Wetland Training Institute, Inc. provides professional training in wetland delineation, soils and hydrology, federal regulatory policy, wetland construction and restoration, plant identification, mitigation banking concepts, wetland policy and permitting, and other riparian resources conservation issues.
Who we are
Wetland Training Institute, Inc. meets the educational and technical resource needs of professionals involved in all aspects of water resource conservation, management, and regulation. We are an association of more than 20 individuals from private industry, academia, and government. It is this group of highly qualified and widely respected professionals that is the backbone of the courses and information available through WTI. WTI was formed in 1989 and celebrated its 30th anniversary in2019.
WTI selects its instructors not only for their academic training and abilities to teach, but because of their backgrounds in the subject matter and their continuing application in the real world of wetland and water regulation. Each has an outstanding academic background. WTI instructors have been actively involved in the development of the technical procedures, manuals, policies, regulations, and judicial decisions that are the backbone of wetland science and wetland regulatory programs and they continue applying that expertise in permit cases throughout the country. Click here to view a list and links to publications by our WTI partners and instructors.
David Dearing, Attorney at Law
Instructor, WTI co-founder
Mr. Dearing has participated in some of the most significant legal actions to have shaped federal wetland policy. He served nine years as a lead trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice representing the Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, and Coast Guard. He is currently in private practice. DearingLawFirm.com
Paul Anderson, PWS
Mr. Anderson is a certified Professional Wetland Scientist, working in natural resource management since 1990. He was a wetland specialist at the Washington State Department of Ecology for eleven years, teaching wetland delineation, hydric soils and determining the OHWM and currently teaches Wetland Law and Policy at the University of Washington.
Mr. Knapp is a professional botanist and ecologist specializing in rare, threatened, and endangered species, taxonomy and morphology. He is an expert on Sedges (Cyperaceae), and Rushes (Juncaceae) authoring keys for various Floras. He works for the North Carolina Natural Heritage Porgram and serves as a regional reviewer for the Flora of North America Project.
W. Thomas Straw, Ph.D., DPH, PWS
A nationally recognized hydrogeologist with over 30 years experience specializing in wetland hydrology, Dr. Straw has consulted for both private industry and government agencies, including the Wetlands Research Team at the Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station. He also taught in and directed the Geology Department at Western Michigan University.
James W. Teaford, CWB
Mr. Teaford is a forester and certified wildlife biologist with over 30 years experience in integrated natural resources management in both wetland and non-wetland habitats throughout the country. For more than thirty years, he has worked in and taught about wetlands for government agencies and the private sector throughout the United States.
Barbara Walther, PWS
Ms. Walther is a recently retired Senior Ecologist from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program, with over 35 years of experience in wetland delineation and regulations. Her background includes implementing local, state and federal wetland regulatory programs, conducting delineations and functional analyses, writing and review of permit applications and training in all wetland-related topics.
Charles J. Newling, PWS, CWB
Instructor, WTI co-founder
Mr. Newling is a wetland biologist with over 35 years experience in wetland delineation, restoration, monitoring, and mitigation banking. He participated in writing the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual and served for 8 years as the national technical coordinator for Corps wetland training. He has testified frequently as an expert on these issues.
Mr. Collinson has over 30 years experience with wetland regulation; 26 of those in the Corps of Engineers Headquarters Regulatory Branch where he had primary responsibility for development of regulations, policy guidance, and the nationwide permit program. Since retiring, he has worked as a consultant on regulatory and wetland issues.
William Blake Parker
In Memoriam: 1931 – 2019/ A leading authority on the identification of hydric soils, Mr. Parker led the project that developed the definition of hydric soils and the original list of hydric soils of the U.S. He also formulated much of the soils portion of the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual and served for many years on the National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils.
Mr. Stringer is a Principal Biologist with 20 years experience in the public and private sector. As an environmental consultant, he has worked on and managed hundreds of projects conducting wetland delineations, botanical surveys, and developing restoration plans for wetlands, oak woodlands, and riparian habitats.
Joseph R. Thomasson, Ph.D.
Dr. Thomasson is curator of the herbarium at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History at Fort Hays State University. He has taught classes in aquatic biology, botany, dendrology, flowering plant taxonomy, and grass taxonomy for 30 years. Each year since 2002 he has served as a senior plant taxonomist consulting to the U. S. Forest Service, the NRCS, and a major mineral resources corporation.
Michael Whited, CPSS, CPSC, PWS
Mr. Whited is recently retired from USDA-NRCS with 38 years of experience as a soil scientist. He is a past-chair of the National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils and the New England Hydric Soil Committee. Michael was a principal author of the Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the U.S. and has described soils in most parts of the U.S.
Robert Pierce, Ph.D.
Instructor, WTI co-founder
Dr. Pierce has more than 45 years experience in wetland regulation, delineation, construction/restoration, and functional assessment, including participation in the development of the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual, training courses, and the Nationwide Permit program. He has frequently testified as an expert witness.
Mallory Gilbert, CPSS, PWS
Mr. Gilbert is a former USDA NRCS employee with more than 35 years experience as a Professional Soil Scientist and Wetland Scientist. He has been providing wetland science training since 1988. He served on the peer review team for the “Draft Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Northcentral and Northeast Region.
Phil Scoles, RPSS, PWS
Mr. Scoles is a Registered Professional Soil Scientist, Professional Wetland Scientist, and principal of Terra Science, Inc. He specializes in wetland delineation, hydric soil evaluation, wetland hydrology assessment, permitting, mitigation, and problematic wetland situations. He has extensive experience working with hydric soils and wetland hydrology.
Larry Sward, CERP
Mr. Sward has worked as a biologist in southern California for more than 30 years. He is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner and was the senior technical specialist at HELIX Environmental Planning where he oversaw field investigations, restoration projects, wetland delineations, vegetation mapping and rare plant studies.
Mr. Tomsovic is a Restoration Ecologist and Senior Project Manager with 20 years of professional experience in the environmental consulting industry. He has successfully designed, implemented, and managed hundreds of restoration projects. His project experience ranges across all habitat types. Mr. Tomsovic formerly served as Board President of the California Society for Ecological Restoration (SERCAL).