Basic Wetland Delineation Online with Field Practicum (2020)

Course Overview

This course satisfies the requirements for basic wetland delineation training as specified by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and certification programs in many states. Learn the technical guidelines for wetland delineations, field indicators of hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soils, and wetland hydrology, methods for making jurisdictional determinations and methods to apply in difficult situations.

Materials and content are the same as identified in our in-person 5-day Basic Wetland Delineation classes. Materials include a 2017 Pocket Guide to Hydric Soil Field Indicators, a USB drive containing current 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual, Regional Supplements, Plant Lists, and other publications, and a printed copy of online lecture notes. Expect to spend a minimum of 24-lecture-contact-hours online that must be completed prior to attending the field session selected at time of registration.  Successful completion of course requires participation at one in-person 16-contact-hour field session. Scroll down for dates, locations, and a more specific list of topics covered.

2020 Basic Wetland Delineation online lectures can be started at anytime after 12/09/2019 and 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 30, 2020.


Tuition cost:


COVID-19 Precautions

In light of state and national COVID-19 guidelines, WTI has developed plans to provide the safest possible field 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

2017 Pocket Guide to Hydric Soil Field Indicators

This field guide is based on the National Technical Committee on Hydric Soils’ Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States v. 8.0.

Printed lecture notes and electronic resources

All participants receive the same lecture notes provided in our in-person courses and a thumb drive of essential electronic resources.

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 December 9, 2019. 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 November 30th (online course close date).

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.

Will I have face to face interaction with my instructor?

Yes, you will have face to face interaction with your field practicum instructor to ensure you understand all the material as well as standard field practices. During the online component of the course, please contact the instructor via the discussion board or our direct messaging system from the member’s area.

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.

Field Practicum Locations

Field session options for Basic Wetland Delineation Online with Field Practicum:

2020 Dates Field Locations Register by Field Location
February 10 – 11, 2020 San Diego, CA COMPLETED
March 30 – 31, 2020 Houston, TX POSTPONED
April 27 – 28, 2020 Sacramento, CA POSTPONED
May 19 – 20, 2020 Santa Fe, NM CANCELLED
June 30 – July 1, 2020 Laramie, WY COMPLETED
August 12 – 13, 2020 Marysville, WA COMPLETED
August 26-27, 2020 Marysville, WA COMPLETED
September 10 -11, 2020 Sacramento, CA COMPLETED
September 14 – 15, 2020 Sacramento, CA COMPLETED
September 29 – 30, 2020 Portage, WI COMPLETED
October 15-16, 2020 Houston, TX FULL
October 19-20, 2020 Houston, TX Purchase Course – CONFIRMED
October 22 – 23, 2020 Covington, LA CANCELLED
November 10 – 11, 2020 Charleston, SC CANCELLED
November 18-19, 2020 Richmond, VA Purchase Course – CONFIRMED


Also offered as a 5-day in-person course. Click here to see dates.

What Our Participants Say…

“It was useful to be able to re-listen to slides as I progressed through the online course. That was a benefit compared to a live course. If I missed something or did not understand, I could “rewind.”

“The instructor knows the 1987 USACE Manual inside and out and is an expert in the field of wetland delineation. I would recommend this course to anyone wishing to expand their knowledge on the subject.”

Get Started Now

Select location above and click on “Purchase Course” to register.

Course Curriculum

Basic Wetland Delineation Online Lectures and Field Practicum focus on the application of the Regional Supplements and the portions of the 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual still valid as used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and numerous state governments. Specific lecture topics are listed below. Field practicum agendas include: safety briefing, instructor demonstration and use of data sheets, student characterization of data points and use of data sheets, and a variety of field exercises.

  • Discussion: Welcome and Introduce Yourself Here (BWDe-2020)
  • Discussion: I have questions (BWDe) – 2020
  • Welcome to Basic Wetland Delineation Online Lectures Preview
  • Introduction to 1987 Manual and Regional Supplements
  • Part1 – Geographic Jurisdiction – UPDATED Aug 2020
    30 minutes
  • Part 2 – Geographic Jurisdiction – UPDATED Aug 2020
    30 minutes
  • Wetland Hydrology Fundamentals
  • Wetland hydrology field indicators
  • Fundamental Soil Concepts
  • Soil Color
  • Redoximorphic Features
  • Field Indicators of Hydric Soils
  • Hydrophytic Vegetation
  • Vegetation Exercise
  • Technical Guidelines
  • Use of Soil Surveys
  • Methods – Part 1
  • Methods – Part 2
  • Difficult Wetland Situations
  • Problematic Hydric Soils
  • Disturbed/Atypical situations
  • Soil Taxonomy

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.

Barbara Walther is a Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) with over 35 years of experience in wetland delineation and regulations and is a recently retired Senior Ecologist from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program. 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.

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.

Get Started Now

Select location above and click on “Purchase Course” to register.