental biology and botany at Humboldt State University, in California, she served as a forestry volunteer in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. She lived in Oaxaca, Mexico for twelve years where she stewarded three acres of land, ran a family business, and raised two daughters. Through Arizona State University, Rachel completed her Master’s degree in botany while in Oaxaca. Her thesis is an illustrated flora of native trees and shrubs. Prior to the Land Stewards, Rachel worked for OSU Extension coordinating a watershed education program. She has been teaching natural resource education in Oregon since 2008. Since moving to Oregon, Rachel has walked many wild miles of land as a professional field biologist performing inventories and assessments for plants, birds and mammals in the Pacific Northwest. She is chair of the Native Plant Society of Oregon’s Siskiyou Chapter.  In her free time, you'll find her outdoors when possible, hiking, camping, canoeing, x-c skiing, and always keeping an eye on what the plants, birds, land stewards and other creatures are up to.


Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.