Hydric and Problem Area Soils

Course Overview

This course begins with 8 hours of online lectures on soil formation, redoximorphic features, soil color, drained hydric soils, and wetlands not meeting indicators. The 2-day field practicum includes field exercises and additional instruction on regional hydric soil indicators and problematic situations. Informed insights and a focus on field techniques and proper documentation should greatly improve the participant’s command of the Field Indicators of Hydric Soils, a major aspect of the Regional Supplements for wetland delineation. Field visits will examine natural, landscaped, and disturbed conditions and include time for in-depth questioning of a knowledgeable instructor to reinforce the lectures.

Participants will receive Lecture Notes, a Pocket Guide to Hydric Soils Indicators, and a USB drive containing the current Regional Supplements and other pertinent reference publications.

Expect to spend a minimum of 8-lecture-contact-hours online and 16 hours in the field. Online lectures can be started (and reviewed) at any time after December 11, 2024. All online lectures must be completed prior to attending chosen field practicum. Progress through online lectures at your own pace and review as many times as you wish until online courses close on November 30th each year.

Successful completion of course requires completion of online lectures and participation at one in-person 16-contact-hour field session. Scroll down for dates, locations, and a more specific list of topics covered. Registration can be completed with payment via credit card, check, or purchase order.

[Note: This course was formerly named “Advanced Hydric Soils.”]


Tuition cost:


COVID-19 Precautions

In light of state and national COVID-19 guidelines, WTI has developed plans to provide the safest possible course environment while adhering to social distancing recommendations.  All participants must read, sign, and return our Participant Guidelines and COVID-19 Liability Waiver Form before the start date of your course in order to participate. If you are unable to do this, you will not be allowed to participate in the field course. All WTI course dates will continue to be contingent on CDC and State recommendations related to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements.

Your Course Includes

Pocket Guide to Hydric Soil Field Inidcators

This field guide is based on the National Technical Committee on Hydric Soils’ Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States.

Printed Lecture Notes and Electronic Resources

Receive a copy of lecture notes and a thumb drive of essential electronic resources to reference after the course.

Certificate of Completion

You will receive a certificate of completion with instructional contact hours documented once you have completed all course requirements (i.e. online lectures, field practicum, discussion forum participation).

Frequently asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

You can begin your online lectures anytime after your course opens (December each year). Your printed and electronic course materials should arrive in the mail within about a week after your field location is confirmed (unless you request them sooner). You must complete all online lectures before your in-person field practicum date. You can review online lectures anytime until your course closes (November 30th each year).

Can I view lectures at my own pace?

Yes! You can view and review lectures as many times you wish until your course closes. All online courses close on November 30th each year.

Can I have face to face interation with Instructor

Yes, you will have face-to-face interaction with your WTI instructor during your field practicum dates. Beforehand, you are free to contact the online course instructor via our direct messaging system from the member’s area. Our instructors are are available to answer specific questions during and after your course.

Does this course count towards my certification program?

Your certificate of completion can be used to document instructional hours received in this topic. You should contact the specific certifying agency or association directly to find out how they will assess or credit this WTI course. Typically, our courses are accepted by all state and national certifying agencies and associations; however, you should confirm that with the specific certification program to which you are applying or renewing.


Dates and location options for Advanced Hydric Soils field practicum:

Dates Locations Register by Location
March 4 – 5, 2024 San Diego, CA REGISTER NOW
March 25 – 26, 2024 Austin, TX REGISTER NOW
April 15 – 16, 2024 Sacramento, CA REGISTER NOW
October 1 – 2, 2024 State College, PA REGISTER NOW


What our participants say…

“Excellent course for delineators to take a deep dive into hydric soils. This will further your understanding of the indicators and problematic situations, and make you more confident in describing soil profiles.”

“Instructor did a great job of finding field locations that gave a lot of different scenarios with different soils and hydrologic characteristics. I feel he was very knowledgeable and thorough in explaining how to hone our skills when looking at the soils and landscape.”

“I feel the course was very well planned and a lot of time and effort went into both the online and field portion of the class. Overall, I am very pleased with the course and the information I obtained from the class. I would definitely be interested in other courses offered by WTI.”

Get Started Now

Select location above and click on “Register Now” to enroll.

Course Curriculum

  • Discussion: Welcome and Introduction (HPAS-2024)
  • Discussion: I have questions or comments. (HPAS-2024)
  • Welcome and Introduction (22 minutes)
    12 minutes
  • Soil Formation (45 minutes)
    45 minutes
  • Hydric Soils and Redox (1 hour, 10 minutes)
    70 minutes
  • Aspects of Soil Color (27 minutes)
    27 minutes
  • Hydric Soil Field Indicators (2 hours)
    120 minutes
  • Soil Indicators in the Field demonstration (13 minutes)
    13 minutes
  • Problematic Soils (1 hour, 14 minutes)
    74 minutes

Instructor Pool

Charles J. Newling is a Certified Wetland Biologist (CWB) and Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) with over 35 years experience in wetland delineation, restoration, monitoring, and mitigation banking. He participated in writing the 1987 United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wetlands Delineation Manual and served for 8 years as the national technical coordinator for USACE wetland training. He has testified frequently as an expert on these issues.

Phil Scoles is a Registered Professional Soil Scientist (RPSS), Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS), 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.

Michael Whited is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS), Certified Professional Soil Classifier (CPSC), and Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) with 40 years experience as a soil scientist. He was regional director of the USDA-NRCS Soil Survey for the West Central Glaciated Region, past chair of the National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils and the New England Hydric Soil Committee, and a principal author of the Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the U.S.