Join the Monarch Joint Venture for a 7-hour, self-paced online course to learn about monarch butterfly ecology, migration, pressures, community science projects, and the effective conservation actions that you can take to help protect this iconic species.

Language: English

Instructors: Monarch Joint Venture staff

Course Fee: $100

Users will be prompted to create an account in order to register for and access the course. If cost is a barrier to your participation and you would like to request financial support, please email 

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Complete Monarch Essentials is a 7-hour, self-paced online course taught by Monarch Joint Venture staff. Multiple chapters provide foundational knowledge of monarch butterfly ecology, threats, and the effective conservation actions that everyone can take to help protect this valuable species and support thriving pollinator ecosystems. This course includes the 2 hours of content from the Mini Monarch Essentials course PLUS an additional 5 hours that includes a deeper dive into milkweed identification around the US, additional threats and stressors of the monarch, and conservation research and action strategies around North America. Chapters on community science and establishing monarch habitat include resources that can help you connect with existing programs and projects, or get started creating habitat on your own.

Participants will have the opportunity throughout the course to ask questions via email and on discussion boards. Live Q&A sessions will also be scheduled throughout the year with MJV science, habitat, and education specialists.

Please email for information about any of the following: 

  • Clock hours (CEUs) can be given to educators for teacher license renewal. Just email us! Speaking of teachers... email us for a discount code. 
  • Don’t feel like you have enough time for this course, consider taking Mini Monarch Essentials instead. Already taken Mini Monarch Essentials? Let us know, we have a discount for you.
  • If cost is a barrier and you would like to request financial support.


The course was very informative and helped me understand more about the monarchs and pollinators.

Joe, Illinois

The Complete Monarch Essentials course was a very holistic, informative course on monarchs. I knew almost nothing before taking the course, besides taking the mini course and now I'll feel more comfortable when people ask me questions in my work (working at a nursery and working with school gardens to install pollinator habitats).

Nina, California

This is a good course for Advanced Education Credits to meet Master Naturalist Certification requirements.

Jim, Maryland


Chapter 1: Introduction to Monarchs

Chapter 2: Breeding Biology - Life Cycle & Identification

Chapter 3: Migration & Overwintering Biology

Chapter 4: Monarch Population Dynamics & Pressures

Chapter 5: Conservation Goals & Strategies for Recovery

Chapter 6: More than Monarchs - An Ecosystem Approach to Habitat Creation

Chapter 7: Community Science - Deepening our Understanding of Monarchs, Habitat, & Threats

Closing: Reasons for Hope and Call to Action



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